DOGital Rhetoric

Ashley Farrell
Sep 7, 2018 · 2 min read

The Subaru commercial “Drop Off” relies on its emotional appeal to help the company promote its product. The ideal audience for this commercial would be parents, or just family people in general who are looking to buy cars. However, commercials are usually either displayed on TV or the internet, so realistically, it could be viewed by anyone. The purpose here is to market their company and its products, and to make people have positive feelings associated with said company. They also want to leave their audience with a feeling of “this is where I’m going to make memories with my child, and this is where my family will be safe”.

The commercial uses some rhetorical appeals, but it relies the most on pathos. It goes a bit into the others like ethos, for example; Subaru is a very reputable car company, so people are more likely to listen and pay attention. However, this commercial doesn’t make much use of logos; the lack of dialogue makes logic a little bit more difficult. Lastly, in terms of kairos, the commercial is pretty timeless. It could have been done 20 years ago with an older model car, or it could be done 20 years down the line, and it would still carry the same emotional weight. Dogs being seen as cute and idea of parents dropping their children off at school have been used in commercials for years.

This commercial specifically, relies the more on pathos than it does on anything else; it is mostly emotionally driven. Even outside of the commercial, the company’s own tagline is “love”. It is such a simple word that holds a lot of generally positive emotional weight to it. Sending children off to school is usually something that tugs at people’s heartstrings. Also, by using dogs instead of people, it adds another layer; dogs and puppies trigger human’s emotional responses. So, it becomes “cute puppy family drops their son off at school”, instead of either part separately, to create a heightened emotional response. Upon further inspection into this article, I discovered that this is part of a series of commercials featuring the dog family known as “The Barkleys”, all with same tagline of “Dog tested, dog approved”. This allows them to become recognizable and heavily associated with the company; so that the same emotions come up whenever you see one of their cars. In conclusion, puppies sell because puppies are cute!

Other companies, please take note. I would like to see more puppies on my TV.

ENGL 397: Digital Rhetoric

Where the ENGL 397 community comes to compose!

Ashley Farrell

ENGL 397: Digital Rhetoric

Where the ENGL 397 community comes to compose!

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade