Buy Nothing Day – Persuasive Language
The proposals of the Advertisement are to convince the spectator that some product or idea is a good choice. To persuade them, the mediauses several techniques simultaneously. These techniques are called “language of persuasion”. Aristotle wrote about them many years ago and, nowadays, lawyers and politicians still usethese methods. Watching the “Buy Nothing Day” video, we can notice some resources used to influence the consumers.
The first image that is seeing on this advertisement is a pig.They used something disliked or feared by the intended audience to promote a solution. As pigs are disgusting animals, the watcher will not be like them and will join to the “BuyNothing Day”. After that a very strong and serious voice starts talking: “We are the most voracious consumers in the world, a world that could die, because of the way we North Americanslive.” In this statement there are two techniques of language persuasion: i: They say that all the Americans are the same, i.e., everybody lives the equal lifestyle; ii: they talkabout an unproven event using a weasel word like “could”. Furthermore, the media uses some symbols of overconsumption like garbage, highway traffic and deforestation. Concluding theadvertisement, they suggest an easy and simple solution: not buying on “Buy Nothing Day”.
Therefore, media will always use these techniques to grab our attention, to establishcredibility and trust, to stimulate desire for the product or policy, and to motivate us to act. Learning the language of persuasion is an important media literacy skill. Once you know howmedia messages try to persuade you to believe or do something, you’ll be better able to make your own decisions.
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