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Rhetorical Analysis of Ad

The power of an advert is its ability to convince the audience to believe its message. Advertisers employ pathos, ethos, and logos to persuade their audience to buy their products. The effectiveness of these appeals determines the power of an advert to persuade the audience believes whichever information is being given. One of the brands that try to make their ads as persuasive as possible is Red Bull, a manufacturer of an energy drink consumed in various countries worldwide. The Red Bull ad below has a statement, “MINDS, LIKE PENCILS, WORK BETTER WHEN SHARP,” and a sketch of a human with a bull’s head flying while seated on a pencil. Based on the features of the ad, it appears that the author used ethos and pathos effectively but did not employ logos, making it less persuasive to the audience.

Red Bull Advertising

(Kastner and Partners 1)

The advert has features that provide an idea about the target audience. The target audience for the Redbull advert is scholars or students. The slogan on the advert is “MINDS, LIKE PENCILS, WORK BETTER WHEN SHARP .”The man is seated on a pencil with a sharp end, and his hand is holding a book and in front of him is what looks like a computer (Kastner and Partners 1). All the items suggest that he is a student or a scholar. Students and scholars or scholars need pencils, books, and laptops.

The advert also employs pathos. Pathos is used in advertisements or other public announcements to evoke the audience’s emotions (Copper and Rosemary 38). An example of pathos is when the pursued says, “It is very exciting to enjoy a can of Red Bull when doing your study” or “It is so sad to see parents allowing children to play in the cold. In the image, the sitting position of the man with the bull’s head creates a sense of comfort while the smile evokes happiness in the audience. Imagining that the bull is smiling is alone enough to evoke happiness in the audience. The sense of motion in the graphic evokes excitement in the audience. Pathos makes the audience believe the message and want to be associated with it. It can also create a sense of pity and make the audience sad about an issue (Copper and Rosemary 38). In the case of the Red Bull advert being analyzed, pathos is employed to evoke happiness and a sense of comfort. Everyone would need a drink that brings about happiness. The sense of happiness evoked by the image is reinforced by the writings below saying, “RED BULL GIVES YOU WINGS” (Kastner and Partners 1). The statement makes the audience understand why the man with the bull’s head is laughing. The graphic and the writing works together to convince the audience that Red Bull is the best energy drink for someone who wants to win.

The advert also employs ethos. It involves the use of credibility or the authority of the persuader to convince the audience (Cooper and Rosemary 38). A good example of ethos is when one says, “As an experienced doctor, I can assure you that this medication will clear your illnesses within a week. The mention of the words “experienced doctor” makes the audience believe what one is saying because one is an expert in the field. Another example of ethos is when one says, “The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that every person above the age of sixteen should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Here, the mention of WHO gives the whole statement credibility and can convince the audience to believe in whatever one is saying. In the case of the Red Bull advert, the words “MINDS, LIKE PENCILS, WORK BETTER WHEN SHARP” (Kastner and Partners 1). This statement is authoritative because of how it is written with confidence. The confidence in the statement is reinforced by the fact that it is written in capital letters.

The advert being explored does not employ logos making it less effective in persuading the audience to believe that the brand sharpens the mind. Logos is an appeal to logic or reason and may involve using evidence to support the persuader’s statement (Cooper and Rosemary 39). An example of using a logo in persuasion is when someone says,” The census data clearly shows that that the number of women in the country was double that of men .”Here, the census data shows that the number of women is higher than that of men. The appeal to reason in the advert is not apparent, but the two cans of Red Bull make the audience understand what it is all about. In addition, the man featured in the advert has a reddish head of a bull. This, together with the statement at the bottom, “RED BULL GIVES YOU WIIINGS,” makes it clear that the advert is for the brand. However, having Red Bull at the bottom of the advert makes the audience associate it will all the good things about it written at the top and relate it to the graphic.

The genre in which the advert belongs is not specific, but it was retrieved from Kastner and Partners advertisement agency. The advertisement made by the agency targets different groups depending on the brand they feature. In the case of the Red Bull advert, the most probable target group is young people, especially those still in school. It associates the brand with a sharp mind (Kastner & Partners 1). The fact that this advert is on the website for Kastner and Partners advertisement agency may not have impacted its content because the firm does not deal with specific types of advertisement. It advertises different brands from different manufacturers.

In conclusion, the Red Bull advert employed only pathos and ethos but not logos, making it less effective in convincing the audience about the brand. The audience would have wanted to know how the brand sharpens the mind like a pencil and how many people use it in the US or elsewhere. In other words, it was important for the advert to have a credible source of evidence to support its claims. The persuader should have included statements such as “Over eighty percent of athletes love Red Bull .”Such a statement would appeal to logic better than what is given in the advertisement. Such a statement would convince the audience that the brand is good because many people are already using it. Although the ad did not employ logos, it included elements to let the audience know the advertised brand.

Works Cited

Cooper, Sheila, and Rosemary Patton. Writing Logically, Thinking Critically. , 2015. Print.

Kastner and Partners.Red Bull Energy Drink – “Study 1”. 2020. Accessed on September 5, 2022, from,


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