Rhetoric Reflection

Overall, rhetoric was in interesting class and experience. I am satisfied with the fact that the course focused not only on rhetoric skills, but there was a business focus as well. This will prove to be useful in the business classes that I will be taking in the future.  It was good being in a class with other Tippie direct admit students, seeing that we all had similar interests and were taking some of the same classes. Also, I enjoyed the class discussions because there were a lot of different personalities in the class, so it made discussing certain topics very thought provoking.

 

Coming into the class, I was not sure what to expect. I had heard from some that rhetoric classes were difficult, so I was interested to see how the business rhetoric class would compare.  At first, while reading Heinrichs, I enjoyed reading and thought the class might be just as easy, but of course when the first major writing assignment came along it got more difficult. I enjoy writing and do not find writing essays stressful, so when the first writing assignment came around I found it very beneficial to my analytical skills in employing the rhetorical devices that we learned. One thing, however, that I found to be challenging was reading Confronting Managerialism. This read was more business-oriented, so I was a bit unfamiliar with some of the vocabulary used. This made reading quite difficult, so finding more time to understand the readings was problematic. Although it was challenging, I am glad that it broadened my insight on business school education.

 

My most successful assignment was the first major writing assignment. This is because I do not have problems writing essays. Yet, I enjoyed the final project to be the most interesting and enjoyable. Our group spent a great deal of time working on our project and put forth a lot of effort into our interview, and I believe that they paid off. It also helped to build my confidence when practicing my interview skills and applying the rhetorical devices that we learned about in class.

 

Advice I would give to any future business rhetoric students would be to schedule your time wisely. Over half of the major assignments and work will be with a group, so be ready for constant communication between other students and group collaboration.

Corinne Gajcak, Natasha Siddiki, Kellie Sciurba

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Ped Mall

The Pedestrian mall is the main gathering place for college students, locals, transients, and the homeless in Iowa City. The area contains various restaurants bars, retail stores, hotels, and the Iowa City Public Library. Because of the businesses and attractions in the area, the Ped Mall tends to draw (especially) large crowds during summertime events and football weekends in the fall. In addition to the various businesses, it also features plenty of benches, trees, and various shrubberies. Children can play in a large playground and fountain that is located in the middle of the area. In order to research the area sufficiently, we will need to ask questions as follows: What is the significance of the businesses in the Ped mall that make the area so crowded on weekends? Why do the homeless tend to be in the Ped mall the most, and what effect does it have on the success of the businesses in the area? Is it somewhat ironic that while the children play in the fountain by day, the homeless bathe in it at night? Is there a reason why the various clothing stores sell expensive clothing?

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Northside

Northside, Iowa city encompasses about 6 square blocks between Dubuque and dodge streets including shops like the Pizza Pit, the Hamburg Inn No.2, and more. The neighborhood offers a variation of residents including couples, singles, students, professionals, store owners, artists and musicians, and families with children. There’s such a broad range of people living in Northside that it’s almost impossible to imagine how they all can get along in such a prime Iowa City location. Families with children may have problems with students walking around the campus intoxicated on weekends. How do they deal with the noise? Do they talk to the city council to create ordinances? What are the repercussions of a student breaking those ordinances? Have any of the families or couples ever had issues with feeling unsafe or worry-some about themselves or their property being damaged?  In addition, what have businesses done to appeal to such a diverse variation of consumers? In general, the extreme diversity in architecture, stores and residents would serve as a great tool to learn more about.

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Downtown

Downtown Iowa City is the heart of the community. With the boutiques, shops, dining, and entertainment, which includes live music, the theater, art galleries, films and more, the downtown is said to be the economic engine of Iowa City. The down town area also includes apartments which is home to many college students. However, this is not nearly enough information for a successful report. We are going to need to answer the following questions: Does the diverse variety of restaurants cause more diversity in Iowa City? How many people visit each day? With the majority of the population being broke college students, what are the restaurants doing to get the students to spend money at their business for it to continue being successful? What aspect attracts people the most? By answering these questions we will get a better feel of what the downtown area really consists of.

Corinne Gajcak Speech Reflection

In preparation for the speech, I was able to make several outlines of the information that I intended to present. Once completing the outlines, I put the info in a more complete form in preparation for the note cards that I will use. Once I had my materials prepared and my prezi completed, I went through a couple practice runs of my speech to a couple of my hall mates in the dorm that I live in. Because of this preparation, I felt quite comfortable when presenting my speech.

If I were to do anything differently, I would have practiced more. Although I did several practice runs to some peers, I do not feel that this setting was serious enough to mock my actual presentation. I also would have gone to the speaking center in order to get additional aid with my speech.

I would say that my grade reflected the efforts that I put into this assignment. I spent quite a bit of time doing research about my controversy in order to provide a sufficient amount of information that fully surrounds the subject. In addition, I also put forth great effort into putting my information down on my notecards in an organized manner so that I was able to present in a systematic fashion. Because of these efforts, I feel that I deserved the grade that I received.

In comparison to high school, my college work load has not increased a great deal (at this point!). I feel that I did a pretty good amount of studying while in high school in order to graduate with a certain GPA and other honors. College is a good continuation of my previous methods of studying and completing major assignments. Of course, as I progress in my years here at the University of Iowa, I anticipate my workload becoming greater and greater. This will require me to spend more time studying and preparing for other assignments. I would say that the main difference involves more time management. When in high school, it was easy to manage my time, seeing that I had my parents around to keep me on task. Now that I live a more independent lifestyle, I rely more on myself to find the motivation and drive that is required to stay on task with my coursework and time management. In that sense, I find it much more difficult to manage my work in comparison to high school.

Steve Jobs Strikes Deal with AT&T

In the early 2000’s, it was common for cellular companies to have complete control over the design of their phone models being sold. This changed in 2007 when the first iPhone was released to the public with AT&T as the service provider. This long-awaited deal that Steve Jobs reached was created through his persuasion efforts which included building trust with the carrier and his nerve to make outrageous demands.

Jobs convinced AT&T to share revenue with his company, Apple, greatly through his use of ethos. This is initially recognized through his position in the company, seeing that he is the CEO of his multinational corporation; yet, he was also able to appear trustworthy to the wireless carriers by personally handling matters. Steve Jobs met with the CEO’s of each cellular company individually, thus building trust with the corporations he consulted with. The fact that he did not simply send someone else in a lower position to represent Apple proved to AT&T that he was determined to reach an agreement that is in both of their best interests, and that he personally shares the same values of those representing the wireless carrier.

In addition, Steve Jobs made radical demands in order to prove his point, which resulted in him getting more than he otherwise would have (also known as the Goldilocks technique). Raj Aggarwal, who consulted with Jobs twice a week for two years until reaching the final deal, recalls Jobs going after goals that were considered unfeasible at the time. Jobs said, “$50 a month unlimited voice, data, and SMS plan — that’s our mission. We should ask for and go after something unreasonable that no one has been willing to accept” (Cohan 1). Because he pursued seemingly impossible monthly payment plans, he was able to come to a consensus because of his later proposition of a (seemingly) more reasonable proposal. This technique made the initial offer seem senseless, but that was the reason why his later offer seemed rational to AT&T.

Overall, the success of Jobs stemmed directly from his ability to develop a reputation that embodied trustworthiness and flexibility. This was the first time in history that the company producing the cellular device was able to retain complete control over the design, manufacturing, and marketing of their phones, as opposed to the carrier having these abilities.

Through Steve Jobs’ use of ethos and his emotional appeal to AT&T’s sense of fairness within the sharing of revenue, Apple was able to receive approximately $10 of the monthly service charges that AT&T collected from each iPhone user. This deal earned both AT&T and Apple an exceedingly large amount of revenue thanks to the iPhone’s immediate popularity with customers.

 

Works Cited

          Cohan, Peter. “How Steve Jobs Got ATT To Share Revenue.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 16 Aug. 2013. Web. 22 Sept. 2013.

“Raj Aggarwal Details Jobs’ Tenacity in AT&T/Apple Revenue Sharing Deal.” – Mac Rumors. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2013

CoverGirl v Maybelline

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It is common knowledge that competing companies will do just about anything to seem superior to their similar rival. Whether that be through the use of exaggeration, presentation of facts, language used, or any other common technique, the companies will be sure to make their products appear to be better quality than those of their competitor. These techniques are also examples of rhetorical strategies that, when used properly, can be used to persuade their specified audiences to purchase their products. Similarly, the cosmetic industry’s top rivalry at the mass merchandiser level are CoverGirl and Maybelline. They are both most famous for their popular lines of mascara, whose designs and formulas are practically identical. This presents the question: How do they differ? CoverGirl and Maybelline mascaras utilize opposing rhetorical and visual techniques in order to sell their mascara – for this very reason, CoverGirl rises above its competition.

Although both CoverGirl and Maybelline’s websites feature similar mascara products, the two companies have contrasting layouts on their websites. The CoverGirl “Lash Blast Volume Mascara” webpage features the elegant CoverGirl logo at the top, followed by a smaller picture of the orange product below on the left. Next to the picture is the name and description of the mascara in simple font and black lettering. The description also features a 5-star rating and customer reviews at the bottom of the page. The first descriptor that comes to my mind when I see this webpage is classy – that is the CoverGirl image, after all. This is due to the simple lettering and organized layout of the site.

Because of is classy image that CoverGirl portrays, their products can appeal to women of all ages (or more specifically females from their teens to their fifties), thus providing a wide range for their audience and the opportunity to exercise rhetorical strategies. Because of this, the website’s simple yet classy design is utilized to its full extent – to please everyone. This is where the rhetorical strategies come into play: within the description and layout of the website for this mascara, there are examples of logos and ethos. The logical evidence that supports the claim that consumers should buy this product is through the word choice used. Terms and phrases on the CoverGirl website include “formula,” “patent pending brush,” and “hypoallergenic.” These are not only used as facts about the product, but they also build credibility. These complex terms are not only used as logical reasoning, but they are also building the business’s reputation and ability to appear trustworthy – which presents ethical appeals, or ethos. This is further explained in research by Michelle Guthrie in a study of several cosmetic companies overall character traits, seeing that “CoverGirl showed a high score for personality trait Sincerity” (Guthrie 173).  This “sincerity” aspect holds great importance in ethos because of its association with trust within the company. In addition, the website makes use of the present tense when describing the product to the consumer. CoverGirl uses the present tense in order to accentuate the company’s values and make the audience feel as if they are in a certain group – and a classy one at that. Now that the audience has a sense of what the mascara is all about, they want in. They have been persuaded to purchase the product through Cicero’s three steps of persuasion: first, change the audience’s mood, second, change their opinion, and third get them to act. With the simplistic and elegant layout of the website, the audience’s mood is immediately changed to feel important and high quality. Next, they are able to change their opinions based off of the description of the mascara. Using phrases such as “get a blast of lush, volumized lashes!” and “Now in waterproof, too!” make the audience excited about buying the product, therefore their perception of the product is better than it was before visiting the website. Last, the site gets the audience to act by using sentences that command the audience to take action, such as, “get,” which clearly demands that the consumers purchase this mascara.

While CoverGirl presents a simple layout, Maybelline’s design of their “ROCKET Volum’express” mascara website is quite contrasting to that of CoverGirl, seeing that it is visually directed towards a different audience. The page features a large picture of a flawless model with exceptionally long eyelashes and bright blue eyeliner which makes her eyes pop and draws all attention to this picture. In addition, the background is black, which mimics the mysterious allure of the model. Next to the model is the picture of the blue bottled mascara with its description written next to it, and the sophisticated Maybelline logo is featured above all, clad in dual-tone metallic colors. According to Carolyne Ali‐khan, the logo of products hold a special importance when advertising, since it, “saturates worlds, and this generation is deeply brand conscious” (Ali-khan 10). Because of this generations high regard to specific brands, it is crucial that Maybelline included their metallic brand name at the top of the page. In addition, the blue hues of the web page make the mascara stand out to the audience, which is why the site is mainly geared toward teenage audiences. In this generation, teenagers want to see things that are entertaining, vibrant, and edgy. This is exemplified in a study done by Michelle Guthrie and Hye-Shin Kim, which states that, “consumers may purchase brands reflecting their own personality or brands portraying personalities they want to acquire” (Guthrie 118). Because of the traits that Maybelline presents (such as mysterious, alluring, sexy, and edgy) this proves that Maybelline’s website for their mascara is appealing to teen audiences because of this generation’s common interest in these “sexy” and “edgy” characteristics. Aside from a sense of appearance, Maybelline attracts young audiences through their presentation of a link to their mascara commercial. This heightens the common teenagers’ interest because of (most) teenagers’ common love for the media.

Similarly, there are also rhetorical techniques that Maybelline utilizes that go along with this layout. Cicero’s three steps of persuasion is one example: first, the audience’s mood is instantly changed to be excited and vibrant. The pop of blue colors paired with word choice such as, “explosive volume in rocket time!” and “…the most explosive, beautiful lashes ever!” make the average consumer compelled to buy the product when looking at Maybelline’s website. Next, their opinion is changed when they read the terms on the page such as “formula,” and “patented supersonic brush”. This complex vocabulary provides logical appeals to this young audience, thus transforming their views on the effectiveness of the mascara. The changed opinion on this mascara gives consumers a reason to take action, which is easy on their website because it has a simple “buy” symbol right in the middle of the page. This easy access point urges possible customers to say “yes” to this mascara because of its overall appeal.

Although CoverGirl and Maybelline mascaras may seem like the same product, their use of rhetorical strategies as marketing techniques make them differ. For this reason, I believe that CoverGirl rises above. Their appeal to wide array of audiences and simple website layout allows them to rise above and draw in a greater amount of customers. Correspondingly, Robert Smith and Scott MacKenzie argue that companies must keep “ad-relevance” in mind when targeting specific consumers on their websites. Their studies state that “This type of (ad) relevance is achieved when stimulus properties of the ad create a meaningful link to potential buyers” (Smith 2). Through a marketing standpoint, this asserts that companies must use properties that are meaningful to their audience, and Maybelline utilizes characteristics that only attract females of younger age ranges. Because of this limited audience, there are a lesser amount of consumers willing to purchase the product, and therefore Maybelline will have a reduced amount of financial return. Contrastingly, CoverGirl’s use of a simple yet elegant layout and rhetorical strategies attract both young and old audiences, which allows for a greater financial return on their mascara. For these reasons, the effectiveness of the rhetorical techniques that CoverGirl uses outweighs that of Maybelline.


Works Cited

Ali‐khan, Carolyne. ” Seeing what we Mean: Visual Knowledge and Critical Epistemology.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 24.3 (2011): 303. Print.

Guthrie, Michelle, Kim Hye-Shin, and Jaehee Jung. “The Effects of Facial Image and Cosmetic Usage on Perceptions of Brand Personality.” Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management 12.2 (2008): 164-81. ProQuest. Web. 9 Sep. 2013.

Guthrie, Michelle, and Hye -. Shin Kim. “The Relationship between Consumer Involvement and Brand Perceptions of Female Cosmetic Consumers.” Journal of Brand Management 17.2 (2009): 114. Print.

Smith, Robert, et al. ” Modeling the Determinants and Effects of Creativity in Advertising.” Marketing Science 26.6 (2007): 819-33. Print.

Berlitz “Sinking” Commercial

Until seeing this commercial, I had never heard of Berlitz adult language courses. To be honest, Rosetta Stone is the first language education company to come to my mind; however after experiencing 40 seconds of pure empathy for the poor man seen above, I can say that I will most definitely remember Berlitz.

This commercial features a young man seemingly at the first day on the job as a German Coastguard. At the start, the audience is confused by the older man speaking German, which previews the young man’s feelings towards the end of the commercial when he is confused by the person calling in on the radio. Similarly, his tone suggests that he is explaining how to use everything in the control room. We can tell that the younger man is not listening by the way he fails to make eye contact with his elder, and seems to be looking around the desk out of curiosity. Once the explanation is over, he slaps the rookie on the back, and we know that everything is up to him now. He begins to get acquainted, adjusting his seating position a few times, looking around the room a bit. His naivety allows the audience to develop a feeling of familiarity and even some fear for what is to come.

Just as he is settled in, the radio comes to life abruptly, startling the audience a bit. The rookie, however, seems slow to react. He looks around seeming quite reluctant. Then, when the person on the other side of the radio explains that “(they) are sinking,” he responds with questionable English: “What are you sinking about?” This suggests that he is not well-educated in the English language, and the effects of his stupidity could be disastrous.

Now when I first watched this, I felt horrible for him. Realistically, he could have caused a crisis for the German Coastguard! This is how the audience is supposed to feel. They experience these emotions of guilt and empathy that will thus drive them to invest in Berlitz language education to avoid devastating situations like this.

Towards the end of the commercial, the feelings that the audience experience provide them with a sense of trust in the Berlitz company when it reads, “Improve your English,” with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 playing in the background, suggesting a greater sense of knowledge that comes with the classical music.

The makers of this commercial utilized the art of persuasion by, in a sense, guilt-tripping their audience. The use of the confusing German language, naive rookie, and dangerous situation provides an exaggerated view of what could happen when people are not educated in foreign languages.