This Super Bowl Budweiser ad first aired over five years ago. It is looked at as one of the most iconic ads to ever be a part of the Super Bowl commercials. The story is of the lost dog trying to find its way home, all while being backed by a powerful score. It’s short but not short of emotion. Fallacies in ads are prominent, around Super Bowl time especially, a lot of companies will try to either be extremely funny or overly sad. All to elicit emotion.
Appeal to Emotion Fallacy
Appeal to emotion is when attempting to manipulate an emotion instead of making a direct argument. In the case of this ad, it makes an emotional story and makes absolutely no mention of the beer itself until the last five seconds essentially. It pulls at the heart to anyone who likes dogs. Not just people who may have lost a dog which in that case would be especially emotional. However, in the ad, it looks like the puppy may be killed which for almost anyone would be tough to watch or see. Then there’s the happy ending, putting everyone on an emotional rollercoaster. Then boom here’s the beer, let it
Out of the five rhetorical canons, the two that stand out to me from this Super Bowl Budweiser ad is style and memory.
For style, someone came up with the idea for this beer commercial to be emotional. Instead of some typical beer commercials where there is just some group of friends relaxing or partying at the beach, it’s freaking sad. It is stylized by an emotional story of family and having your family be there for you, with all the focus not being on the product at all.
For memory, the last thing you see after that emotional roller coaster is a short message saying buy our beer. It is a great marketing strategy, there is this super memorable ad that is gonna stick, just to end with product placement. Genius.
Power of Control
Being able to control or manipulate emotions showcases great power. How easier does it get to manipulate emotion by having a story of a lost puppy? One of the most universally loved things, backed with fear for the pup and eventual resolution. That happy ending as mentioned leaves the consumer with a good heart feeling. Then right after, boom, product placement. It’s such a basic concept and yet it’s so easy to make everyone react the way the company wants them to react.