Blog Prompt # 4

Blog Prompt # 4: for the week of February 5-11

This week’s prompt asks you to think critically about the importance of using effective support for an argument based on the rhetorical situation and audience. Specifically, you should focus on the ways in which an audience’s gender influences the structure of an argument and the extent to which the way that we employ support as writers and process it as members of an audience with relation to gender stereotypes.

Take a look at the following three video clips; the first and second are television advertisements, and the third is a scene from the 1980”/90’s TV sitcom “The Golden Girls,” in which a salesman is attempting to persuade the women to purchase a security system for their home.

Home Depot ad

Wal-mart ad

The Victim of Violent Crime is You!

After watching each clip, consider and respond to the following: Who is the target audience? What type of evidence is being used-factual evidence or appeals to needs and values? Does the type of support used in any way relate to gender stereotypes? What might be the rhetorical benefits of being aware of and/or relying upon such stereotypes? What might be the rhetorical pitfalls?

Respond to this prompt in your individual course blog by midnight on Saturday, February 11.

About Francesca Marinaro

Instructor of English/PhD. Candidate, Department of English, University of Florida
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1 Response to Blog Prompt # 4

  1. joseadner says:

    In the Home Depot commercial, the target audiences are families. In the video, they show how a happy family goes to Home Depot together to buy materials to renovate their garden. They use an entire family in order to show the audience that anyone is welcome at the store and will be helped with the same effort regardless of their age. Home depot has the all the necessary materials that any family could need to fix or create anything they want for a low price.
    However, in the second commercial the audience that is being targeted is parents with babies. Wal-Mart is showing how a happy mother can buy everything she needs to take care of her baby in one place without spending a fortune. Parents with a newly born baby are often in need of money and Wal-Mart is appealing to them with their everyday low prices and wide selection of items.
    Moreover, in the last commercial the audiences being targeted are old women. The audience can observe that the young male is attempting to get the vulnerable old women to spend more than they can afford with scare tactics. Since the salesman knows that they are afraid of being robbed, he tries to use that to his advantage to leverage the women into buying a very expensive deluxe package. In the end, the old women do not fall for his dirty tactics and kick him out, showing that they are not a vulnerable and senile as the salesman initially believed.
    I believe that these three commercials focus more on women than men because women are the main audiences for two of the three. Both the Wal-Mart and security commercials target women as their main audience and the Home Depot commercial show a happy family living the American dream which can be appealing to women as well. Overall, the commercials seems to target people who don’t have a lot of money with two of them using low prices as an appeal while the last one uses fear to try and scare people into buying an expensive security package.

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