Rhetoric Reflection

Overall I really enjoyed rhetoric class. It was a completely different atmosphere than my other classes because it was more open and people seemed more comfortable with each other. I liked being surrounded by like minded people who are all pursuing business majors because we all have a lot in common and can relate easily. When I first found out about the class I had no idea what it was about and had no prior knowledge of the subject. Learning all of the ways people try to trick and convince others into doing things was interesting and I believe that it will help me in my future business classes and beyond.

Of the four major assignments we had to complete, the second writing assignment was my favorite. Although it was very difficult to find information on College Green it was worth the effort because we met many people in the process. One of those people was Nancy Westvig, who I found to be a very interesting and unique person within the Iowa City area. Being able to sit down and talk with her about her business was very intriguing and one of my favorite parts about the class. Furthermore, I enjoyed learning about the city I go to school, and live in because it has a rich history, full of information that it below the surface that the average passerby would not know. To me being able to know about the city’s history in more detail was the highlight of the class.

On a different note, the last major assignment, the podcast, was my least favorite. I did not enjoy doing the podcast because it was just a pain to get done. Although I enjoyed being able to talk with Mrs. Westvig about her business again, the amount of pain the actual assignment caused was not worth it. Getting everything together, making a script, and recording was fairly easy but using the Audacity program was not. Several times I had to close the program because it would not play back the recording and overall it was very buggy. Another problem with the software was in order to convert the file from .aud to .mp3 a file had to be downloaded from the internet which took some searching to locate. If this assignment is done in the future, a different recording/editing program sound be used because Audacity caused my group many setbacks and problems. Even with the problems it was still a fun assignment to complete and very unique at that.

In all, the class was very interesting and very informative. Despite having no quizzes or test I belive I learned more in this class than all of my other classes combined. One thing I learned I need practice on is time management because some of the assignments got pushed off to the last minute and were more difficult to complete than they should have been.

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Speech Reflection

Overall I believe that my speech went well. In the preparation department the time I spent on the actual writing was sufficient but in the oral speaking department it was lacking. I should have spent more time practicing and memorizing more of the information instead of using my paper that I had prepared. Switching my topic halfway through the time we were allowed for the speech could have also hurt me because it limited the amount of remaining time I had to complete the assignment. The Ross’ restaurant topic also was a difficult subject due to the lack of information on the parties involved from a rhetorical perspective which required much more prep work and intuitive thinking.  For the most part my grade reflected the amount of time that I put into the speech. However, I should not have had as many errors and my speech should have been more refined with more concise information for the time that I spent on it. I could have improved my speech grade by making sure that I covered all of the information on the rhubric as well. This would have prevented any dumb omissions that I had of required information and maybe bumped my grade up to the next letter grade.

The amount of work that I have had to do so far in college is probably more work than I did in my four years of high school combined. My classes in high school were in a block schedule and were an hour and 20 minutes long, so we were able to go over the material and work on it in the same class. This translated to almost no homework because I simply got it all done in class before leaving. Also I do not think that high school prepared me at all for college because the tests and quizzes did not really require any outside work if you paid attention in class. Now that you can not do that I spend about 4-6 hours each week on each subject preparing for tests and quizzes. Furthermore the amount of information needed in a writing assignment is much more than that of high school and requires much more work and thinking to come up with relivent information. Overall I believe that the amount of time I spend outside of class on assignments is easily 20 times that of what my high school required.

Facebook buys Instagram

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Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has revolutionized the social networking experience. Based off the principles of photo sharing and marketing, Facebook has always been on the move to improve their network through the acquisition of opposing companies. One such company is the photo sharing app Instagram.

Mark Zuckerberg displayed his ethos in many different ways when dealing with the intake of the Instagram app. During 2011 Zuckerberg approached the creator of Instagram Kevin Systrom with the intentions of acquiring the merely one year old app. When negotiations fell through with the board on Facebooks side, Zuckerberg took matters into his own hands. Using his credibility as the founder of the largest social networking site, in early 2012 he bypassed the board of directors and used himself for negotiations. By discussing the matters of the offer face to face Zuckerberg was able to make his one billion dollar offer seem like a reasonable price for the app appraised at two billion. Another way Mark was able to use his ethos was after the deal was nearly finalized. When he approached the board with the second proposal they were told they were buying it not consulted, (Davies). This shows Zuckerberg’s authority over his employees as CEO. The board members feel persuaded because they are told it is the correct thing to do by their superior. Although many good ethos traits were shown during the buyout some pathos was also used.

During the negotiation process two of the key pieces of the puzzle were hidden in pathos. Mark told COO Sheryl Sandberg that one benefit of the deal was that Instagram would still be run by itself, management wise, from Facebook. This shows pathos because emotionally it would be hard to sell a company you have worked so hard to establish, but this way it allows Instagram employees to benefit from the income and keep their positions within the company. Another use of pathos was the decision by Mark to not cut the opposition, namely Twitter, from using the service. By doing this he showed the Instagram owners he was in their best interest because he would not limit the user base to just Facebook members.

Facebook made one of the largest online buyouts in history with the help from Mark Zuckerberg. His ability to negotiate using ethos and pathos showed his determination to expand his company to further benefit his customers. Without the use of his rhetorical skills Facebook would not be where it is today.

Works Cited

Davies, Chris. “SlashGear.” SlashGear Instagram Wanted 2bn in Zuckerbergs Secret Facebook Negotiations Comments. N.p., 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Sept. 2013.
Rusli, Evelyn M. “Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 Billion.” The New York Times. N.p., 9 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

The Competition Nike vs. Reebok

The Competition Nike vs. Reebok

The ways products can be marketed are as varied as the stars in the sky. Since the beginning of modern athletic shoe production, both Nike and Reebok have been butting heads. Nike and Reebok have similar shoe designs and ideas, so what sets them apart from each other? With the use of rhetorical techniques Reebok hopes to close the reputation gap on Nike and move to the forefront of athletic shoe sales.

Nike and Reebok have very similar target audiences. Both companies strive to sell their athletic shoes to the general public and athletes alike. Anyone interested in running, biking, playing baseball, etc. can expect to find themselves enveloped in a Nike or Reebok marketing campaign. The target age group is anyone who is capable of exercising so there is no defined beginning nor end. Reebok began the modern shoe making era many years ago.

Reebok, founded in 1895, has many years on its rival Nike. Founded by Joseph Foster while developing a specialty spiked running shoe, the company has grown to be one of the leading producers of athletic shoes. Reebok has set itself apart from the competition by developing many new products including the new helmet impact sensor. This sensor developed for football lets the individual know when he has “received a serious hit to the head providing an objective measure of impact force,” (Reebok Launches). Although Reebok has made advances in other departments besides their shoes, development of the shoes are still overshadowed by parent company Adidas. Reebok offers many rhetorical perspectives from its website by providing visual information through the use of imagery.

The Reebok website is very vibrant with color and is laid out with many different pictures showing varying styles of shoes. At the top there are tabs for selecting styles of shoes based on gender while further down the page there are clickable images that direct you to specific models. There are no menu bars located on the sides of the website which creates more of a streamline appearance. Many components of the Reebok website provide compelling rhetorical points as well. A rotating image can be seen near the top of the page with many different people involved in various sports and recreational activities. This is using Logos because it is displaying a great deal of informational reasoning. If there are this many people using Reebok products then they must be of superior quality and worth giving a try. Another argument displayed through pictures on the home page is Argument Through Strength. On one of the pictures near the middle of the page there is a woman who is running up a rugged terrain in her running shoes. I can infer from this that if the shoes work to run up the bumpy, dirty, uneven surface then they should work perfectly fine the easy way on the sidewalk and other common locations. Reebok’s rival Nike also shows how a company can come out of the wood work.

Founded in 1964, Nike has been the top competitor in the shoe market for many years. However, Nike wasn’t always the multi-million dollar corporation with everything on its side. Back in the early 1970’s Nike was just a small company with big dreams, and in “1972 they made their break through with the waffle sole shoe design,” (You Are). The waffle sole design is still apparent in many of their shoes today, over 40 years later. This is a testament to the quality and popularity of some of the Nike designs. With its now established front-running reputation, Nike continues on its journey by providing some of the most convincing marking using rhetorical techniques to date.

Even though the Nike website is simple in structure with only a few images located at the top of the page, and drop-down menus located further down, one entering the Nike website is battered with rhetorical information using visuals and context. “Just Do It” their tagline immediately draws your attention. This is an example of Pathos because it was able to change my mood to be more positive by providing direct motivational speaking. As I continued scanning the website I noticed two professional athletes sported out in Nike apparel seemingly enjoying victory and satisfaction. This uses Ethos by presenting the apparel with seemingly trustworthy individuals; if they can trust it then I can trust it innuendo. The final display of rhetoric I took in from the website was another example of Ethos. Located just below the main image there are several options for shoppers and the “shop women’s” tab is located prior to the “shop men’s” tab. This shows that Nike is dedicated to providing equal opportunities for both men and women to shop its products and displays the Ethos through the use of fairness by not holding men to a higher standard than women. With products so similar, both Nike and Reebok have to rely on head to head competition.

Both companies try to get their product on top various ways, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing. With tight competition a company cannot afford to have products that don’t set themselves apart from the competitors. This is the case with many of Reebok’s shoes which closely resemble their Nike counterparts with the use of the waffle sole design. This lack of design uniqueness in itself hurts the brand because there is nothing to gain by selecting them over the Nike brand. According to Sports Magazine Weekly, Nike outsold Reebok by a margin of 21.7%. This similarity could be one of the contributing factors that are limiting their sales and reputation. Although Nike strives for an immaculate reputation sometimes unexpected problems arise. According to The New York Times article the Nike brand took a huge hit to their reputation when cyclist Lance Armstrong was found to have taken steroids. This affected the public opinion towards the company because they sponsored someone who took illegal drugs and kids look up to the athletes who represent companies. Although this event took a huge reputation hit on Nike, they continue to look to the gold standard in their marketing. With the reputation battles heating up both companies have made representable arguments.

Both Nike and Reebok make compelling arguments on their websites and in their other marketing campaigns. Although Nike has the past developmental experience and know-how, Reebok is slowly catching up in the public opinion department with their new inventions. In the cyberspace department I believe that Reebok did a better job marketing their product with rhetorical qualities. Even though they did not have any professional athletes representing their products they did have the common person which could produce the most compelling argument, as the general population has come to know athletes are paid to use specific products. This changed my opinion, or mood, the most because it related more closely with me and my social position by not placing an athlete on a pedestal. Another aspect where I found that Reebok outdid Nike was the Argument through Strength. Reebok actually displayed their shoes being used whereas Nike did not. Although Nike made good use of their “Just Do It” slogan right off the bat, it was not enough to change my opinion after viewing the Reebok website.

Reebok and Nike both use numerous rhetorical techniques to increase their reputation and attempt to move to the head of athletic shoe sales. However, Reebok showed through its website and current advancements that it is not far behind the Nike brand and that it has surpassed Nike in online marketing in my opinion. It just goes to show that products can be marketed in as many ways as there are stars in the sky.

Works Cited

Belson, Ken, and Mary Pilon. “Armstrong Is Dropped by Nike and Steps Down as Foundation Chairman.” The New York Times [New York, NY] 18 Oct. 2012, Final ed., sec. B: 17. Print.

Randall, Lane. “You Are What You Wear.” Editorial. Forbes 14 Oct. 1996: 42-46. University of Iowa Libraries. EBSCO. Web. 9 Sept. 2013.

“Reebok Launches Activity Impact Indicator.” SBRnet. University of Iowa Libraries, 25 July 2013. Web. 9 Sept. 2013.

“Report Finds New Commitment To More Brands…” Sports Executive Weekly (25 Apr. 2011): n.pag.SBRnet. Web. 9 Sept

Ship My Pants

K-Mart has taken a large leap in the advertising community with its new marketing campaign. They have released several videos with similar styles within the past few months. One of these videos, “Ship My Pants,” with clever usage of words and annunciation, has become an instant classic.

This commercial begins inside of a K-mart store with a K-mart customer questioning weather or not he can ship his pants to his house with a salesman. After acknowledging that the man can ship his pants he tells his wife and young son to do the same. Several other customers are then seen explaining what they have shipped, including middle-aged and elderly people, prior to the explanation of the “If we don’t have it we will ship it for free” policy.

This commercial is meant to target all individuals who shop at K-Mart and even those that may shop at other retail locations. It is used to describe the advantage of shopping at K-Mart versus the competitors by showing the free shipping policy. This statement is supported by several proposed customers who have shipped various items from pants to beds. The range of age is also a good visual indication for the audience as it shows that there is no discrimination in age and that anyone can take advantage of the offer.

The main persuasive technique used throughout the commercial is humor. The use of the phrase “Ship my pants” is a reference to a common vulgar English phrase with similar pronunciation. The use of this type of marketing is a hit and miss with the audience with some finding it repulsive and others finding it humorous and creative. As the commercial progresses the “ship” phrases become more common to the English vulgar phrases as exemplified by the man lying in the bed who states, “I just shipped my bed!” The use of this type of marketing can be very effective in drawing the audience in becasue it is an unusual persuasion technique.

The speakers in this K-Mart commercial are the salesman, the dad and his family, the elderly couple, the lady who shipped her drawers, the woman who shipped her nighty, and the elderly man.

Overall the commercial captures the large picture of shipping out of stock products directly to the customers door very quickly and humerously. The use of the “ship” phrases created an instant classic in the commercial marketing world.