Taco Bell and the Slippery Slope

Rhetorical Canons

Invention: The point of this commercial was to advertise Taco Bell’s new waffle taco while also using comedy to entertain the audience.

Arrangement: The ad starts off with two elderly men noticing the waffle taco and then making assumptions about what’s going to happen to people after they eat it. Once the comedy bit of the advertisement is through the narrator comes in and says it’s the “next generation of breakfast” as it shows the product on the screen. He continues by describing what is in the taco and then the Taco Bell logo and slogan appear onto the screen. I think this arrangement was effective because it caught the audience’s attention by adding a funny bit to the beginning of the commercial that introduced the product. Then after the bit, the narrator formally introduces the product, what it is, and where you can buy it at.

Style: The creator’s of this ad used entertainment and comedy to catch the audience’s attention and then they gave them the necessary information about the product at the end. I think it was smart to keep the commercial short and sweet so the audience wouldn’t lose interest and they’d gain only the important information about the product. In my opinion, adding any other details would have been unnecessary.

Memory: It’d be easy for the audience to recognize what the company is advertising because of the elderly men’s distinct voices and the overall comedic tone that was set in the beginning of the commercial. I think using comedy to promote was smart because once the audience sees the commercial, if they did find it funny, they will always remember and consider it the “funny Taco Bell commercial”.

Delivery: I think using a commercial to deliver their message was smart because of the product they are advertising. Showing the product, describing it, and showing people consuming it is the best way to catch the audience’s attention and make them aware of what it is and where it’s from.

Logical Fallacy

Slippery Slope: A slippery slope fallacy is known as if you allow this reasonable thing, it’ll inevitably lead to an extreme version of it. In this Taco Bell commercial, the two elderly men were shocked by the waffle taco and started to assume that the product would lead to people loitering and growing pony tails. Even though loitering and pony tails aren’t necessarily extreme, the two men found the ideas to be preposterous and made a scene which is why I considered it to be a slipper slope fallacy.

Making A Connection

In class last Thursday Bernard and I talked about the use of rhetoric in pop culture. We explained that one way rhetoric is incorporated into popular culture is through advertisements. In this Taco Bell ad, the producers focused on young adults and their culture.

When rewatching the ad I noticed that the targeted audience was young adults. They made this obvious in a few ways. The first way was by having only young adults eating the product and entering the Taco Bell in the advertisement. They even kept the elderly men on a bench outside of the restaurant to further drive their purpose. Then, they made it obvious by having the two elderly men criticize the culture of young adults by saying that the waffle taco would influence young people to do silly things like loitering and growing a pony tail. Adding this conversation to the advertisement shows the common thoughts that the older generation has about the culture of young adults. Lastly, when the narrator began to describe the product, the first thing he said was, “The next generation of breakfast is here..” which also implies that the ad is directed towards young adults because they fall under the category of the next generation.

Including culture in this ad and using specific actors and language is just one way rhetoric is used in popular culture to influence people to constantly buy and consume new products.

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