“The Real Cost Commercial – Your Teeth” Rhetorical Analysis

The advertisement is in the form of a television commercial that illustrates a man entering a liquor store to purchase a pack of cigarettes. After the man attempts to pay with cash, the cashier states, “it is going to cost you more than that” and the man then proceeds to pull his tooth out as an additional form of payment which foreshadows the man’s future of gum disease and loss of teeth (Quao). As the man walks out with his cigarettes after trading the cashier for his tooth, the cashier then states “see you again” referencing the addiction of cigarettes in the United States (Quao).

Not only will the man lose his teeth, but he will continue to sacrifice his health to this harmful habit despite the detrimental side effects. Through the use of pathos and logo.

The Real Cost Commercial demonstrates the disturbing reality and side effects of how smoking cigarettes can lead to multiple complications such as gum disease and loss of teeth in order to prevent the audience from consuming tobacco.

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According to the World Health Organization, tobacco consumption is the “leading cause of death, illness, and impoverishment” which has killed over “7 million people each year”. The Real Cost Commercials attempt to decrease the consumption of tobacco through advertisements. With the implementation of logos and pathos within the advertisement, the creators are able to convince the audience to quit smoking or prevent them from even trying to smoke cigarettes. While the most prominent excuse to continue smoking is to relieve stress, the outcomes and quick fix of smoking does not compare to the adverse health issues it can cause to one’s health.

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This will not only lead to excessive stress in the long run for the individual, but to the loved ones of the addict as well. The advertisement highlights the epidemic of tobacco addiction when the cashier at the counter states “see you again” to the man buying the pack of cigarettes (Quao). With this single phrase, the audience can infer that the man purchasing the cigarettes will continue to return regardless of the dangerous health consequences. Furthermore, every single person will come across an individual who utilizes tobacco at some point in their lives whether it is a family member, friend, coworker, instructor, or person on the street. Thus, it is important for the society to understand the ramifications of using tobacco throughout their lives, especially recognizing the addictive qualities of nicotine in tobacco.

Nonetheless, if cigarettes were not highly addictive, then the average person would discontinue their usage of tobacco after the side effects begin to reach their extremities. For this reason, The Real Cost Commercials present the audience with extreme and disturbing examples of the side effects of smoking. Not only is the intended audience in danger of contracting gum disease from smoking but they are also susceptible to a variety of other health consequences from smoking. For instance, smokers are receptive to heart disease, lung cancer, death, and a collection of countless other health problems in the long run. The syllogism, or enthymeme rather, presented within the advertisement begins with the major premise that smoking leads to health issues including gum disease, while the minor premise is that smoking cigarette are highly addictive. In conclusion, the audience should not smoke, or they will become addicted and contract health problems such as gum disease.

Correspondingly, the advertisement utilizes pathos throughout the commercial as well. The main focus of The Real Cost Commercial is the use of the pathos-related fallacy known as scare tactics. The scare tactic displayed within this advertisement is illustrated when the man purchasing the cigarettes rips out his tooth with pliers as a form of payment to exaggerate the outcome of smoking. Therefore, the gruesome advertisement attempts to prevent the audience from consuming tobacco with scare tactics. While the advertisement does implement scare tactics with the disturbing metaphor of a man pulling out his tooth with pliers, it accurately displays the side effects of smoking. The Real Cost Commercial comprise of a variety of advertisements highlighting the health issues caused by smoking cigarettes, all of which utilize scare tactics. For instance, another commercial by.

The Real Cost Commercial presents a similar advertisement where the customer buying cigarettes has to pay for the pack of cigarettes by peeling a layer of her skin off. This scare tactic focuses on the health risk of skin cancer which is another possible outcome of smoking cigarettes. Through the use of scare tactics, the audience would become haunted by the idea of pulling out their own tooth metaphorically, which would cause them to be less likely to smoke tobacco. Moving forward, scare tactics is an essential component of The Real Cost Commercial advertisement since it presents the audience with the extreme side effects of tobacco consumption. Through scare tactics, the creators of the advertisement are able to persuade the audience to stay away from smoking as well as raise awareness of the addiction.

If the advertisement successfully reduces the consumption of tobacco, they will be able to prevent the leading cause of deaths across America. However, the problem with scare tactics is that they usually do not work or affect young people. According to the Regional Center for Healthy Communities, advertisements containing scare tactics are ineffective for young individuals because “fear messages often talk about serious but unlikely events” and if the audience doesn’t immediately experience the negative side effects, the positive side effects begin to override their mentality about the dangers of smoking (Perrotta). In addition, once the youth receive multiple messages from advertisements they begin to become redundant from the amount of exposure they are given, which causes them to ignore the messages that advertisers attempt to impose.

On the other hand, the advertisement does not focus on implementing ethos throughout the commercial, but it still applies to a specific area of the video. For instance, the credibility of the advertisement is located at the end of the commercial where the creators include the message “brought to you by the US Food and Drug Administration” which assures the audience that the images shown in the advertisement are accurate depictions of the outcome of smoking (Quao). The creators, “TheRealCost.gov,” is a website partnered with the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products to present the audience with legitimate facts to not only warn the audience of the dangers of smoking cigarettes.

But to give them the opportunity to make their own decisions if they want to live with the threatening side effects. Since the audience is notified that the advertisement is endorsed by the FDA, they are guaranteed that the exaggerated side effects presented are factual consequences of smoking. All things considered. The Real Cost Commercial advertisement applies all three rhetorical appeals throughout the video in order to convey the dangers of smoking, specifically gum disease, in order to prevent the audience from smoking. The man purchasing a pack of cigarettes proceeds to rip his tooth out with a set of pliers implies the legitimate consequences of smoking rather than just the monetary value.

While the commercial widely focuses on the implementation of the pathos-related fallacy, scare tactics, there is also the use of ethos within the advertisement to apply credibility to their argument. In addition, the commercial appeals to logic with the evidence that smokers can contract gum disease consequently leading to loss of teeth. The advertisement also briefly highlights the addictive qualities of tobacco when the cashier tells the man buying a pack of cigarettes that he will see him again soon. The use of these rhetorical appeals assists the advertisers in persuading the audience to either quit their use of tobacco or never attempt to smoke cigarettes in order to prevent the inevitable health results.

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“The Real Cost Commercial – Your Teeth” Rhetorical Analysis. (2022, Jan 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-real-cost-commercial-your-teeth-rhetorical-analysis-essay

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