Advertising and Visual Rhetoric

These days we get most of our information via visuals--television media, magazines, the internet--even newspapers have gone cyber. Go to your local newsstand and you'll find papers featuring huge photographs above the fold. Tucked inside are various pics, graphics, and charts serving up information in a visual way that can be read just like any other text.

But the best servers of visual information (or at least the most creative) are advertisers.

There's a lot to learn about rhetoric by examining how advertisers are manipulating purchasers to buy a myriad of products we may or may not need. Recently, this ad found its way to my mailbox with the caption, "Can you guess the product before the end of the commercial?"

At first I thought it was some weird take on a new HGTV home redecorating show, but since YouTube so graciously provides the product in the header it's a bit of a giveaway.

Marketers know that when the audience feels familiar with something, like The Exorcist, they will feel at ease (a bit counter intuitive in this case), while the humor makes the message stick. Dirt Devil, the most powerful vacuum EVER!

But at the end of day, it's all about sales. So when looking at the details of this TV commercial, details like setting, characters, dress, and social roles, who is going to buy this product?


  1. The sale at the end of the day defiantly does matter, so the people that would probably buy this vacuum would be someone who loves good humor and an older lady that resembles the one in the commercial. Obviously the commercial doesn’t truly sell the item; it just creates a curiosity in the viewer’s eye about the product which could drag them to the store to see if it really will vacuum up their downstairs neighbor through the roof. Seeing this commercial did not make me want to buy a vacuum by dirt devil. But it does deserve a hearty chuckle and now the next time I go vacuum shopping with my mom, the name Dirt Devil will most defiantly stand out.

  2. first off, i just want to say that this commercial scared the crap out of me the first time i saw it. then i realized the true genius behind it. i liked how it kept you interested until they actually revealed the product. i think that this commercial attracts stay at home wives and people who live alone or with one or two other people. it seems scary but it gets he point across that the vacuum has immense suction power. i don't think they really gave many specifics about the vacuum but they definitely capitalized on their company name, dirt DEVIL.

  3. This commercial at first feels like it is actually advertising for a movie than a vacuum cleaner, however it shows that advertisers need creative ways to get their product to stand out. The commercial gets you engaged right away and if it was not for the title you wonder what it is about. It is a very funny way to show the product and people tend to remember unique things. This commercial is perfectly done because the way it begins makes you realize that the thing they are advertising for is intended for a mature audience, and they don't take too long to show that the product is a vacuum cleaner. This commercial shows that in todays society an advertisement needs to find a clever way to advertise their product because in todays society you need to grab the attention of the audience quickly or they would look for something more interesting and you lose potential buyers

  4. This commercial really keeps its viewers interested, because it looks like its advertising a very popular movie. It's a really good way to get a product noticed and sold. People love humor in commercials, it's the only way I stay interested and keep the t.v on the same channel. The commercial looks like it's concentrating on the youth more than the elderly. It's meant for mature audience rather than the elderly.

  5. This commercial was really funny even as I watched it with no audio. It really has you going with a scenario as if it were advertising for a movie. The priest, the worried mother, and the praying father has you thinking back to clips from the exorcism. This keeps the viewers entertained and engaged in the commercial to later turn into a humorous advertisement about a dirt devil vacuum cleaner. By the look of the commercial maybe the elderly will buy this kind of vacuum.

  6. I saw many American TV with Japanese people in it. Japanese people are usually wearing glasses, bowing constantly and speak with heavy accent on TV. I think it's not fair to present Japanese people like that. The image is too exaggerated and not true. American people should persent foreigners based on reality.

  7. I enjoyed reading this article. The video was also interesting as well. The commercial was very interesting. It is an old type of house that people would be scared to go to. The video seems like it is going to be scary in the sense that a possessed little girl is there. It turns out that it is a vacuum commercial. This would automatically grab someone’s attention because you think that it might be the preview to a movie. The beginning of the commercial made me want to watch that scary movie. Advertising now a day is so important in order to sell. Like the article mentions social media has had an extremely large growth when it comes to advertising. Facebook for example has all these pages so that you can like them and be subscribed to what the company has. The perfect advertisement is what will make you money.

  8. I was surprised that it was not some horror movie trailer rather it was advertising a vacuum cleaner.At first, I was afraid that something would pop out as the old man was opening the door. However, it was just a girl screaming because she was being pulled up to the ceiling. This advertisement wants to show that the the Dirt Devil is a powerful vacuum cleaner because it could even suck up a human being through the walls. I think they did a good job advertising because it kept me interested and excited to see what was going to happen next. Some advertisements can be very powerful depending on how they present their visuals. If it was just a radio advertisement, then it would be less effective because the audience are not able to see the product.

  9. Need To Increase Your ClickBank Banner Commissions And Traffic?

    Bannerizer makes it easy for you to promote ClickBank products using banners, simply go to Bannerizer, and grab the banner codes for your picked ClickBank products or use the Universal ClickBank Banner Rotator to promote all of the ClickBank products.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

What Superpower Would You Choose?

Ancient Rome: When Being a Teen was Tough

Marxist Literary Theory Made Easy