Rhetorical Analysis of an Argument

Published: 2021-09-10 02:25:08
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Category: Human Nature, Philosophy, Psychology

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Jordan Sands Jaimie Young ENG 101 23 January 2013 Rhetorical Analysis of an Argument The Direct TV commercial “Don’t attend your own funeral” focuses on the quality of service, and the customer service of regular cable in comparison to Direct TV. From the beginning scene and progression of the commercial, it’s implied that cable service is bad, causing customers to need someone to come fix the service. This would trigger a chain of events, outrageously resulting in having to fake a funeral. As unbelievable and unrealistic as the claim may seem, the audience has been addressed with a sense of humor which makes the claim effective.
The commercial starts out with an “average Joe” at home sitting in front of his TV. You can tell by the scene, he lives in a small apartment, appears to be single, and is aged between 20 and 30 years old. This situation would apply to a majority of the audience/people seeing this commercial. The TV has a gray screen, and the commercial is introduced as, “When you wait forever for the cable guy, you get bored. ” This gives the audience the idea that cable service is bad, and doesn’t work; therefore you would need a technician to come fix it.
This would be considered an audience appeal in a more ethical way; it gives Direct TV the credibility regular cable doesn’t have, and is being stripped of in this commercial. As claimed, when someone gets bored while waiting, they look outside and “see things they shouldn’t see”, which is demonstrated in the commercial as two men putting a large plastic bag into the back of a car. You can tell by the men’s reactions that “Joe” was in trouble. The next scene is Joe in his room, which is very plainly decorated, and small. The entire lay out of his house is dull, and doesn’t draw attention at all.



When noticing this, it’s also shown that Joe is very plainly dressed as well; he has muted-colored casual business attire on. This gives the impression that if someone has cable, their life is normal and almost boring; life would be so much more vibrant and convenient with Direct TV. Joe is seen frantically putting things into a suitcase because he “needs to vanish”. That escalates into him swimming away from a burning boat, and the announcers’ explanation is that he needed to fake his own death in order to vanish. After that, Joe is forced to dye his eyebrows in order to live a double life.
Meaning for the audience; if you don’t have Direct TV, you need a new life. This is one of the underlining assumptions that things are tied together- or the warrant. The last time we see Joe, he is sitting in the back of a funeral service. His entire appearance has changed; he looks much older, has glasses on and he has white hair, eyebrows, and a mustache. Everyone in the crowd is crying, looking down, etc. This gives the audience the emotional aspect of the evidence, connecting them to the situation. Joe is keeping his head down as the announcer says, “And when you dye your eyebrows, you attend your own funeral as a guy named Phil Shifley.
Don’t attend your own funeral as a guy named Phil Shifley. ” In other words, don’t go through all of this trouble in result of having regular cable, and switch to Direct TV. This same advice is given through a more straight forward approach by saying “Get rid of cable. ” Another warrant would be, getting rid of cable will get rid of all these outrageous problems that cable may and will cause. The audience can appreciate the humor of the idea that obviously things wouldn’t actually escalate like in the commercial just because of your TV service.
The idea of this chain of events being connected to not having Direct TV would be the warrant. The audience is also showed a price of the service starting at $29. 99 a month, making it seem as if it’s an easy fix. The prices would be considered a logical audience appeal; cheap prices are always an eye grabber. As far as a stretch as it is, the audience successfully gets the idea that regular cable is not worth having. When it’s not working, it takes a long time for the customer service to come through; leaving the customer without a TV. This leads to the question, “Why pay more for something that doesn’t work? when shown seemingly cheap prices for Direct TV’s more reliable, customer friendly service. When the audience is given a person to relate to: the average Joe, and a situation to connect to: TV trouble and a normal life, it makes it easier for the audience to put themselves into Joe’s position. When trying to sell a product, one of the key points is to paint a picture for the customer; show them why they need something and how it can better their lives. Making the customer laugh lightens the mood. All of these points have been met in this commercial, so it would be considered effective.

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