Advertisers often use the rhetorical techniques namely, pathos, logos and ethos. These techniques help the advertisers to appeal to the emotions and logic of the audience and to show their credibility about the issue in the perspective of the audience respectively. The discussion in this paper is about two advertisements discouraging smoking due to its harmful effects on people. Smoking is a habit that is generally discouraged and the authors of these two adverts are trying to do the same via different symbolism. The advert with a “lung-like” burning paper is more appealing in terms pathos and logos than the one depicting “deforested lung”, but both adverts appeal similarly in terms of ethos.
The second advertisement has greater appeal to pathos compared to the first. Pathos is the appeal to emotions of the audience. The prospect of destruction to the lungs that is caused by smoking is made scarier in the second advert where a paper, in the form of lungs, is going up in flames. The second advertisement has much of the paper like surface marred. The part which is not on fire seems sooty besides; the used matchstick, now litter, is placed on it. This advert shows how easily the lungs can be consumed by cigarette smoke. On the contrary, the first advertisement, to a large scale, depicts the purity of the lungs in the part that is unmarred. The first advertisement has an overall vibrant image, that is, the lung to the left and the upper right lung part are depicted as perfect sanctuary for life. This lung image is like a wholesome forest which is a perfect catchment area for rivers that flow out of it, symbolizing that the lung that is partially affected by smoking supports life. Therefore, the emotional appeal is not used in the first advert as effectively as it is used in the second. Moreover, the message in the second advert, that “smoking kills”, is direct and dreary for a smoker; unlike the message in the first advert which is barely legible. The audience is more likely to be shocked by the second advert than the first though they both have the same message simply because it is more striking in terms of pathos.
The first advertisement is lacking in terms of logical appeal while the second one is suitable logically. The damage depicted in the first is deforestation which can be reversed while in the second, it is irreversible burning of paper. Notably, the effects of smoking such as pulmonary damage and cancer are irreversible unlike deforestation which can be countered by planting new trees. There is green life in the patches on the deforested area in the advertisement which indicate the prospect or resilience. The second adverts symbolism logically represents the irreversible effects of smoking since the paper consumed to ashes cannot be reversed. Just like the paper is permanently destroyed, so is the manner in which damage to the lungs occurs.
There is proper use of ethos in both advertisements. The authors of the advertisements are seemingly well informed about the damage smoking causes on the lungs and other body parts. The part of the “forest” which is destroyed in the first advert yields polluted water that runs downstream while there is smoke leaving the “burning paper” in the second advert both which are is symbolic of the secondary effects of tobacco. Beside the destruction of alveoli which facilitate intake of oxygen and release of carbon dioxide, smoking is a risk factor for heart attacks, bronchitis, stroke and cancer due to tar which accumulates in the lungs over time.