Slippery Slope Ads: Beware the Descent!
An Analysis of Logical Fallacies in Advertisements
Advertisements are designed to persuade people to purchase products or services. However, many advertisements use logical fallacies to make their arguments seem more convincing. This article will examine some common logical fallacies used in advertisements and provide examples of each.
1. Appeal to Authority Fallacy:
Definition: Using an authority figure as evidence in an argument when the authority is not an expert in the relevant facts of the argument.
Example: An advertisement for a camera brand features famous people like Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake, who are not experts on cameras but are known to be around cameras often.
2. Post Hoc Fallacy:
Definition: Assuming that because one event followed another, it must have occurred as a result of the first event.
Example: An advertisement for DIRECTV implies that if you do not get their service, you will wake up in a roadside ditch.
3. Appeal to Emotion Fallacy:
Definition: Using emotion instead of reason to win an argument.
Example: An advertisement for dog food company Pedigree shows a sad dog in a shelter and encourages people to buy their product to help dogs like him find loving homes.
4. Ad Hominem Fallacy:
Definition: Attacking the person making an argument instead of addressing the argument itself.
Example: An advertisement for Time Warner Cable attacks DIRECTV by implying they hate puppies because they do not offer free HD service.
Logical fallacies are common in advertisements and can be used to manipulate consumers. By understanding these fallacies, consumers can make more informed purchasing decisions and not fall victim to misleading advertising tactics.
Slippery Slope Examples
- When cable goes out, stress ensues.
- Getting away from stress leads to exotic experiences.
- Exotic experiences can lead to dangerous situations.
Why Upgrade to DIRECTV:
- Get rid of cable and upgrade to DIRECTV.
- Cable causes anger issues and schedule conflicts.
- Cable can lead to depression and poor choices.
- Cable can cause family problems and danger.
- DIRECTV offers better options and no stress.
- Upgrade to DIRECTV to avoid stress and dangerous situations.
- Don't let cable control your life, upgrade to DIRECTV.
Ads masquerading as journalism, the slippery slope of branded content
Old Media Heading Towards Its Demise
It is time to acknowledge that old media, especially newspapers, are rapidly heading towards their demise. Once bustling with hundreds of employees, newspapers now have only a handful of workers. The classified ads, which were a significant source of revenue, have vanished, as advertisers have followed readers and viewers who now rely mostly on internet gadgets. The content is everywhere and free, but it was never a viable business model.
The Rise of Native Advertising:
As revenues keep shrinking, broadcasters and publishers have resorted to native advertising, which is essentially a fusion of advertising and journalism. However, this new form of advertising is portraying itself as journalism, deceiving readers and consumers who think they are reading independent journalism. It is an act of deception, and corporate advertisers are behind it.
BuzzFeed, the King of Native Content:
BuzzFeed is the king of native content, earning over a hundred and fifty million dollars last year. The company is hard to distinguish from a BuzzFeed ad, as it produces deeply clever ads that are almost identical to its stories. BuzzFeed's model is to get people to click and share, and once sharing accelerates, any distinction between real stories and native ads is lost.
The Evolution of Journalism Conventions:
Although native advertising has been criticized by journalism purists, it is merely an evolving journalistic convention that every media outlet is embracing. The New York Times has an entire department devoted to native content, producing ads that are almost identical to the newspaper's stories. BuzzFeed, on the other hand, clearly marks its ads, and its editor is religious about it.
Journalism should clearly be journalism, and ads should be ads, without blurring or exceptions. Old media is dying, and newspapers must choose to either downsize dramatically and start over with ethics or find a sugar daddy to pay their way. Native advertising may offer what old media has been seeking for so long - financial deliverance - but it is an act of deception that undermines journalistic integrity. As readers, we must be aware of the tactics used by media outlets and advertisers to protect our trust.
Disney Version: Ad Hominem
The following article summarizes a conversation between two characters discussing various topics ranging from hair to true love.
- Character A accuses Character B of wanting their hair.
- Character B denies wanting the hair and explains they are only interested in escaping from it.
- Character A is confused and asks why Character B would want to escape from their hair.
- Character B explains they were being chased and saw a tower, and the story they are telling is true.
- Character A asks who the White Rabbit is, and Character B responds that it was Bieber.
- Character A is confused and asks if Character B meant the White Rabbit or someone else.
- Character B clarifies that they did mean the White Rabbit and asks if Character A can stand on their head.
- Character A responds negatively, and Character B changes the subject to true love.
- Character A expresses doubt in Character B's knowledge of true love, and Character B responds that they know more than just shutting people out.
- Character A mentions a tiger oak or androbot, and Character B responds that they are in business.
- Character A congratulates Character B on their success and asks them to bring their whole family.
- Character A mentions Hans, and Character B asks for his last name and favorite food.
- Character A provides the information, and Character B asks if they have had a meal with him yet.
- Character A mentions disliking the way Hans picks his nose.
- Character B interrupts and mentions that Hans is a parent.
The conversation is a lighthearted and somewhat nonsensical exchange between two characters discussing various topics. The use of contractions, idioms, transitional phrases, interjections, and colloquialisms adds to the informal tone of the conversation. The conversation lacks a clear purpose or direction, but it is entertaining and amusing to read.
Bus Ads - A Slippery Slope?
Bus Ads: Are They a Slippery Slope?” Today we have Eric Centerhome, Principal of Saturn Home Bus, who has sold over 3,000 buses in Hawaii and is currently involved in a 99 bus contract for Handi Van. The city is considering putting bus ads on the outsides of buses to raise revenue, but there are concerns about how much money this will actually generate and the potential legal issues that could arise. The Outdoor Circle is adamantly opposed to this initiative, as it could lead to offensive ads and a violation of First Amendment rights. Additionally, the costs of defending any legal challenges could outweigh the revenue generated. The discussion also touches on the larger issue of leadership and where the city finds its leaders, often hiring failed candidates from the mainland. The conversation ends with the conclusion that if the city is going to move forward with bus ads, they need to carefully consider the potential risks and costs involved.
Fallacies in Philippine Advertisement
In today's world, advertising plays a crucial role in the success of any business. However, not everything advertised is true. Advertising fallacies are logical flaws that advertisements use to persuade customers to buy their products or services. In the Philippines, several industries use advertisements to capture attention, and most of them use logical fallacies as part of their persuasive strategy. As consumers, it is essential to be aware of these fallacies to make informed decisions about our purchases.
Common Advertising Fallacies in the Philippines:
1. Foreign creamy ice cream made with Belgian cocoa and a kiss of coffee - The 2011 Java Cornetto Commercial:
- Sweatercornetto distracts its viewers, implying that the cheapness of the ice cream is more important than the sweater being bought.
2. Give Extra, Get Extra - Wise Man:
- This commercial implies that if you bite your gum, it will lead to a significant event.
3. Vote for him - Music 2016:
- The advertisement's message was to persuade people to vote for him because he experienced what the poor people experienced, making them pity him.
4. Concert King, which is Burgerkanaman - Made in 2015:
- This advertisement talks about a neighbor being loud, then suddenly introducing a cheeseburger which doesn't connect to the previous idea.
Logical fallacies used in advertising are often overlooked without the tools needed to examine them critically. In the Philippines, ad hominem, strawman argument, appeal to ignorance, false dilemma, circular argument, hasty generalization, and bandwagon fallacy are some of the most common fallacies found in advertisements. As consumers, it is important to watch out for these fallacies wherever they appear in television and magazines. Being aware of these fallacies will help us make informed decisions about our purchases and not fall for false advertising.
The Slippery Slope of NFTs
The Infamous Charlie Bit My Finger Video is Being Auctioned Off as an NFT
The Charlie Bit My Finger video, which has been viewed over 880 million times, is being auctioned off as an NFT. The video will be removed from YouTube forever and only exist as an NFT.
What are NFTs?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital certificates of ownership that are recorded on the blockchain. Each item sold has a token attached to it, ensuring authenticity. The most expensive NFT sold for $69 million and was a series of 5,000 3D renders created by digital artist People.
NFTs and Viral Memes:
Opportunistic individuals have seen another market in the NFT world and have started auctioning off viral memes. The authentic original Bad Luck Brian image sold for 20 ether, while the original Fedor Tip image sold for $10,000. Nyan Cat, the iconic and timeless gif, sold for 300 ether, worth $525,000.
The Future of NFTs:
NFTs offer a cool concept for digital artists to make money off their pieces. However, the uncharted territory of NFT sales and the volatility of crypto raises questions about the viability of NFTs.
While the marketing behind the Charlie Bit My Finger NFT sale is impressive, the removal of the video from YouTube sets a dangerous precedent for other historical YouTube videos. The future of NFTs is uncertain, but it offers an interesting concept for digital art sales.
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