In years down the road they will have

In
Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercial “Lost Dog”, the speaker (Budweiser) utilizes a
variety of rhetorical strategies in order to promote the companies message
(purchase our product). The audience for this commercial is not as broad as
some may think. One of the obvious audience choices would be those who are twenty-one
years or older. However, that is not true because if they can indoctrinate a sixteen-year-old
into valuing their brand, five years down the road they will have a customer.

There also is no spoken language throughout this commercial, so it can apply to
any language or country as long as the same values that are demonstrated
visually, are shared. Their strongest appeal in this commercial, is a
combination of the appeal to pathos, logos and a little bit of ethos. Budweiser
does this through the relationship between a farmer, his Clydesdale horses and a puppy.

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            The beginning of the commercial
reveals a white male, who is probably American who has an ambiguous age. He is
wearing a Budweiser hat that does a very good job of disguising his age. In the
next scene, there is a golden retriever puppy emerging from a pile of hay
(pathos). Emotions are completely evoked here because the cuteness of this little
puppy makes the viewers smile. The puppy then jumps out from under the hay,
walks past farmer who is occupied putting the horse in its stable, and exits
through the cracked open barn door. This puppy that we love and our now attached
to runs outside because he is curious. When he passes the horse, the horse lets
out a small neigh, which reveals the continuation of fostering this
relationship between these two animals. This is a relationship that began many
Super Bowl commercials ago, so this friendship between the horse and the puppy
is only deepening within this small moment. The curious puppy then jumps into an
unknown car. The viewer then begins to feel worried (pathos) about what will
happen to the puppy. Where will this unknown vehicle will take him? Will he be
okay? Will the horse miss him? There is no logos or ethos here. It is strictly
pathos because of this emotional train that the viewer is riding. As the
following scene proceeds, the farmer realizes the puppy is missing, so he puts
up fliers. Next, the commercial shows the puppy jumping out of the car and
running down the street. The juxtaposition of scenes is remarkable here. This
first scene is relatively frantic because the owner has lost his puppy, so he
posts fliers that contain a picture of the puppy and the horse from a previous
Budweiser commercial. This fortifies the depth of the relationship between the
puppy and horse, what is currently at stake and what is falling apart. The
second scene is of the lost puppy. He is totally out of his element because he
is in a busy city, which is the first time this has happened in these Budweiser
commercials. This scene is not portrayed in a positive light, there is a lot of
traffic which is extremely distressing for the puppy. Following those two
scenes is one of the most heart wrenching scenes. Just twenty-three seconds
into the film and viewers are attached to a puppy, the relationship he has with
his owner and horse and now feeling absolutely awful. This puppy is sitting in
a cardboard box while it is pouring rain (pathos).

            This
next scene shows the horse and the man distressed because of their puppy missing.

This is worth speaking to the power that an animal has in this situation. In
terms of ethos we know that humans can be manipulative and can pretend to be
sad about something. But animals are not typically looked at as manipulative or
having the ability to pretend to be happy or sad about something. If the farmer
is sad, it could be that he misses the dog or that society has