Essay 1: Ad Analysis, The Hyundai Hybrid Hype, June 13 2012
Lambert 1(Robert) Curtis LambertEnglish 101Professor Bolton13 June 2012 The Hyundai Hybrid Hype The advertisers for the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid have tucked the slogan and theme fortheir ad on the line following the company name, and the make and model of the automobile,they are showcasing. In very small fine print, almost subliminally, it whispers to the reader fromthe corner of the page, “New thinking for new possibilities.” The ad graphically depicts apastoral landscape of beautiful trees softly backlit by the golden glow of sunshine. In the middleof the page, an image of a man dressed in a suit and tie with a jet pack on his back flies throughthe sky on his way to work or an important meeting. An androgynous figure of what could be hisspouse waves good bye to him from the balcony of a very large, architecturally modern, 3 storyglass and steal beamed home. In the foreground of the ad is the star of the show; an icy blueHyundai Sonata Hybrid. The Sonata Hybrid sits on a drive way bed of tiny peat gravel with aborder of stone. Coupled with the statement, “New thinking for new possibilities,” and the imagethat accompanies it, there leaves little room for doubt that the ad for the Sonata Hybrid byHyundai was designed specifically to appeal to the reader’s pathos and ethos, while the use oflogos in this ad is questionable. Hyundai is relying on our pathos, or sympathies, for the well-being of the planet in thisEarth conscious, eco-friendly, age of the 21st century. The overall intent of this pictorial image isto play to our presumed understanding that we are now living in the modern age of hybridvehicles. The advertiser expects us to accept the fact that it will not be long before we will all be
Lambert 2flying off to work with our jet packs and using our hybrid vehicles only for trips with the familyor other groups of people. But, for now, if we care anything for the environment, the very leastwe can do is buy the hybrid. Ethos plays a moderate role here by asking us to trust Hyundai because they have ourfuture and our best interest at heart by hybridizing one of their standard vehicles. Americanshave long been targets of the wizards of the advertising world of Madison Avenue and theirattempts to play on a company’s trustworthiness. This especially holds true when dealing withour ever changing obsession with saving our planet and our need to nurture the environment.Whether Global warming is real or imagined is irrelevant in today’s advertising market. Theagencies responsible for mass marketing the global warming phenomenon have found willingparticipants in the American public. Hyundai is only the latest automobile manufacturer to usethis approach with their new hybrid, the Sonata. The trust factor here is directed at a select fewconsumers since we can all probably acknowledge that those who will buy the Hyundai SonataHybrid are going to be limited. Hybrid cars are not the most cost efficient vehicles to purchase,and Hyundai had to spend a few million, if not tens of millions, of dollars researching anddeveloping this product, so compared to the standard model, it isn’t cheap. The market will befairly small for those that will spend more on a hybrid than the identical non-hybrid vehiclesimply to be eco-conscious and Hyundai is well aware of that. Therefore, ethos is really not ahuge issue since the ad campaign is focused on a specific consumer group that is looking to buya hybrid, Hyundai or not. It would be difficult to make the argument that this ad depicts much, if any, logos. Thereis not much logic involved, at least not yet, with the imagery of a man strapped with a jet pack onhis back flying through the air in a suit and tie, off to a business meeting or to work. We do live
Lambert 3in a modern age, but jet packs speak to a more futuristic, than contemporary, society. This is aprime example of advertisers utilizing forward thinking to capture our attention and it certainlydoes just that, but no real logos in the true definition of that word. The logical fallacy here can befound in the fact that although we may have the knowledge to build and utilize jet packs, we donot use them in the general public on a daily basis as an accepted type of transportation. The real thrust of this ad is being played strongly on our pathos by relying on our modernsympathies to be eco-friendly and take responsibility for our planet. In the advertising world anyproduct that people are convinced of as being “good for us” is almost a sure thing. Just look atthe booming vitamin supplement industry if there is any doubt. Advertising agencies are paid tofind a sympathetic approach to peddle their client’s wares, and we are all too eager to give thema chance, especially if we believe they have our best interest at heart. More often than not, itbecomes irrelevant if we can afford the product if the ad agency can accomplish these two feats.After all, we are modern Americans, it is the 21st century, and we are called to do our ecologicalduty by driving a hybrid and thus reducing our Carbon footprint. Why wouldn’t we want to? Weshould. Hyundai is counting on our sense of adventure, and more importantly, our sense ofresponsibility and driving a Sonata Hybrid by Hyundai will do just that! Remember: “Newthinking for new possibilities.”
Lambert 4 Works CitedSonata Hybrid by Hyundai. Advertisement. GQ 12 (December 2011): n. pag. Print.