Critical approach to reading is vital for interpretation of messages we receive from different sources. Be it a book, an article, music, video, or image, a rhetorical approach allows one to identify the key messages of the source, author’s tools, target audience and others. In modern media age, people read less printed material and rather turn to media sources for information. People who deal with media inevitably bump into a bombardment with the huge amount of advertisements. The advertisements can make us laugh, wonder, or ironize. However, their main goal is to encourage us to some actions even when they contain no text. One of such tricky advertisements campaign is that of Emporio Armani, an Italian luxury industry fashion house in 2010. This advertisement depicts male and female figures (Christianu Ronaldo and Megan Fox respectively), dressed only in the underwear by Emporio Armani. Such advertisement is worth rhetorical scrutinizing in order to reveal its hidden message about buying Armani’s underwear to benefit its owners.
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To start with, the rhetorical situation of this advertisement consists of three parts. First part is a rhetorical problem of being attractive to the opposite sex and being successful. The Emporio Armani advertisement raises the above-mentioned problem to evoke some positive modifications in the form of persuading people to buy the Armani’s underwear. Second part of this rhetorical situation is the audience of the advertisement. Such rhetorical situation encourages change through its influence of the audience’s decision and actions. In particular, people have to buy the underwear after seeing this advertisement. They need to think that this outfit will make them desirable in the eyes of the opposite sex. Thus, the target audience will act as mediators of change. Third, this advertisement presents a particular set of constraints. Not all people will buy this advertisement. Probably, old people will not be interested in this advertisement. Also, children will not feel an appeal to this kind of advertisement. Armani’s advertisement has some class limitations because people with low income cannot afford such expensive brand underwear. Probably they will look for this apparel within their own financial capabilities.
To add even more, the target audience of this advertisement campaign is men and women who follow the latest fashion trends since the Armani brand is one of the leading players in the world of fashion. Armani has sophisticated brand representation and high fixed prices. Expectedly, its audience would consist of people ranging from middle and upper classes. Apart from that, Emporio Armani Underwear tends to display a youthful attitude, and, therefore, likely to appeal to the young people and adults within 30 to 40 years. To attract its target audience, Emporio Armani’s campaign just gives it the characters with which the same public can be identified. Such identification gradually leads to the thought that Armani’s underwear is worth buying.
The unique detail of this advertisement is that it does not have any slogans like most advertisement have. Nevertheless, it provides the public with the certain kinds of claims. The claim of is that successive celebrities wear Armani’s underwear. Armani’s fashion house has been known for cooperation with different celebrities. Earlier these were David Beckham and Victoria Beckham who advertised their underwear (“Traffic stopping! Megan Fox and Cristiano Ronaldo Strip Off on the Sunset Strip”). Since 2010, Christianu Ronaldo and Megan Fox become the faces of the fashion house (Lee, “Megan Fox and Cristiano Ronaldo Strip for Armani”). At the present, Christianu Ronaldo is been acknowledged as a football star. He is one of the most expensive soccer players in the world. His salary is huge and he is involved in different types of activity. Meanwhile, Megan Fox is one of the most beautiful women in the world. She is the top model, actress and regularly holds high positions in the lists of hot and beautiful women (“Megan Fox Biography”). She is the subject of adoration of men around the world and women’s envy. Both of these celebrities are considerably successful in what they do and both of them are in high demand. Therefore, their successfulness is undoubted. Another fact claim is the physical attractiveness is paramount. The audience of this advertisement gets the message that nothing is as much important as the physical appearance. Hence, Armani’s underwear contributes to the outward attractiveness of those who buy it.
That leads one to the claim of value that is it good to be like Megan and Ronaldo. Observing successive people always evokes a desire to be like them. Not only people know that Ronaldo and Fox are rich celebrities. Also, they perceive them as models of masculinity and femininity. As a matter of fact, sportsmen often act as the role models for men, while actresses are the ones for women. There is nothing unusual about it because sportsmen typically display strength, endurance and good physical shape. Thus, they display all the features of “real man.”As for the football players, they usually possess economic stability and high social status, thus, desired values for men in society. At the same time, actresses represent a living dream for women. Famous actresses are the world known beauties and are very popular among men. Accordingly, those who purchase Armani’s underwear belong to rich and successful.
However, being like Megan Fox and Christianu Ronaldo also implies other things. Armani’s advertisement sells the values of beauty and gender stereotypes. The celebrities represent the ideals of physical appearance of men and women. The Emporio Armani advertisement shows that men should be strong and beefy, and women should be weak and skinny. There is a general tendency in modern advertisement industry to show perfect bodies to the audience. Thus, the audience gets the message that to be successive they need to have flawless bodies. Apart from that, potential customers should belong to a certain race and age. Usually, main heroes of the advertisements are attractive white young people. Thus, key values in this advertisement are youth, perfect body, and success.