The role of ethos in branding

  1.    The role of ethos in branding revolves around getting the target audience to use and trust their product rather than their current product. This is a popular method used by many companies to get more consumers to purchase their products. The best way a company can get more consumers for their product is to make their product authentic and accurate. By this I mean, they want to make their product either have a connection with their targeted audience or to be culturally accurate for their audience. The first “The best a man can get” ad goes back and forth between showing the razor and other scenes that don’t quite fit. It starts off with a guy getting married, then flips to a guy running, then to the razor, and then more scenes that just feel out of place and don’t really have anything to do with the product itself. I feel like the message is trying to convince the audience that if you buy their razor your life will be a lot better. After watching the second “The best a man can get” ad, I feel as if they both focus on the people rather than their product. The product itself feels more sprinkled in rather than the b-roll that’s in the ad. It should be the other way around; the product should have more screen time rather than the b-roll. I can also argue this for the “it’s morning again” ad. It’s all about the b-roll and by the end of the ad (the last 20 seconds) it shows more of the presidential ad. This ad alone is very deceiving because it shows different people enjoying life and then at the end it’s a presidential ad. It is very confusing what this ad is even about as there is no real story flow. 

2. When looking at the commercials for Marlboro and Gillette Razors, we can see that they have some themes in common. This is the use of masculinity to be able to attract men to the products seems to be a common thing among them. Starting with the Marlboro cigarettes’ the article stated that in the 1950’s it was discovered that a lot of the cigarettes that were being sold were very toxic. In turn the company presented filtered cigarettes to be able to able to curb the health issues that it was presenting. However, it seemed that the cigarettes had less flavor and thus the filtered version of the cigarettes were seen to be for “Women and Sissy Men.” The Razor commercials from Gillette also told men that by using their product that they can be the “best man they can be.” The more modern commercials from Gillette feature the same kind of rhetoric instead being more in line of being a “gentleman.” In both of these cases, companies are using harmful male stereotypes to be able to attract customers to them. The commercials feature men doing very “manly” things that is completely unrelated to the product they are selling. It is un-ethical for companies to promote their products in such ways that cater to gender stereotyping as well. Even in the case where Marlboro wanted their product to be shifted towards women, they used advertising and images of women that were very attractive and just like the men showed gender stereotyping. The argument from these companies and they tactics they are using to attract people is by making people question how much they are in line with their gender. If they are not “Man enough” or “pretty enough” then they make look to these products to be able to push them in the direction of being that perfect looking women or a man tough as nails to be able to handle day to day activities. Encouraging men and women to conform to an idealized version of masculinity and femininity can create pressure to suppress their true selves, leading to feelings of inauthenticity and emotional distress. This can be especially damaging to those who do not naturally fit the stereotypical mold. This in turn hurts the credibility (ethos) of these companies which is why in the later version of the Razor commercial, we see a more “politically correct” version of the one we saw from the 80s. This kind of behavior in advertising though is common and companies will always look for ways to advertise to people in a way that compels them to buy something. How a company does this and ensuring that its still in line with the product they are trying to sell however seems to have limitless boundaries, companies that push too far in this direction can be seen as un-ethical. 

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