PCM 230 Midterm

Rank's Model

Rank's Model works on the premises that the piece needs to both intensify something and downplay something. The intensification is done through three different avenues: repetition, association, and composition. While the downplay is also done through three different avenues: omission, diversion, and confusion. The three different ways an ad can intensify it's self is meant to create the idea that the group or product is good and all others are bad. While the three different ways of downplay is meant to create the illusion that there isn't bad or very little bad with the group or product and the other groups or products aren't good. "Any one of these tactics can be used logically or emotionally, and can employ interactive or more traditional media to accomplish the persuader's intentions" (Larson, 2013, p. 29-30).

The ad for vegetarianism by PETA does a number of different ways to Intensify your emotions for becoming a vegetarian would be good while it downplays the emotions for why becoming a vegetarian would be bad. When looking at the ways the add uses intensification through repetition, association, and composition. It uses repetition through the use of slogan "All animals have the same parts" and using Pamela Anderson's body to show how we have the same parts as the animals that we eat. They use the association with Pamela Anderson to show that they care about animals sense she is well known for animal advocacy. They also want to use her sex appeal to try and show that being a vegetarian is sexy. The composition of the ad is made to have a light and sexy feeling. It does this with the use of lavender for all of the text and the swimsuit that Pamela Anderson is wearing. It also portrays a sexy feeling by having Pamela Anderson, a former Playboy bunny,  sitting in what could be considered a provocative position. The ad uses the concepts of downplay through omission, diversion, and confusion. It uses omission by leaving out that other animals like wolfs eat other animals. It also uses omission by leaving out the fact that some animals will eat each other if they need to, even humans have been known to do so. They also use diversion by using the sex appeal of Pamela Anderson to try and make the idea of being a veterinarian seem sexy. It also uses confusion by insisting that because we have the same parts as the animals that we eat this means that we shouldn't eat them.

Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)

The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) operates on the idea that we take in information through two different ways: the central route and the peripheral route. The central route lends itself towards the logical and takes more time to process. While the peripheral route lends itself towards the less logical and takes less time to process. The peripheral route is akin to your peripheral sight taking in something in small amounts and not knowing the full amount of information or picture. "Elaboration in the ELM refers to the conscious scrutiny we use in making an evaluative judgment and requires both the motivation and the ability to process information" (Larson, 2013, p. 96).

When looking at the unexpected pregnancy ad uses the ELM model uses both the central route and the peripheral route. The Central Route is used in this ad through the dialogue on the bottom of the ad "Most teen pregnancies are. Avoid unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Use condoms. Or wait."  This is the use of the central route because it uses an appeal to logic, it says that unexpected pregnancies can be unavoidable if you stop and think about it.  The Peripheral Route is used in the fact that the model in the ad is made to be seen as pregnant and made to be seen as a male. This along with the "Unexpected?" that's partially draped over the model creates the sense that you missed something because it is unexpected to see man or a boy pregnant. It also gives a sense of shock that is similar to when a person finds out about an unexpected pregnancy.

Aristotle's Proofs

Aristotle's proofs work on the premise that the persuader can create or manipulate a particular point in their ad or statement. There are three ways that Aristotle points to that effectively manipulate a person's reaction towards an ad those points are: pathos, logos, and ethos. Pathos is an appeal to the viewer's emotion. Logos is an appeal to the viewer's logical and rational side. While ethos is an appeal to the viewer's ethical side. It's important to Aristotle's proofs that all three are represented within the piece in some way or another. "...Many scholars see all three of these types of proof as rational or cognitive appeals rather three distinct ways to persuade..."  (Larson, 2013, p. 77).

The "Think of both sides" ad uses Aristotle's proofs with the appeal to his three points: pathos, logos, and ethos. The ad uses pathos the most by showing a young family that is distracted that is about to hit a child that is walking home from school. Only the bottom half of the school aged child's face is seen while the top half is the child in the backseat both of the faces show a child who is afraid. While both of the parents in the front seat are distracted: the father is on his cellphone and looking at the map that the mother is holding, and the mother is looking at the father trying to reason with him. This is a play at our emotions because we become fearful for the child who is walking home from school and we become from angry with the parents for not paying attention to wear they are driving. The ad uses logos in two different ways: one being that if the parents who were driving the car were paying attention the child who is walking home from school wouldn't be hit, the other is at the bottom of the ad says "The number of car accidents involving children increases during school holidays. Please be extremely careful!". This is an appeal to our logical side because it's a well known idea of paying attention while you drive leads to less deaths. Also with re-informing people that there are more children outside playing when there is no school so people need to keep an eye out for them. The ad uses ethos the least because it can be argued that the use of fear in the case of this ad is leaning towards unethical because it is using an extreme negative reaction to the implication that the parents either killed or seriously hurt the child walking home from school. It could also be considered ethical because the company that ran the ad is an insurance agency in Russia who wanted to create awareness.

Fear and Drive Reduction Model

The fear and drive reduction model is biased on the idea that people search to find ways to make uncomfortable situations disappear. "The drive-reduction model is a more specialized version of the pleasure-pain principle -- that is, people are attracted to rewarding situations and seek to eliminate uncomfortable situations" (Larson, 2013, p. 111).  This model only works well when the sense of fear is high but also surmountable. The feeling that the fear is surmountable is called efficacy. Efficacy is affected in two different ways; one being if the fear or negative situation is considered too high, the second being if the message is coming from a source that is not considered credible.

The ad "Verbal abuse is still abuse" uses the fear and drive reduction model by creating a negative reaction to the ad and then giving the viewer a way to create efficacy by informing them on how they can help. The ad does a successful job of creating a negative emotion towards child abuse and that verbal abuse is still considered child abuse. It does this by showing a child who looks terrified, he has tears in his eyes, while he is being choked by a black hand that is made up of words. It creates a sense of efficacy by showing the viewer were to go to help and learn how to help stop all forms of child abuse. It also creates a sense of efficacy by the fact that the association is known for helping families and children.

Langer's Approach to Language

Langer's Approach to Language is a model that is used to analyze how we look and react towards symbols. "Langer called such symbols concepts, in contrast to conceptions, which she used to refer to any particular individual's unique meaning for the concept" (Larson ,2013, p. 128).  Within this model there are three different concepts: signification, denotation, connotation which helps us look at symbols as a whole. Signification is the sign that accompanies the thing being considered. Denotation is the common and shared meaning we all have for any concept. While connotation is the private, metaphorical, or emotional meaning for a concept.  

When looking at the Valspar ad through Langer's Approach to Language you can tell that it uses the three different concepts that are outlined within the model: signification,denotation, and connotation. It uses signification by showing the paint that is being drained from the violin which is giving the instrument it's color. It uses denotation by saying that paint gives color and vibrancy to life, even to particular items that can create their own vibrancy on their own like a musical instrument. While it uses connotation to show that you can change your world with a simple coat of paint. It also gives the connotation that not having color in your life will make it boring.


Larson, C. U. (2013). Persuasion Reception and Responsibility (13th ed.). Boston, MA:          Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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