“Boom! You bought them.”
A metalinguistic analysis of Apple infomercials based on Aristotle’s modes of persuasion
A review of advertisement studies shows that there has been little attempt to examine infomercials in terms of rhetorical appeals and persuasive strategies. Therefore, this study sought to contribute to the existing literature by exploring the persuasive elements of Apple infomercials through Aristotle’s modes of persuasion to reveal the most frequent persuasive language features and structures and to study how such elements were utilized to promote the products and services of the company. A top-down approach based on Aristotle’s modes of persuasion was adopted to identify the rhetorical appeals of logos, ethos and pathos as well as the promotional tokens and patterns in the text. The descriptive findings provided evidence to demonstrate that although all the rhetorical proofs were employed in the corpus, emotional appeal was the most dominant. The findings of this research open new horizons for further studies on infomercials in general and persuasive rhetoric in specific.
Keywords: logos, ethos, pathos, infomercials, modes of persuasion, metalinguistic analysis, Aristotle
Published online: 29 October 2021
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