Communication is generally defined as the sharing of information or conveyance of a message from one point to the other (Keyton, 2011). Keyton (2011) asserts that there are two essential pillars in any communication process; the sender and the receiver. The two are fundamentally important in determining the quality and the efficiency behind the art of modes of persuasion in any presentation for the purposes of appealing to the receiver. The modes of persuasion refer to the influential appeals that a communicator chooses in his/her presentation for the audience to accept it. The three basic modes of persuasion or communication elements are ethos, pathos, and logos (Lunenburg, 2010). These persuasive appeals are considered in every message, presentation, and the choice of communication channel. In this context, the previous assignment highlighted a case study of a Facebook advert known as Selling Pineapple Ice Cream. It comprised a You Tube advertisement from Thailand; the content of the video comprised a woman and her daughter who were toiling on the streets as ice cream vendors. They are subjected to poverty but this does not deter them from embracing innovative ways in their quench to make ends meet.
Based on this You Tube video, there are various communication principles that are embroiled in the video for communication efficacy. The composer of this presentation largely depends on the modes of persuasion for delivering his intended message. As Keyton (2011) points out, the sender plays a significant role in determining the receivership of the information. The sender composes the message in a specific way in order to appeal to the target audience. There are specific aspects that the communicator instills in the message for the purposes of the target audience. In this context, this paper aims at identifying the role of persuasion principles in visual communication as it is demonstrated in the YouTube video Selling Pineapple Ice Cream.
The element of Ethos focuses on the credibility of the source as it is perceived by the audience. Ethos particularly tests the speaker’s ability to convince the audience ensuring that the audience trusts the credibility of the source. Murthy (2014) says that Ethos deals with the character of the speaker where three perquisites are considered; competence, good intention, and empathy. The speaker becomes believable by confessing his beliefs, Values, Priorities in connection with the subject. Murthy (2014) continues to say that Ethos considers the indigenous factor and the adventitious factor. Indigenous factor includes the speaking and writing skills and physical appearance of the rhetor which are naturally inherited (Murphy, 2014).
In the You Tube video the speaker composes the message in Thai a language that he knows is not among many people around the world. As a result, the speaker includes English subtitles to ensure that it reaches various people around the world. The fact that the message is composed in first language shows the credibility of the source. As Murthy (2014) asserted, Ethos considers the perquisites of empathy and understanding; hence, composing the video in Thai indicates the level of credibility. The adventitious factors are developed through the effort of expertise, character, virtue, and wisdom among other qualities. However, the adventitious factors in this specific video cannot be identified since the speaker is not physically present.
Pathos on the other hand focuses on the emotional influence on the audience in order to affect their judgment. Information relayed in most cases contains a specific message that the speaker expects the audience to decode. Pathos means appealing to the audience by arousing their emotions and with the help of Pathos the speaker can get connected emotionally with their audience (Murphy, 2014). The You Tube video in the case study is much considered as emotions are powerful motivators to stimulate the hearts of the listeners for the purposes of accepting the claims of the speaker. It is quite evident that the characters in this video are languishing in poverty and they are trying to look for ways in which they can survive the adversities. The advertisement showcases the mother of the daughter as an illiterate who is unable to train her child and pass the requisite parental knowledge to her. Pathos modes of persuasion are achieved by showcasing how the mother and the daughter run after people to buy their ice creams so that they can make earnings for the day. They run up and down after people begging them to at least buy their products. These acts highlighted in this video heeds in the hearts of the audience as they feel sympathy for the situation these two characters are in.
According to Murphy (2014), Pathos ensures that the audience gets connected emotionally with the speaker so that they can experience the real facts of the truth as the way it is being experienced by the speaker. Arguably, the composer of this video has already witnessed this situation and it was compelling to him. Resultantly, the same emotions are expected to be passed to the audience by witnessing the events. Actually, the subtitles explain further the plight of this family as they narrate how the little they get from this business is shared among their basic needs. Non-verbal communication is also important in employing Pathos in any presentation. The mother to the daughter in the video appears remorseful and embarrassed that she cannot afford to offer her daughter with the basics so as she can lead a better life like other people. Therefore, the positive results of Pathos depend on the emotional dispositions of the listeners because emotions have the power to influence the stream of thinking of the individuals (Murphy, 2014).
Logos is another persuasive principle that speakers put into consideration in their presentation. Logos appeals to the logical reason; hence, the message must appear to be sound and apparent (Lunenburg, 2010). In rhetoric, Logos can be likened with the moral lessons established in the speech or presentation (Lunenburg, 2010). Logos is a tool used to convince the audience to realize the truth and even the audience can use the same tool to understand the hidden truth in the words of speaker. In the YouTube video, the daughter relies on mere observations on marketing strategies from other vendors. Her mother does not have the requisite knowledge to promote their products but her daughter is not deterred by this factor. She learns from the market forces and other vendors on ways to attract customers in order to buy her pineapple ice cream. It can be discerned that this story teaches people they should not be discouraged by the present situation but they should strive on and improve the situation.
Conclusively, modes of persuasion are important in any presentation whether in audio or visual format. The main aim of the speaker is to ensure that their information makes an impact on their audience. As demonstrated by this video, pathos, ethos, and logos has to be employed according to the situation to make the audience realize the main message in the presentation.
Keyton, J. (2011). Communication and organizational culture: A key to understanding work experience. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Lunenburg, F. (2010). Communication: the process, barriers, and improving effectiveness. Schooling. 1(1): 1-11
Murthy, L. (2014). A study on Aristotle’s rhetoric. Research Journal of English Language and Literature, 2(4): 249-255