Since the year 2013, Budweiser has been producing famous commercials for the Super Bowl. These commercials have to do with Budweiser’s renowned Clydesdale horses, more specifically on one horse, his owner and a puppy. It is a series of commercials that follows a storyline; and, with each one, people get more and more attached. This essay will focus primarily on the Budweiser Super Bowl 2015 advertisement “Lost Dog”. Obviously, the company’s main goal is to promote their beer; so, their targeted audience should be people that are 21 and older. Instead, they desire to target everyone who likes beer, everyone who likes dogs (including children that will remember the commercial just because of the puppy), and average Americans. The predominant tools used in this rhetoric analysis are pathos, logos, and ethos.
For the most part, this commercial stretches the pathos side of rhetoric because the objective of the company is to connect to people’s feelings and make the commercial memorable to them. Budweiser does this by having a Labrador puppy as the central character. Everyone loves puppies, or, at least, thinks puppies are adorable. Puppies and dogs in general are often associated with companionship and care, so this reminds viewers of the loving relationship they have with their own pets. As the advertisement presents scenes of the lost dog parallel to scenes of the owner searching for him, the audience is rooting for them to be together again. The audience does this by putting themselves in that situation and thinking they would want their dog back. An important factor of pathos is music. In this advertisement the song selected is a slower version of the popular tune “I Wanna Be” by The Proclaimers. The song’s lyrics “I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more” are symbolized in the commercial when the owner searches his dog in the busy town and when the horses break out of the stable to go bring back the puppy. The commercial captivates the viewers and makes them undergo a roller coaster of emotions both audibly and visually. This is exactly what pathos is all about.
Budweiser does a decent job with the logos part of rhetoric in the advertisement. The company promotes their brand name in seemingly unimportant details that show up strategically throughout the whole video. Some of these details include: the owner of the dog and the horses wears a Budweiser ball cap at all times, and he drinks a Budweiser beer at the end of the commercial. In the previous two commercials of the series, there are Budweiser trucks and even the actual Budweiser Clydesdale Horses Parade is a part of the plot. At the end of the advertisement, the hashtags #BestBuds and #FriendsAreWaiting are displayed as slogans for the company that relate to the commercial. Budweiser endorses friends to spend time together, drink some beer responsibly, and to always be there for each other.
The man in the commercial is the best representation of ethos. He looks like a thirty year old that has his own horse farm and lives a simple, good life. This is part of the American Dream to be happy, economically stable, a nice job, and a family. Throughout the part of the commercial that he is working, he seems to be enjoying it. Viewers can connect to him by thinking about their own jobs and asking themselves if they like what they do. Also, even though he does not have a people family, he has his dog that he loves just as much as he would love a person. People can reflect on this and evaluate their lives based on the love they express to and receive from their families, the care they provide their pets, and the bonds they create through friendship.
*I would rather write the conclusion when the paper is almost finished because I can organize my ideas better.