A Rhetorical Analysis Essay Project
of 2015 Super Bowl Commercials

By Alex Roeser
English 12 with Mr. Smith at CNHS

Mercedes Benz: Tortoise and the Hare
2015 Super Bowl Commercial

Mr. Smith's English 12 Essay Project

Rhetorical Analysis Essay
By Alex Roeser

Slow and steady wins the race. Most youth were told the the bedtime story of the Tortoise and the Hare at some point in their childhood. You don’t always have to be the fastest to be the best is the moral of the story. The hare is known as the speedy yet selfish and cocky animal, while to the tortoise who, although isn’t the fastest, is humble and persistent. The tortoise manages to deservingly win the race. Slow and determined is more valuable than being fast and flashy and can make a world of difference.

In this Mercedes Benz commercial the hare takes off and immediately pulls ahead in the race, leaving the tortoise in the dust. Although the tortoise wasn’t favored to win, he still managed to maintain his confidence. It was only a matter of time before he came across something that would help even the playing field; before him was a Mercedes Benz factory that had a brand new, shiny, silver Mercedes AMG GT. He used the car to make up time and speed past the hare, to win in a photo finish. With the help of Mercedes Benz, anything is possible, in a swift and luxurious fashion.

Initially, the tortoise was losing and it would be nearly impossible for him to beat the odds. It seemed so until he came across the Mercedes factory. The tortoise's hope was immediately restored. As he crosses the finish line he says “slow and steady my-” and it cuts. This implies the car is incredibly fast and capable of a variety of things. The author stresses that anyone who wants to drive fast, in luxury, and win thrace of life should buy this car. Although the price isn’t advertised, one could assume this car would be for a wealthier working class.

When the tortoise first spots the shiny, clean, high-tech Mercedes car shop in the middle of the jungle he has new hope. Because it has such a professional and modernized look to it, it draws your attention and seems very reliable (to the tortoise, as well as the audience). The moment he lays his eyes on the factory he says “plot twist,” affirming feeling of his optimism that whatever is in the building will ensure that he will win the race. With the help of the new Mercedes AMG GT and its shiny, just installed engine, losing is not in the script. The author hopes to make their product come off as reliable by putting such a magnificent factory outside its natural environment; in the middle of an idyllic fairytale-like forest.

Everyone has heard the story of the hare and the tortoise at some point in their childhood and knows the phrase “slow and steady wins the race.” You know from the very beginning of the race that something is going to aid the tortoise to make it into the winners circle. From the get go the hare immediately speeds off, leaving the tortoise behind. Somehow, when almost all hope is lost, with almost no chance of winning, the tortoise comes across the Mercedes factory. This situation seemed impossible, as there would never been such a pristine factory in such a remote wooded area, but to the tortoise’s satisfaction, there is. The author wants the viewers to think that even the impossible is possible with the Mercedes AMG GT.

From the very beginning of the commercial, you feel sympathy for the tortoise. He is very modest and soft-spoken compared to the cocky and vain hare. The hare talks about how there is no chance of him losing, yet the tortoise still wishes him a sincere, “good luck.” This situation makes the viewers immediately empathetic. Although he was slow off the line, he still remained confident, so much that the audience believes in him, too. Once he comes across the Mercedes car, faith is regained not only in the tortoise, but with the viewers as well. Thanks to the “hare raising, powerful performance” of the Mercedes he ends up in the winners circle and the audience is relieved and maybe even humored at the pun “Hare.”

With the help of the Mercedes Benz anything is possible in a swift and luxurious way. I thought this commercial did a good job advertising their product but there were definitely places where it could improve. One thing is that they tend to focus a little too much on the fairytale/fantasy aspect, rather than giving information on the car. It would have been more of a reliable advertisement if the viewers knew more about the car. Another thing I noticed is that at no point during the commercial did they give a price for the car. One could assume that it is a very expensive automobile, being portrayed as so luxurious and manufactured by Mercedes Benz. If the author were to include some of these points it would come across as more reliable. Overall, the commercial did a good job driving racing the audience to the conclusion: I need a Mercedes Benz to win the race of life and look good while doing it.

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