Rhetoric Reflection

Coming into rhetoric I had no idea what to expect. All I knew when I was signing up for it was that it was a required course and that there were only 2 spots left in the class that fit my schedule during my registration time. I was determined to get into the direct admit business rhetoric class because I felt that those students would be stronger and it would push me to start challenging myself even more and I think that it ended up being a good decision. Overall, I think that Rhetoric was a very educational and interesting class with a fairly demanding schedule.

There were a few big things about rhetoric that I really enjoyed. Something that I liked about Rhetoric right away was that it felt like a classroom setting in high school as opposed to a huge lecture hall. That familiarity made it feel more natural and comfortable when it came to group discussions and projects. I also thought it was a really powerful idea to relate our projects to real life public spaces and residents of Iowa City. It made the assignments feel more like real-world experiences rather than just writing or exploring a topic we may not find as interesting or relatable. Not only did it improve our rhetorical skills but at the same time it expanded our knowledge on a topic that we’re all very familiar with. I know, personally, that the next time I see Beadology, Bubbleology or any of the other spaces we heard about I’m going to think of them much more abstractly than I had before learning about them in depth.

The work load in Rhetoric was definitely a lot more than I thought. In the beginning it wasn’t too difficult when completing individual papers and presentations but once we started going into the group projects, the amount of components each assignment had started piling up and could feel overwhelming at times. Although there were times where it felt stressful, I think that in the end it helped give us a real life experience of working in the business world. Even though group collaboration can often be difficult, a lot of the jobs in our future will be based on working with our peers and Rhetoric helped get those skills rolling early on.

I think that I’ve done pretty well in the class and I’ve agreed with the grades I’ve received. English has never been my favorite class and every time I think of giving a speech I get nauseous but regardless I still always put as much effort into my work as I can. I do think that I could’ve done a little better in the class but for being one of my first classes in college I think that I managed to do a good job. When it comes to grading, a huge portion of your grade comes from the group projects, so my advice to future students is to pick your group wisely. Make sure to choose people you know you can work well with and that have the same grade goal as you. In general, I don’t think our class had much of a problem with that because we’re all business students already and hard work is what got us here but it’s definitely something that can help or hurt your final grade.


Natasha Siddiki Speech Reflection

Overall I think that the speech assignment went pretty well for me. In the beginning, I was having a lot of difficulties on deciding how to use the information and put it in the proper sequence. I also was having trouble trying to write a thesis statement incorporating all three view points and finding specific rhetorical terms for each of the three perspectives. In the end, despite having some difficulties in the beginning, I think that I was really prepared for the speech. I practiced it aloud many times and timed myself over and over to make sure that when it came time for the real thing it would feel a lot more natural. I think that my grade did represent the effort I put into my speech accurately because I put a lot of work into the presentation and the grade I received exemplified that. I know that there were definitely areas I could improve on, and areas in which I was successful and my grade illustrated that well.

If I had to do things differently, I would have initially tried to confine my bullet points on my notecards more. In the beginning I wrote down full sentences on the notecards and after each practice I got rid of more and more extra wording. If I had just started out with shorter bullet points I think that it would have made it easier to practice from the get go. Going off of that, I wish I were able to memorize the concepts more so I could have had more eye contact with the audience and make it seem more conversational rather than informal. The last thing I would have done differently is to perform in front of my friends or peers before the actual speech and ask them for feedback and any questions so that when it came time to answer questions on the spot in class, it would have been a lot easier.

I feel that my high school prepared me really well for the course load that I’m receiving in college. The amount of assignments and tests I am assigned are almost equal to the amount I used to have which is really convenient when it comes to managing my time and coming up with a good work ethic. It’s not so much the amount of work that I receive that differentiates high school from college, it revolves more around the classroom set up and the amount of distractions on a daily basis. However, I think the atmosphere in rhetoric, of all my classes, is most like my English classes in high school, so I think it’s easier for me to feel comfortable and familiar with it, where as in classes with separate lecture and discussion teachers, it’s much more difficult to adapt.

AT&T Carries the iPhone

Apple. For a long time this word only triggered the thought of a fruit that grows on trees. Now, Apple is known as one of the largest multinational corporations in the world all thanks to the one and only, Steve Jobs. Apple came out with their first personal computer in 1976 and continued expanding the types for more than two decades. Steve Jobs, one of the original founders of Apple, was ousted from the company in 1985 and soon after they faced rocky sales and a low market share. Jobs was soon brought back into Apple when they bought NeXT and within a year he became the company CEO. Apple then introduced the Ipod in 2001 and iTunes in 2004, establishing themselves as a leader in electronic production and media sales. In 2007, Apple took a huge leap and Jobs revealed the world’s first mobile device boasting “visual voicemail”, an Internet communicator, safari and ios. The iPhone. Steve Jobs was able to convince Apple to make the product, but in order to close the deal he had to persuade a carrier, AT&T, to sell his phone.

Steve Jobs is known as one of the most convincing, intellectual and successful businessman in the world. In order to convince AT&T to carry the iPhone, Jobs had to pull out his gift of persuasion. Steve Jobs was different than other CEO’s when it came to his convincing strategies. He came off as extremely credible through his personal involvement with the iPhone, his ability to build strong relationships with each carrier and his willingness to be daring and make extravagant demands. Jobs was the one who initially started the company so the concept of showing off his experience through ethos was no problem. He had mastered his own craft and in expanding his company to what it was then he displayed a great sense of practical wisdom, intelligence, and the ability to be a true leader. He became deeply involved and passionate about his products and would persist to get his way when making a deal. This emotional involvement in his products displayed his sense of pathos because it proved to the consumer or carrier he had a true desire to share his valuable invention with the world. AT&T, reasonably, had many doubts when making an agreement since it was Apple’s first time producing a phone, not to mention the iPhone was very expensive and over the top. Jobs was so desperate to prove he would keep his word that the phone would be successful that he even claimed he would write AT&T a check for $1 billion dollars and if the deal didn’t work out they could keep all of it. Just by being willing to do so and seeming confident in himself and the company, AT&T was convinced and agreed to sign a contract to carry Apple phones.

Works Cited:

Cohan, Peter S. “How Steve Jobs Convinced AT&T to Share Revenue.” – Worcester Telegram & Gazette. N.p., 26 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

Coke vs. Pepsi

Coca-Cola: http://www.coca-colacompany.com

Pepsi: http://www.pepsi.com/en-us/d/

The Face-off

Coca-Cola and Pepsi have been rivals since before anyone can remember. Both companies have created thirst quenchers with a refreshing, recognizable taste. Coca-Cola and Pepsi have spent their time and efforts to out do the other using many different marketing tactics including TV commercials, donations, scholarship funds and most importantly their websites. Although both companies sell very similar products, the way they go about grasping their audience is very different. Coca-Cola has focused their attention on creating a family friendly brand by emphasizing educational scholarships, supporting programs emphasizing health and safety and many fundraisers and charities that positively impact countries all over the globe. On the other hand, Pepsi uses the power of social media to grab the attention of a younger target audience through advertisements and shows by financially supporting famous actors, singers and more. Although both companies have taken completely different routes when it comes to marketing their brand, they have both become significantly effective in their ways.

Coca-Cola uses a variety of tools to market their brand in their website and in order to come off as a trustworthy company they have emphasized important facts about their historical and global successes. Coca-Cola was first founded by a pharmacist by the name of John Pemberton in 1886. Compared to Pepsi, Coca-Cola has had their name out and very well known for a much longer time, easily giving themselves a foot up. A tool that Coca-Cola has used on their website to introduce their superiority is by means of Logos. They have a facts bar on each page stating that they have over 3500 products worldwide, 1,322,000 tweets per quarter, an availability of their products in over 200 countries and an updated stock price. Through these facts, anyone viewing the website is able to see how consistent and well known their brand name is. The more a company is globally known, and diverse in their products, the greater the chances are that they are consistent and faithful in their work. All these facts and statistics lure the viewers in and make Coca-Cola seem like a very legitimate, trustworthy company.

Not only does Coca-Cola have the upper hand when it comes to experience and history, but they also have expanded their products in unimaginable ways. The website focuses on advertising the variety of products Coca-Cola has under their pocket including Sprite, Fanta, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Dasani, Minute Maid, Fresca products and many more. Over the years Coca-Cola has grown excessively, gaining much more diversity in their products and popularity among their consumers. This sustainability and expansion in their products has brought in ethos to their website.  A company that controls almost every drink in a pop dispenser at your favorite restaurant is a lot more likely to appear credible and reliable as opposed to a company with only a small variety of products. Although sometimes not everyone realizes that Coca-Cola is head of all the different products, they are definitely getting their name out. Recently, many restaurants have purchased touch screen soda machines called Coca-Cola Freestyle in which consumers are allowed to pick one of one hundred soft drinks provided by Coca-Cola. This machine allows Coca-Cola to advertise their extreme variation of products while getting their name exposed and associated with all the different products simultaneously.

When viewing the Coca-Cola website, some of the ways they market their products is by coming across as a family brand name. On the home screen at the top of the page in big, bold writing the headline displayed, “Family, Food and Coca-Cola, recipe for a great meal” with a picture of a family sitting together. Through pathos, Coca-Cola is able to make an emotional connection with their viewer who values a strong family unit. To support how virtuous and passionate they are in supporting their consumer’s relationships and family, Coca-Cola goes the whole nine yards to back their word up. On May 23, 2013, Coca-Cola worked with NASCAR to host an event called Family Track Walks in which families walked around 3 popular tracks alongside some of their favorite NASCAR drivers (Businesswire). Coca-Cola has been the primary official sparkling beverage of NASCAR since 1998 and in order to host an event linking both together, they have hosted this walk. The event embodied Coca-Cola’s values by encouraging healthy living, education and family bonding. In order to publicize the event, Coca-Cola advertised the walk on their website and through an IHeartRadio’s “Coca-Cola Open For Summer Concert” featuring a few well known superstars. The event promoted energy balance, activity and family togetherness. Coca-Cola has used programs like these to bring communities together for more than 127 years now to win over the support of many consumers.

Another technique Coca-Cola focused on through their tabs are regarding their emphasis on their importance of safety, health and family unity. The website had easily accessible tabs named “company history”, “safety and health”, and “human and workplace rights.”  Through these pages the company receives sympathy and displays compassion by emphasizing how much they prioritize their workers and consumers needs. During World Water Week, Coca-Cola supported new programs to provide clean water and sanitation services in Africa. Their contributions significantly helped improve health and food security winning over the hearts of consumers across the globe. Cicero’s three steps included 1) Changing your audience’s mood and stimulating emotions, 2) changing their opinion and 3) getting them to act. Coca-cola does just this. First the company creates a true connection with their viewer by displaying their sympathy for their workers. They then are able to change the audience’s opinion by showing that even though they are a massive, corporate company they have great intentions and still treat their workers with as much respect as smaller companies. Finally, through engaging with their viewers on a personal level they are able to convince them to buy their products. Coca-Cola has become an expert when it comes to creating a brand name and supporting the values they claim to hold in their company. Coca-Cola has won over the hearts of many people all over the world by using a large sum of their profits and giving back to those who need it. Through their website they are able to emphasize their reliability, growth, history and many other factors that have played a part into making them the company they are today.

Pepsi has taken a different route in the way they have decided to market their company. The way their website is laid out displays many more modern day techniques. Pepsi has decided to make their target audience a much younger group than Coca-Cola. Instead of focusing on the past, Pepsi has taken it into their own hands to embrace the future. Focusing on grasping potential customers that are younger will hook them in to buying products for a much longer time in the long run. For Pepsi to come across as the more “modern” and hip company they had to find ways to grasp in younger consumers. In order to connect with their younger viewers Pepsi advertises many familiar, famous faces to immediately draw them in. Initially, the website displays a headline saying “Share a Diet Pepsi with Josh Duhamel.” Underneath it were additional boxes with headlines “Find out how you could win tix to see Hunter Hayes” and “Get a free download of Katy Perry’s new song” that even gave the option to repost the article on Pinterest. By introducing famous actors and singers that support their product, they are able to entice and manipulate the viewer into believing that they have the potential to be more like their idols if they, also, consume the same drinks.

Through hash tags, links and videos that display many modern, familiar faces, Pepsi has lured their consumers in significantly. During the Super Bowl last year, Pepsi spent millions of dollars to sponsor the half time show including a performance by Beyonce. They also teamed up with MTV at the 2013 music awards in which they had viewers participate in a “tweet to unlock” and social voting program. Convincing your viewers to tweet with hash tags advertising your name is a brilliant way to reach massive audiences. Pepsi is willing to put forth any amount of money to get their name out and seduce a younger target audience.

In general, I believe that both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have been very smart and on their feet when it comes to grasping the attention of their audience. However despite both their efforts, I believe Coca-Cola’s website is more effective than Pepsi’s in the way they lure in customers by means of the personable approach they have taken on. Coca-Cola has been able to use their website to create a true bond with their consumers through numerous web pages that include statistics, stories, events and information. Pepsi has very little factual or historical information on their websites because their focus is too heavily based on advertising celebrities. It’s always nice to see a picture of your favorite singer on a web page but Pepsi seems to have taken it a little far and in doing so they have taken too much of the attention off their own products and company and placed it upon different celebrities. Regardless of each of their marketing techniques, both companies seem to be flourishing in their own ways and have spent an infinite amount of time and effort to become the best in their line.

Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have taken on many different sponsorships and promotions to make sure their name gets recognized in every area of the world. Coca-Cola has branded their name into a family company promoting health, safety and worldwide contribution. They have created a bond with their consumers by emphasizing their historical growth and stability throughout the years.  Pepsi has taken on much more modern techniques supporting famous actors and singers in music awards and TV shows. Pepsi has grasped a younger target audience by ways of social media including twitter, you tube, Facebook and more. Both companies have gained an excessive amount of publicity using their own techniques to seduce their viewers in every day. Some methods seem to be much more effective than others, but in the long run both companies know their ultimate goal and it’s clear that they’re willing to do just about anything they need to in order to be on top.

Works Cited

“Fans Take to the Asphalt for Active Fun in the Fourth Annual Series of Coca-Cola Family Track Walks.” Factiva. Business Wire, 23 May 2013. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

“USAID, Coca-Cola Make New Investments in Clean Water for Africa.” http://www.comtexnews.net/main.htm. All Africa Global Media, 5 Sept. 2013. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

Petrecca, Laura. “Super Bowl Buzz Already Building ; Seems It’s Never Too Early to Capitalize on the Hype.” http://www.usatoday.com/. USA Today Information Network, 09 Sept. 2013. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

“Pepsi and MTV Support Katy Perry Performance.” Www.closeupmedia.com. Close-Up Media, Inc., 30 Aug. 2013. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

Breathe Happy

Beachy sand dunes, wispy white curtains and lots of windows. Febreze has mastered the art of finding the perfect phrases to lure their customers in.

Febreze Air Freshener was introduced in 1998 and was given its name to convey the product’s primary result, a fresh breeze. The commercial begins with a slide saying “Meet Susan and Erica” followed by “Out shopping we asked them to be part of our experiment”. Meanwhile, two women were approached by experimenters and entered a room where they were blindfolded. They are both soon led into a filthy room with furniture that’s terrible odor has been masked with Febreze. Throughout the commercial, the frames flash back and forth between when the two women were participating in the experiment and when they were being interviewed about their experience.

The main question the viewer is prompted to question is whether they are using the best air freshener that’s out there. As a response, Febreze makes sure to exaggerate that their product is, in fact, the best of the best. They emphasize how Febreze creates a fresh, clean and calming atmosphere no matter what environment you are in. It’s seen as better than the other air freshener products because the strong scent can overpower any smell.

A huge point of focus this commercial displayed were on the warrants. They created an overwhelmingly filthy environment to film in with dirty couches, blankets and even a dog to overemphasize the power of their product. If they hadn’t made the room look like it had such extremely poor conditions, the viewer may not have been as impressed with the effect Febreze had on the furniture. They also put a lot of thought into the speakers. They created an image of two every day women, a mom and her daughter, walking down the street who were randomly chosen. Immediately, the viewer creates an attachment to the ladies in the commercial because they believe they’re “one of us” and not just marketers trying to promote a product. The viewer then has the mindset of “Oh that could have easily been me.” They also set up situations as though they were being interviewed, and since the viewer relates to the women testing the product, they trust the reaction that they see. In addition, the commercial introduces itself saying they’re running an experiment which automatically cues the viewer to assume the actors are professionals in the field and know what they’re talking about.

In order to make the commercial more appealing to viewers, the camera tends to change its angle very often. The different camera locations make the actors feel more personable and casual, as opposed to stiff and formal.

Heinrichs stated that seduction is manipulation. In this commercial the biggest seduction is by the way the directors convinced their audience that the reaction of the two women were completely genuine. The viewer is furthermore manipulated through the over exaggeration in the roughed up setting, the many different filming angles and a feeling of trust in the educated experimenters.