My Personal Rhetoric Review

Coming to Iowa I had heard of rhetoric before from my siblings who have passed through the school but I didn’t really have an Idea what it entitled. Being honest I have never really enjoyed English or writing based courses and dreaded taking rhetoric but it is a Gen. Ed. That must be filled. I was very comfortable from with choosing the class in four weekly installments which allowed the content to sink in better than if I had taken the course with two hour classes, two times a week. I also liked the fact that this particular course was derived for business students and the coursework resembled that. Everything about this course was arranged around preparing one for their future business life.

                The wide arrange of projects and assignments were a good preparation and taught us valuable skills. The novels we read were both very relevant to the business world around us and a way to teach us life lessons as well. Learning argument from Thank You for Arguing was where I first realized that this isn’t just another class I had to blindly push through but one that I need to stop, focus, and see all the lifelong benefits it can present. We also practiced our speech skills, something I had never done in high school nor was I excited to do but I understood its importance for presentations. We ended the semester with a couple group projects which taught us strengths in team work and to trust others which will come in handy in the real business world. Overall, workloads in the class were never overwhelming but did make us sit down and concentrate.

                I feel that my personal performance in this class should depict the grade I am expecting to receive. I know I haven’t shown extraordinary work in all fields that will make my grade but I have definitely put in effort to show my talents and do well in the class. The hardest project for me was the speech, I struggled on almost every element of its process. Although I am usually a very talkative person I feel I can get nervous and speed my voice up hindering the comprehension of my analysis I am presenting. I also struggled with finding the rhetorical strategies in my presentation and wasn’t able to clearly get those across either. In other situations like group projects I feel I can really thrive and aid the group in many ways. I really enjoyed the last two projects because of the group cohesiveness. These two group projects allowed me to utilize my ability to socialize in a way that would make our team succeed.

                If I were to give any advice to the course I would say there are a couple things which could be improved on. The student lead discussions which we did every week didn’t let us go in detail on the book and discuss out thoughts but focused more on redefining words and lengthy stories in order to reach the required time. Another thing I would change in this class would be incentivizing the novels we read. I don’t mean that we should get something for reading but the incorporation of a quiz or writing reading summaries that actually challenged if we were reading would have been nice. It was easy for a student to never read the novels, look at the summaries during class and be just as well off as someone who spent their time to sit down and understand the depth of rhetoric.

                Overall, this class is really important values should be taken by all students regardless its English origins. It has meaningful assignments, which can shape one for their future career and change how they view any conflict. Though it may have some room for improvement it is a vital class in which I learned a lot.  

Speech Thoughts

When preparing for my speech I had other important affairs biding for my time and fell into my old tendency of procrastination that I have had all my schooling life. My fear of my first college mid-terms drew time towards studying and pushed time for research away. Despite having an away lacrosse tournament the weekend before our speeches were due I assured myself that I could save it to do on the bus ride back from our trip but after our games my tired eyes told me otherwise. Lastly, factors like the speaking center in EPB would have been a helpful resource to use had I not encountered issues with it not allowing me to make an appointment.

Reflecting now on the grade I received and the effort I put into the speech I would change a few things. The way I practiced the speech was well thought out and my grade reflected that portion correctly. I showed this in my Prezi and note cards with large font and well-practiced reminders that pulled my grade up while my lack of analysis pulled it back down. This project was my first time delivering a speech to a class and although I am usually a very outgoing and social person, I was nervous and felt myself naturally quickening my speaking to get me out from the front of the classroom. I also have trouble recalling the rhetorical strategies besides the ones which we have been through in class together and struggle to relate them to the arguments of life .I feel I do deserve the grade I received and plan on trying harder to pull the rhetorical strategies out of future assignments.

Ever since I started receiving homework so many years ago I developed a problem with time management. In high school classes, they would teach you all you actually needed to know in the class itself, so homework was just busy work to repeat what we had already learned. In college that is definitely not the same case, we go to classes and receive a broad concept of our chapter and then are expected to learn the content in-depth on our own. I am getting use to this shift in work but it can take a while to develop a positive habit. Distractions like sports have always pulled me away from time I could spend doing work for courses in both high school and now college. I have heard that academics come first many times, but it’s a challenge to deny something you love and sit down to complete homework assignments which I know will ultimately affect your life more.

Eyes on the Future

A steady growth for a company is usually the goal, but when competitors are growing faster an underlying threat seems present. Vineet Nayar (the president for a HCL Delhi- bases IT service branch) saw that although they were indeed growing around thirty percent per year, others were growing much quicker. In addition to this he noticed the issue that the company was losing market share and mind share. In order to correct this and change the company he knew he had to pitch how to get from point A, where they currently were, to point B, increasing income by increasing service quality.
To effectively reach point B he had to pitch his ideas and convince HCL office managers around the world why service quality was important. Just in introducing himself his ethos naturally takes over, he identifies himself as president and CEO already getting the audience to listen because offices naturally trust their leader. Using his credentials to lure them in then telling them that he “[speaks] the truth as [he sees] it” furthering the trust they have for him. He continues using ethos as he explains what he has seen in the past and how it applies to their goals today. We call this his expert testimony and it is used very frequently to change opinions in a way that can be used for one’s desired purpose.

IT services graph

The graph shows the growth in HCL between 2005 and 2010.
Besides using his past and position he calls to the office managers emotions by using a pathos rhetoric strategy. Nayar created a new management culture which he called Employees First, Customers Second (EFCS). This method was created to instill motivation in employees and make them enjoy their work. His theory in this was that if he could make the employees happy they would naturally spread positivity onto their customers. This was effective (as Nayar had hopped) in increasing the satisfaction in the relationship between customers and frontline employees which was their value zone.
In the end the office managers’ opinions shifted and saw things summarily to Nayar’s perspective. His use of ethos strategies like credentials, experience and appearing trustworthy changed those who originally disagreed with him. Then, the Employees First, Customers Second pathos strategy changed the emotions of the workers who have direct contact with customers to make the experience as a whole run with higher quality standards.

Bud vs Coors final

Nick Block

Alicia Bones

Rhetoric for Business

17 September, 2013

Budweiser or Coors?

Living in a college town, one can hardly go a block without running into either a Budweiser or Coors beer can on the ground. The appeal of these products is ever present in the neon lights that blanket Iowa City’s downtown area. These two companies presence are not new to the area or our culture as a whole. Bud Light and Coors Light are two of the most popular beers sold in the United States and hold a place in American history. For over half a century now light beers have been the more affordable and healthier way to enjoy a brewed beverage. Though the companies differ in their history, both use rhetorical tactics to persuade consumers that they have the better product. Now in the midst of football season, both will market toward the game but Budweiser takes a simplistic strategy while Coors markets to many more sports and offers free giveaways to lure more consumers.

Budweiser went through many physical changes throughout their history until they became what we know them as today. The creator of Budweiser, Adolphus Busch though originally from Germany brought the company to St. Louis and which faired extremely well for many years until the start of prohibition. The hit they took from alcohol becoming illegal and the Great Depression almost closed their doors but they persevered and were able to stay open until they could begin selling their beers again. They entered prosperous times again but were eventually bought out by InBev who made a few changes. In 2008, they reportedly changed the hops and rice used, in order to save money. Since the changes were made to the recipe, their reported sales have been on the decline.

The creation of Coors has a very similar start to their business in brewing with their origin and hardships. The Coors Brewing Company also hails from Germany, but was created by Adolf Coors and his partner Jacob Schueler who he quickly bought out for sole ownership. Coors also ran into trouble during prohibition, but switched their production plants to making near-beer and malted milk for candy bars. Soon after prohibition, Coors went back to brewing and released the first official light beer. Budweiser soon copied with their own light beer creation. To this day, Coors beer is still owned by the Coors Brewing Company and is number two in beer sales in the USA.

Although both companies have grown from small breweries to massive corporations, advertising is still what drives their product. Both product websites take an instant focus to an audience of those over the age of twenty-one by requiring you to enter your date of birth before they will even show you their website. Also, neither site is reaching towards the older generation of drinkers by the way they lay-out their website.

Budweiser’s use of imagery and football create a simplistic website. When I opened the Bud Light website huge bolded letter scroll across the screen declaring that Bud Light is “the sure sign of a good time.” Then a massive brown bottle scrolls past with condensation dripping and ice chips to show that it is cool, and refreshing. Once the bottle has passed, the page rests on a blue football jersey with an array of red and white across it. The jersey reads “the most powerful superstitions in the game” referring to what people believe help make their football team win games. On the side of the page is an image of a band playing music and people dancing with the saying “Bud Light is hosting the biggest musical events of the summer and you’re invited.”

From the opening of the website, I can tell that the goal of the website is to connect to your emotions. They used pathos by connecting the love we have for our football team to their product which they had previously made seem ice cold and delicious. They know nothing is more American than football and the fact that the jersey was red, white and blue makes us think of our pride for our country. Budweiser is using demonstrative rhetoric “tribal talk” to make consumers feel like we are all American and in this together. Budweiser has been a part of this country for so many years, and is itself almost a symbol of the greatness of America. They know that they don’t need to state that their beer is the best or slander their competitors because for decades they have sold the most beer. They show their character with the simplicity of their website, coming across with a “you already know who we are and what we sell” mentality. This rhetorical ethos tactic is affective because we have all seen their product in our daily lives, and figure if our friends and family trust it, it must be credible.

The Coors website successfully uses a number of sports, visuals, and incentives to draw in consumers. The first thing that the eye is drawn to is a beautifully scenic mountain and sitting at the base of the mountain is a football filed with a roaring crowd and players decked out in Coors Light football pads. Above the players head, it says “kick every game off with a cold one” written in an icy font. Just to the left is a bottle of their Coors product explaining their creation of the Cold and Super Cold activators which tell you when the beer will be enjoyed the most. The tabs at the top of the website link you to other sports like FIFA, NASCAR, and NHL [of which they proudly state that they are the official beer of.] For NASCAR, Coors Light has their own Mrs. Coorslight who seductively markets their product. The only tab not sport related goes to their “innovations” in which they offer for a chance to win a Coors Light vending machine when you buy a case of their beer.

From the start, the Coors website is crowded with persuasive tactics but it does it in a tasteful way. Though they also connect to consumers through football initially, they do it in a more effective way. By placing the line of sight in the huddle of the players, they make us feel like a part of the team and connect more emotionally to the game and therefore their product. This change in our emotion is a step in Cicero’s steps to persuasion which needs to be followed by getting them the willingness to buy. Being in with the football team gives consumers a sense of comradery with the team, and like everyone has experienced, people are more willing to buy when it’s friends selling, instead of strangers. Not everyone, however, is a football fan. Coors intelligently recognizes this and markets their product to other sports to entice all types of fans into believing that Coors is the beer for them. Within their NASCAR advertisement section Ms. Coorslight doesn’t say anything, but persuades male viewers via seduction. Marketers know that her appearance and beauty become a correlation consumers make when thinking of Coors. They also persuade consumers by incentivizing them to buy their product with the opportunity to win a vending machine. Just like the lottery people get drawn in to spend money in hopes of winning these grand prizes. This strategy is great for the company because it arouses emotions while getting their brand name across.

Ultimately, both companies are able to manipulate their audiences’ desires and feelings through their rhetoric marketing techniques and usage of logos, pathos and, ethos. Both Budweiser and Coors placed their focus on pathos in changing consumer’s mood to view their product in a better light, but Coors took it beyond that. Unlike Budweiser who relied on their name and past to keep them on top, Coors used a combination of rhetorical tactics aimed at many different groups to make their website more persuasive than their competitor.

Work Sited

Graham, Sandy. “A 58-year Retrospective.” Editorial. Colorado Business Magazine Jan.-Feb. 1998: 64-65. Corporate ResourceNet. Web. 9 Sept. 2013.

Mullman, Jeremy. “How Bud Light Lost Its Sense of Humor-and, Subsequently, Sales.” Academic Search Elite. N.p., 10 Aug. 2009. Web. 9 Sept. 2013.

Schultz, E.J. “Cold Tain Hirtling towards Bud.” Advertising Age News RSS. N.p., 28 Mar. 2011. Web. 9 Sept. 2013.

Williamson, Debra Aho. “Budweiser.” Advertising Age. N.p., 6 Aug. 2001. Web. 9 Sept. 2013.

Budweiser or Coors

 

 

            Living in a college town one can hardly go a block without running into either a Budweiser or Coors can on the ground. The appeal of these products are ever present in neon that lights Iowa City’s down town area. These two companies presence are not new to the area or our culture as a whole. Bud light and Coors light are two of the most popular beers sold in the United States and represent American history. For over half a century now light beers have been the more affordable, healthier and cheaper way to enjoy a brewed beverage.

            The creator of Budweiser, Adolphus Busch through originally from Germany brought the company to Saint Louis which faired extremely well for many years until the start of prohibition. The hit they took from alcohol becoming illegal and the great depression almost closed their doors but they persevered and were able to stay open until they could begin selling their beers again. They entered a prosperous time again but were eventually bought out by InBev who made a few changes. In 2008, they reportedly changed the hops and rice used type in order to save money.  Since the changes were made to the recipe their reported sales have been on the decline.

            The creation of Coors has very similar start to their business in brewing. The Coors Brewing Company also hails from Germany, but was created by Adolf Coors and his partner Jacob Schueler who he quickly bought out for sole ownership. Coors too ran into trouble during prohibition and switched their production plants to making near-beer and malted milk for candy bars. Soon after prohibition Coors went back to brewing and releases the first official light beer; Budweiser soon copied in their own light beer creation. To this day Coors beer is still owned by the Coors Brewing Company and is the number two in beer sales in the USA.

            Although both companies have come from small breweries to massive corporations, advertising is still what drives their product. Both product sites take an instant focus to an audience of those over the age of twenty-one by requiring you to enter your date of birth before they will even show you their site.  Also neither site is reaching towards the older generation of drinkers by the way they lay-out their website.

            When I opened the Bud Light site huge bolded letter scroll across the screen declaring that Bud Light is “the sure sign of a good time”, then a massive brown bottle scrolls passed with condensation drips and ice chips to show its cool, and refreshing. Once the bottle has passed the page rests on a blue football jersey with an array of red and white across it. The jersey reads “the most powerful superstitions in the game” referring to what people believe help make their football team win games. On the side of the page is an image of a band playing music and people dancing with the saying “Bud Light is hosting the biggest musical events of the summer and you’re invited”.

            From the opening of the website you can tell that the goal of the website was to connect to your emotions. They used pathos by connecting the love you have for your football team to their product which they had previously made seem ice cold and delicious. They know nothing is more American than football and the fact that the jersey was red, white and blue makes us think of our pride for our country.  Budweiser has been a part of this country for so many years and is in itself almost a symbol of the greatness of America. They know that they don’t need to state that their beer is the best or slander their competitors because for decades they have sold the most beer.

Dove

When you shower, are you really just rubbing “scum” onto your skin?

Dove had many women with a variety of soap brands wash a mirror to see if soap scum remained after a rinse. Women were in shock and speechless when they realized that their bar of soap had left long streaky lines of this “scum”. Then the screen pans over and the young woman who used the Dove bar had a completely spotless mirror reflecting her delight. It finishes with the words “the truth is clear”.
The obvious question here is which product will clean skin while leaving it grime free. The announcer states that “every woman washed mirrors. Some using soap and others, Dove”. Dove brand is conveying the message that their product isn’t just soap, it is better. The spokesperson for Dove believes that the unique blend of cleansers and moisturizers make it the best. Other brands of soap do clean your skin, however they leave a scummy soap residue aftermath. When the quote “the truth is clear” comes across the screen it makes it seem almost as if other brands of soap have lied to us by not telling us that they leave soap scum on our skin. Women in today’s society place a high value of importance on cleanliness and hygiene. Many would be driven crazy by the thought of this soap scum layer on their skin even though it is invisible. Personally I believe that if the soap layer is invisible and I don’t notice it, why should it matter if it is there. They can easily get potential customers to pay more for their product by making them feel like they are failing to properly cleanse themselves and this is the only solution. People feel they need the “special” ingredients in the Dove white soap bar to feel at ease and without it the thought of grime may overwhelm them. Sometimes ignorance may be bliss.
The voice of the announcer is made to be a strong and confident woman in order to connect to her audience of female users. It is natural for women to trust other women’s opinion and is a common tactic utilized to sell to these consumers. Dove’s advertisement uses an emotional appeal through the commercial’s visualization of repulsion on many women’s faces, as well as a logical appeal through the experiment with the mirrors to ultimately prove to the customers that Dove really is the best.