Super Bowl Commercials 2016


The goal of a rhetorical and visual analysis is not to analyze what a writer is arguing about concerning an issue, but to analyze how the writer and creator is presenting the argument. You’ll do this by analyzing the use of rhetorical strategies.

Select one commercial that aired during the 2016 Super Bowl. Write a three page essay in which you analyze the way in which the commercial uses rhetorical strategies to persuade its audience. In answering this question, discuss how the author tries to reach the audience with ethos, pathos, and logos (review our reading of Everything's an Argument) and with the other rhetorical terms on the vocabulary list.

This is an analytical, academic assignment, and your writing should reflect that. This means that your paper should be written in a formal, sophisticated style that makes use of correct grammar and usage. Make sure to have a clear and precise argument as you analyze the rhetorical strategies employed in the text that you are examining.

Specific guidelines for this assignment are: Write a clear introduction and conclusion. Address the issue of audience. Discuss at least two of the three rhetorical appeals--ethos, pathos, and logos. Explain how the author uses rhetorical devices and fallacies. Use MLA formatting. Have correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Write 3-4 pages.


Your rhetorical analysis of the text will consist mainly of your analysis of the three rhetorical appeals of ethos, and logos, pathos.

Ethos deals primarily with credibility. You will want to examine the author’s reputation, authority, and/or expertise. These factors as well as the argument being made will either improve or detract from the writer’s credibility.

Logos is concerned with the logic of the writer’s argument. In considering the writer’s use of logos, you will analyze issues such as the quality and quantity of supporting evidence. You may also want to consider any bias that the writer might have toward the subject and the effect of that bias upon the argument being presented. Is the writer’s reasoning sound? Do you identify any logical fallacies? In short, you will want to address any weaknesses and/or strengths in the logic of the argument.

Pathos deals with emotion. You should identify any attempts on the part of the writer to evoke a particular emotion from the audience. Additionally, you will want to consider whether or not appealing to emotion is an effective strategy for the argument being discussed.

Remember: Audience is an extremely important consideration for the writer; therefore, you also want to determine who you think is the intended audience, and explain how and why you came to that conclusion. And, again, you are not developing an argument that advocates in favor of or against the writer’s position/issue.


  1. To view advertising with new eyes; to "read" and analyze it, becoming aware of its power of persuasion.
  2. To put into practice the lessons about rhetorical analysis – both as a reader and as a writer.
  3. To use understand the value of the writing process by taking your ideas from plans, to drafts, to publication.
  4. To be engaged and find joy in the act of thinking deeply about a topic of interest and sharing your insights with your peers and the public.

Audience: Your English teacher, peers, and the general public.

Due date:

Watch the commercials

Use the link below to view all the Super Bowl commercials, listed by quarter.

Sign up for a commercial

Once you have decided on a commercial, sign up here to claim it.