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Rhetorical analysis on commercial Essay

Rhetorical Analysis
Nolan’s Cheddar isn’t the most recognized or known brand, but those who have seen the commercial for it know that it’s “seriously strong” cheese. This advertisement features a curious mouse, who is apparently on top of the world, and a mouse trap. Set in the trap is a chunk of Nolan’s Cheddar, which seems to have extreme powers. The commercial was the winner of the 2010 Best TV Advertisement Award, and is very humorous and a little surprising.

The little mouse comes out of a mouse hole in the wall, and is wondering down a shady old hallway while upbeat music plays. It sniffs its way around, when it finds a mouse trap with cheese in it. As expected, the mouse makes its way over to the trap, and starts to inspect the cheese and eventually takes a bite out of it. In result of the cheerful music, the audience, who is anyone watching television, expects that the mouse might actually escape death. All of a sudden, a little ‘ding’ in the music goes off, and the audience is lead to believe that the mouse has had an idea because it moves and gets on top of the trap. The

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upbeat music turns out to be the song, “Top of the World” by The Carpenters. Just as the mouse climbs onto the trap, the song says ‘I’m on top of the world’ giving a feeling of how the mouse probably feels at that moment.

Just as the mouse is at the highest point in its life, a loud ‘snap’ is heard, the music stops, and the screen goes black. The audience then believes that the mouse is dead, just as any mouse would be. Gloomy music called, “The End” by The Doors, begins to play as the screen simultaneously comes back to life with a visual of the mouse stuck in the trap. One can see the mouse is still breathing, as its stomach rises and falls repeatedly with the cheese lying to the side. The helpless mouse is almost heartbreaking, and it appeals to the audience’s emotional senses using pathos. Unexpectedly, the song switches, and “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor comes on as the bar on the mouse trap is lifted by the skinny arms of the mouse. With every beat of the music, the mouse lifts then brings down the bar as if it is lifting weights at a gym. The mouse soon gets into the groove of the music, and bobs its head like the bar is weightless. The ad ends with a picture of the mouse eating the cheese and a caption saying, “Nolan’s Chedder… Seriously Strong,” showing to the audience that the only reason the mouse survived was because it ate the cheese and the cheese made it strong.

The purpose of this advertisement was to show the audience, anyone watching TV, that Nolan’s Cheddar is strong and tasty. They did this in such a way that it was clever and funny, and definitely entertaining. Being that it won the award for the best TV advertisement, it was a hit to several types of crowds. There are many different tones that I noticed in this commercial. The first one was in the beginning which is a wondering and cheerful type tone while the mouse is discovering the cheese. The next tone that was displayed was depressing and sorrowful when we are lead to believe the mouse is dead, and the last tone was amusing and witty while the mouse is jamming with the music and lifting the bar.

Several things stood out to me in this ad, but the two things that stood out the most were the selection of music, and the mouse bobbing its head along with the music. The music selection was perfect and matched the tone of the commercial. The words in the songs contributed because they matched it also. When the mouse started bobbing its head to the music, that was the most humorous part of the whole ad. It made me wonder how they got effects that advanced, and I watched that part repeatedly because I found it very comical. It wasn’t the way anything was said that caught my attention, but the way it was presented. If the music had still been gloomy, then the bobbing of the head would’ve looked like the mouse twitching on its death bed instead of a triumphant bounce.

The makers of this commercial created the visuals in such a way that it was appealing to the audience. It leaves the viewer’s hanging in suspense on some parts, and in the ending it has them laughing at the turn out. They did this because it’s different from other bland commercials, and it creates a question of what the advertisement is even for. The ad never states that it’s for Nolan’s Cheddar until the very end, which could make a person feel either intrigued or annoyed. In my opinion, it was very intriguing. I was interested in what they were trying to sell to me, and why they were using a mouse. Once I found out that the product they were advertising was cheese, I wanted to look into it especially since I’ve never heard of the brand before. One thing that might have been unsuccessful was the whole “strong” idea. I was a little bit confused as to what’s strong about the cheese. Is it spicy, or does it have a strong cheddar taste? Did they mean it’ll make you strong? The way they portrayed it was that it will make the consumer strong, though I don’t think that’s how it’s meant to be taken.

My first impression of the commercial was curiosity. I wondered where the mouse was going, and what it was planning on doing. Once it found the cheese I got a little annoyed that they would make a commercial about a mouse dying. I was asking myself what find of people found humor in that, until the scrawny thing started pumping iron and dancing along with the music as if it hadn’t almost just lost its life and that was a normal experience.

What if they used different music, or a different animal? Well different music would’ve changed the tone of the commercial completely. Fast-paced music throughout could’ve been boring, and using music such as the kind in the movie, “Jaws” would have intensified the ad and given it a spin. If they used another animal, such as a rabbit, I would think the creators were amateurs and didn’t put much thought into it.

Overall, I think the commercial could’ve been taken as both effective or ineffective based on the opinion of the viewer. I personally thought it was effective because it was funny and unique, though others might not feel the same way. On the other hand, it may be taken as ineffective because it doesn’t state the purpose until the end. Some people don’t want to have to watch a commercial all the way through before the point is made, and others might not have thought it was funny to have a dancing mouse in a commercial about cheese. It must have been effective to most, as it did win the award of best TV commercial. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tCtM8UEQv8

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