Rhetoric Reflection

Prior to taking this particular rhetoric class, I had learned about a few rhetoric concepts such as ethos, pathos, and logos in an english class I took in high school. Because of this previous knowledge, I had my doubts as to why it was important to take this class. However, I have realized that there is much more to rhetoric than simply those three techniques I had learned before.  Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, and it is critical when attempting to convince people to think or act a certain way. It is a skill worth mastering, especially for a student majoring in business.

Being in this rhetoric class, that was meant specifically for direct-admit business students, was a great opportunity because it teaches skills that are critical to the business world, and it allows for connections to be made. One of the things that I learned during my direct-admit seminar is that making new connections is key, and I was able to accomplish this from taking this rhetoric class. I will most likely interact with some of the same people who were in my class this semester, whether it be in other classes or organizations, because we are all business majors. Without taking this class, I never would have met people who are interested in pursuing a career in a similar field as me.

This rhetoric class has also increased my writing skills, as well as speaking skills. The different writing assignments, speeches, and presentations have assisted me in sounding more professional, and I now have more confidence in my abilities. In a major informational session that I went to, I learned that for my specific major it is important to acquire communication skills, and it is necessary to have the ability to work with a team. This class has definitely helped me with these aspects.

Out of all the assignments I completed this semester, I believe the final major project, that included the podcast and the rhetorical analysis, was the most successful. This assignment required us to interview the owner of a business, create a podcast, write a rhetorical analysis, and finally present our findings to the class. This project incorporated many different necessary skills that will be utilized in future careers. This project has prepared us for what is to come after college. Without being enrolled in this class, I could be lacking these qualities that could potentially make me more successful in the career I choose.

Overall, I am glad I enrolled in this class. It has made me more confident in my writing and speaking abilities, and it has better prepared me for the future. I have made relationships and gained skills that will be beneficial to me for the rest of my life. I think the University of Iowa should continue to offer the rhetoric class for direct-admit business students because it teaches important business concepts we will all continue to use. I would recommend this class to anyone who is willing to challenge themselves and learn new beneficial skills.


Speech Reflection

When the speech assignment was first introduced, I knew I was going to have to spend much time on it considering I never had to give a major speech in high school. As a result of this, I made sure to begin my research early. Once I had my facts, I put much thought into the analysis portion of the speech. I wanted to make sure I was mainly focusing on what rhetorical techniques were used and how they were used. Then I began creating my Prezi and writing out the key points I wanted to include in my speech. I think overall I prepared sufficiently for the speech, and the grade I received reflects that.

Even though I believe I was well prepared for my speech, there are things that I could do differently for future speech assignments. In the future, I will write out my entire speech a few days prior to the presentation date. I want to start doing this so I know what I want to say, and I also want to make sure I do not leave any main points out when I am presenting. For the introduction, I could focus on including more context so it is not so general. Once I start talking about the main points, I want to make sure I incorporate ways the messages are being conveyed and focus on the analysis for a majority of the speech. For my conclusion, I will make sure to integrate more details and restate my thesis statement in a more effective way.

In terms of the way I presented, there are things I need to work on. In the future I want to make sure I do not fidget as much or appear nervous at all. I want to come across as confident in the topic I am discussing, and I want the audience to notice the effort I put in to preparing for the speech. If I spend a lot of time researching and preparing for the speech, I do not want my nerves to get the best of me and appear to be unknowledgeable about my topic. I also do not want to look at the Prezi or PowerPoint a lot; I might reference something that is on a slide, but for the most part I want to maintain eye contact with the audience.

Overall, when comparing the amount of work I have had to complete for college with that of high school, I have noticed there is much more work for college. In high school, I had to complete a lot of little assignments, such as worksheets; however, in college, I have more major assignments that I need to complete that require more thought and analysis. The work in college also requires more time commitment; I need to spend more time on my assignments to make sure they are being done sufficiently and adequately.

Henry Ford Doubles Wages

Ford Motor Company was established in 1903 by Henry Ford. As the company grew and became more successful, Ford gained much credibility, as he was known for innovation, transforming cars into commodities for the masses and his company into an American icon (The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time). With this credibility came the willingness from others to trust in Ford’s decisions, and ultimately led to Ford making one of the most iconic decisions the business industry had ever faced.

Eleven years after Ford Motor Company was founded, Henry Ford made one of the greatest business decisions of all time that would later impact both the company and the business world. Ford decided to double his employees’ pay which allowed them the ability to purchase the products they were producing. This very decision aided in creating the wealthiest nation in the world (The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time). This decision was proposed due to a mass number of employees quitting the company because the work load became increasingly hard.

As Ford made this proposal, his ethos and loyalty to the company helped put this decision into action. Ford was the founder of Ford Motor Company which allowed his ethos to be more noteworthy since he was a major authority figure in the company. When Ford realized that his employees were leaving the company, he wanted to improve the company by making changes that would ultimately benefit the workers. Ford was looking out for the workers’ best interest and planned to double their pay, as well as lessen their overall work load (The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time). This aided in Ford’s decorum. Keeping the workers’ interests in mind displayed to employees that Ford was trustworthy because he was willing to make his employees his top priority. Ford then met his workers’ expectations, and therefore made him appear to be agreeable with what they wanted. Although it may have seemed as if Ford was merely looking out for his employees, he could have been using the reluctant conclusion tactic all along. Ford most likely knew that if an increasing amount of employees were leaving the company, then sooner or later his Ford Motor Company would be going out of business. With this in mind, he seduced workers into thinking that he solely cared about the employees’ well being, and got his proposal set into action. However, Ford’s overall character pulled workers in and created a less stressful environment, and as a result, made for a more successful company. The market for the Model T expanded, annual labor turnover fell, and productivity was on the rise (The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time).

Along with his ethos, Ford also displayed much pathos, as he was able to sympathize with his employees. Ford realized that his employees were not happy with the working conditions they were being faced with. He was then able to sympathize with them and create a work environment that put less pressure on the employees and allowed them more free time as the workday had decreased from nine hours to eight. A tactic used by Ford which increased his pathos was the advantageous concept. Ford made his proposal based on what would ultimately benefit the employees instead of him. He gave the employees what they wanted so they would be willing to stay with the company.

Ford made one of the biggest business decisions the world had ever faced, and he was able to put it into action due to his ethos and pathos. He not only was an authority figure, but he showed that he could sympathize with his employees and make a proposal that would benefit them in the end.

Works Cited

“The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

Apple iPad vs. Microsoft Windows 8 Tablet

Apple and Microsoft have been in the technology field for decades. They have both become successful companies and continue to create new devices that are more advanced. Recently, these companies have designed similar new products such as the iPad and the Windows 8 tablet. With similar products, it is important to pay attention to the marketing strategies done by each company to see who does a better job at advertising. Consumers are drawn in and find products appealing based on how they are presented. Noting which company does a more superb job at showcasing its version of the tablet could help explain why the iPad is more compelling compared to the Windows 8 tablet.

Most people today are familiar with Apple products. In fact, a majority of people own at least one product designed by Apple. But how did they become so successful? What makes Apple products so appealing to people throughout the nation? There are many other technology companies out there who sell similar products to Apple, yet Apple is much more recognized. It is necessary to take into consideration the history of the company, as well as their marketing strategies in order to notice how Apple has become a well-known firm.

It is important to first look at the history to realize how they got their start in the technology industry.  The first Apple computer was invented on April 1, 1976 by Steven Wozniak and Steven Jobs; however, the company did not take off until a year later in 1977. Sales steadily increased, as well as popularity. Apple was able to improve the technological world and create multiple devices, such as the Mac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad (Company History). Over the years, Apple products have become well-known, making the company extremely successful.

Now that it is clear as to how Apple started out, it is important to look at their marketing strategy and how their products interest so many people. Apple uses “a unique blend of traditional and nontraditional elements” (Moorman) when advertising to consumers. However, the key component to their marketing strategy is empathy. The company has the “ability to understand another person, connect at a core, gut level with their innermost emotional wants and desires, and give them a product so useful they can’t live without it” (Apple’s Marketing Strategy).  Being able to connect with consumers and realize what products people will obsess over is an important skill for companies to have; Apple has this skill.

One of Apple’s products in the market today is the iPad. Apple wanted to “build a product that made it effortless, easy, and fun to browse the internet, watch movies, and read books from anywhere”(Apple’s Marketing Strategy). This product is shown on multiple commercials, and is also advertised on Apple’s main website. When I visited Apple’s website, I found it easy to navigate and search for different products. I clicked on the icon for iPads and was immediately drawn in by the vibrant colors and crystal clear pictures displayed on the iPad screen. The website describes the different versions of iPads by using enticing words to make the product seem as though the consumer cannot live without it. The iPad with retina display is described as having “a stunning 9.7 inch display and over 3.1 million pixels” making it easier to see things “like never before” (Shop IPad). The iPad mini is also described on this website and is said to be “beautiful”, “pencil thin”, and “unbelievably light”. All these words grab the audience’s attention and make the products appear to be the best.

As an owner of multiple Apple products, I believe this website displays much ethos. I know this website is credible due to all of the success the company has. I also know that I can trust the descriptions of the products, and I believe that these products will be the best. I have experienced the high quality of Apple products, including the iPad, so I can trust the product descriptions. However, if I had never owned an Apple product before nor heard anything about the company, I believe I would still be drawn in by the contemporary look of the website and the bright colors on the iPad screen,and I believe I would still note the website’s credibility due to the amount of information provided by the website, such as descriptions and how the products can be used to help with education and in the work field. The website also includes a section dedicated to answering any questions the consumers might have. This makes the consumer feel as if they are important and that their questions will be answered.

This particular website could appeal to a variety of different people. On one of the iPads shown, a little girl is depicted which appeals to those with a family. The iPad mini depicts a picture of a word game, appealing to anyone who enjoys different games or apps. This could include a variety of people, ranging in age, ethnicity, and so forth. Towards the bottom of the website, many different iPad cases are displayed, including one made by a designer brand. This could appeal to the average, every day person as well as someone who favors designer brands. Apple advertises to a diverse group of people. The company is promoting that no matter who you are, you will enjoy the user friendly, convenient products sold by Apple.

The website is persuasive because it allows the consumer to make choices based on what he or she wants and desires. By going on the website, I can choose what type of iPad I want, if I want a case or not, what design of case I might want, and so on. The website caters to the consumers needs and is more persuasive because the consumer can choose what they want instead of being told what they want.

One of the competitors of Apple is Microsoft. Microsoft has been around for multiple years as well, yet is a less popular brand nowadays. In order to understand why that it, it is important to note the history and marketing strategies of the Microsoft company, and compare those to that of Apple.

It is necessary to take note of how Microsoft got their start as a technology firm. In 1986, Microsoft became a public company. In the 1990s, Microsoft gained popularity with their better performance, advanced graphics with 16 colors, and improved icons (A History of Windows). As Microsoft continued to increase their popularity with advancements in the technology field, the well-known Windows program designed by Microsoft also grabbed much attention from consumers. The company has developed enormously and has gone from selling floppy discs to selling the current Windows 8 Tablet. Microsoft is still well-known today and will continue advancing their programs in the near future.

Aside from the history of Microsoft, it is critical to obtain information about their marketing strategies in order to discover why consumers want to buy their products. Microsoft intends to deliver outstanding products that in turn result in outstanding business. They learn and understand the different cultures and backgrounds of societies and provide the products people need. The three major components to Microsoft’s marketing strategy include representation, addition, and invention (Case Study: Business and Marketing Strategy of Microsoft). With these three concepts in mind, Microsoft is able to fulfill the needs, demands, and priorities of their customers, and as a result, build the best software possible. (Case Study: Business and Marketing Strategy of Microsoft). Microsoft’s marketing strategy has been a key part in the success of the company.

One of the most recent inventions made by Microsoft is the Windows 8 tablet. This product is advertised on multiple commercials as well as on the Windows website. As I first entered the website, I noticed the modern design it had, similar to that of Apple’s. This particular website also contained vibrant colors to interest the audience as they browse for a tablet. Multiple versions of the tablet are displayed on this website and have a brief description of each available version. A majority of the descriptions include alluring words such as “premium”, “high performance”, and “slim, stylish, and compact” (Tablets-Microsoft Windows).These descriptions captivate the audience and make the Windows 8 tablet appear to be of higher quality than its competitors, including the iPad because the website highlights qualities that consumers are looking for in a technological product. In addition to these descriptions, the consumer is drawn in by the bright colors depicted on the screens of each tablet. The colors make the website as a whole visually appealing to the eye, and make the consumer want to continue his or her search for the perfect tablet. To interest the consumer and make prospective buyers feel important, the website states in large text “Find your next PC” (Tablets-Microsoft Windows). The key word here is “your”. Microsoft knows there is a Windows tablet for each individual person, and the company wants consumers to find their perfect match.

This website is aimed towards people who are interested in technology. However, this website does not discriminate against anyone. Microsoft wants a variety of people to enjoy using their products. They want the consumer to find the perfect product, whether the consumer be in his or her early twenties, middle aged, or even past the age of retirement. The website is also geared towards people of different ethnicities, and the company chose not to display people on this website in order not to make anyone feel left out. For instance, if Microsoft decided to include a picture of a person of one race, there is a possibility that people of different races would not find the tablet to be as appealing. Microsoft avoided this, however, but not including pictures of any one particular race. I believe this is a good marketing strategy because Microsoft wants everyone to feel welcome to buying their products.

This website has a sense of credibility because Windows is a well-known program that has been around for many years. The Windows 8 tablet is a reliable technological device that consumers know was built to last. Also, similar to the Apple website, this particular website gives consumers a variation of products to choose from. The consumer is able to view multiple versions of the tablet and can choose which version is best for him or her.

In conclusion, both the iPad website and the Windows 8 tablet website have a sense of ethos and allow customers to choose exactly what product they would like to purchase. Both websites incorporate bright, vibrant colors and graphics in order to interest consumers and persuade them into buying a product. Neither website is better than the other in terms of persuasion. They are similar in presenting and advertising the tablet.

Works Cited

“A History of Windows.” Windows.microsoft.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013.

“Apple’s Marketing Strategy – Sell On Value, Not Price.” ChrisNosalcom. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013.

“Case Study: Business and Marketing Strategy of Microsoft.” N.p., n.d. Web.

“Company History: 2000-2004.” Apple-history.com / Company History: 2000-2004. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013.

Moorman, Christine. “Why Apple Is a Great Marketer.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 10 July 2012. Web. 11 Sept. 2013.

“Shop IPad.” IPad. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013.

“Tablets – Microsoft Windows.” Windows.microsoft.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013.

Fashionista Dad featuring Doritos

Doritos commercials have been a hit, especially when the Super Bowl rolls around. The commercials add a sense of humor, drawing in viewers from around the country as they sit down to watch a football game. The video below shows the latest Doritos commercial played during the Super Bowl:

As soon as the advertisement begins, fairy tale-like music plays, and a young girl is shown dressed up in a princess costume. Immediately, the viewers are drawn in, as memories from their childhood flood their minds. Next appears a middle aged man walking past his daughter’s room while carrying a football. Sounds like a typical man on a Sunday afternoon. His daughter proceeds to call after him, and she asks if he would play dress up with her. At first the man hesitates and tries to get out of it, but the little girl is able to persuade him with a bag of Doritos. The music immediately changes to a more upbeat, techno sound, appealing to people in their teens and twenties. The commercial adds a bit of humor as the audience sees the man turn around in a dress, wearing an exaggerated amount of makeup, and eating Doritos. The man’s friends walk in to see this catastrophe and stand in the doorway speechless. It’s not every day you see a grown man in a long, frilly dress wearing eye shadow and blush. The commercial continues to add an element of humor as the audience sees not only the man dressed up, but all of his friends in dresses and wearing makeup as well. The five men and little girl are shown having fun while eating their Doritos, but are interrupted as the wife arrives home. The commercial ends with the wife asking one of the friends if he is wearing her wedding dress, and in fact he is.

The commercial is presented towards a wide range of people. The advertisement is saying that people of all ages will enjoy the delicious taste of Doritos, and in fact, Doritos are so good that people will do just about anything to eat some; even if that means putting on a princess costume. The advertisement also appeals to average, every day people based on how the people are presented and how they are dressed during the commercial. There is no need to be in the upper class in order to enjoy a tasty snack.

Over the years, Super Bowl commercials have gained much hype, and this Doritos advertisement shows exactly why that is. There is a sense of humor throughout, grabbing the interest of those watching. Not to mention, the commercial deals with not only food, but a delicious snack that people will be running to their cabinets to grab after watching this specific advertisement.