The "got milk?" ad that I chose from Time magazine is the latest in the popular
line of ads featuring celebrities endorsing milk. The most recent "got milk?" ads have
added in their text that drinking milk can help you lose weight. This particular one
features Meredith Viera, the host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and also one of the
five hosts of the popular morning show The View. Meredith is holding a glass of milk
reminiscent of a woman's hourglass figure, and she is proudly displaying a milk
This ad plays on all three of the major rhetorical tools: ethos, pathos, and logos.
Ethos is apparent with the sole use of celebrities as models for the ad. It says: "I drink
milk and I'm famous; if you want to be like a star you should drink milk too." The play
on ethos is also apparent in the use of the popular hourglass image. The hourglass is the
most popular way to characterize a desirable woman's figure. Adding to this appeal is the
slim Meredith Viera dressed in a conservative, but knee-revealing skirt to further convey
the message that drinking milk can make you thin, attractive, sexy, and maybe even
Pathos, or pathetic appeal comes into play by the association of drinking milk
with watching the waistline. This ad is obviously geared toward women, and many
women are trying to, or feel the need to, lose weight. The image of the hourglass comes
into play with pathos as well, for many women long to have this kind of figure. The
hourglass is the most celebrated image of women in art and movies, and it seems also
most desired by men. The mocking of the shape by using the hands to make an
imaginary hourglass comes to mind. The ad is presented in a way that celebrates that
image, and suggests that drinking milk is the way to get it.
Logos is shown by the use of the American Heart Association's endorsement at
the bottom of the page. The text in the upper right hand corner also states that "recent
studies suggest that including 24 ounces of low fat or fat free milk a day in a reduced
calorie diet may help you burn more fat….." Therefore, it becomes logical to include
milk in your diet if you are trying to lose weight. Meredith says that she always makes
time for milk and so should you. Busy moms could have the same benefits that she does,
because if a busy mom/celebrity like Meredith Viera can do it, then you can do it, too.
Ethos, pathos, and logos are apparently combined to have an impact on the
targeted audience in this ad. By playing on image and fame in using a celebrity, a
woman's desire to lose weight and be appealing, having the perfect body, and using
scientific research to back up their claims, this ad displays a balanced rhetorical situation.