Blog 4: Classical & Contemporary Rhetorical Theory in Agricultural Communications

I appreciate the insight and discussion all of you are contributing to this blog – keep it up!

Now, on with this week’s readings. The classical theorists are an important foundation for rhetoric today. As you may suspect, rhetoric plays an important role in agricultural communications. The credibility and respect of speakers is an issue dealt with in agricultural communications regularly. This concept of the credibility of a speaker is often referred to as source credibility. If you are interested in more about this theory, here is a link to a thesis about source credibility and agricultural opinion leaders. We will discuss theories of persuasion more in depth later in the semester, but for now I would like to explore some of the basic tenants: logos, ethos, and pathos. In agricultural communications we often see persuasive messages crafted using logos, which certainly has powers of persuasion. When explaining complex scientific topics, logical appeals make sense. However, there are times when logos messages are too complicated and turn off a receiver of the message. The Beef Check-off program has done an excellent job of combining logos and ethos through the use of facts comparing chicken to lean cuts of beef, while milk has effectively used celebrities in advertisements from all different backgrounds and genre which combine ethos with the celebrity connection and logos with the health benefits and nutritional information in the advertisements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An example of a video that seeks to appeal to emotions is this Common Ground video. By showing farmers as moms just like the other moms in the grocery store, ethos is used. The mom farmers also use logos as they discuss their farms. How effective do you think an effort like this is?

What examples have you seen of agricultural communications utilizing logos, ethos, and/or pathos? Which principle do you see agricultural communications utilizing the most? Which standard of theory evaluation or development, discussed in previous chapters, does this speak to?

As we move to contemporary rhetoric, we see the basic premises of classic rhetoric evolve into specific theories. As agricultural communicators seek to engage with the public and alter or change their perceptions, text and discourse are often used as units of analysis. Sometimes the perceptions people have of the agricultural industry are based on images or symbols as seen in the theory of symbolic convergence.  We have all seen the picture of an old man in overalls standing in a golden field of wheat, or a plow and horse. Perhaps these are not symbols of modern agriculture, but symbols none-the-less, and perhaps may even fall into a fantasy theory. Narratives are often built on images, text, and discourse combined. While people may have a fantasy picture of agriculture that is either positive or negative, as agricultural communicators seek to change that narrative it is important to be aware of narrative fidelity. Will it ring true to the receiver? The process of working toward narrative fidelity may be viewed as strategic action. We see the theory of communicative action represented as the public strives for answers to how their food is produced. Communicative orientation indicates it is their right to ask and seek the truth. Agricultural communicators should be prepared to share a narrative strategically, truthfully, and in a way the public is prepared to receive it.

One example of a strategic narrative is Chipolte. Chipotle often divides those in the agricultural community. No matter how you feel about Chipotle, its advertising is persuasive. What theories of rhetoric do you see represented in Chipolte’s ad here? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY-GgzZKxUQ.

How could conventional agriculture use the same theory(s) to its advantage?

18 thoughts on “Blog 4: Classical & Contemporary Rhetorical Theory in Agricultural Communications

  1. I think an effort like this is extremely effective! This video perfectly intertwines the use of competence through the women farmers experience and knowledge about agriculture while also showing their moral character and giving a face to the farmer.
    One example that I think of when I think about agricultural communication using rhetoric is agricultural bloggers. A big example of one that I immediately think of is Ryan Goodman who has a block called Beef Runner. Most of Ryan’s posts are more pathos based and he ties in a lot of personal stories with his blog, but he does also have some ethos and logos styles sprinkled in too. For example one of his blog posts he talk about the reasoning for advocating for agriculture and encourages his readers to use reason through their thoughts about agriculture and presents very logical information.
    I can see and easy argument between agricultural communications using either pathos or ethos the most. I think that a lot of times when communicating with the public, we get so caught up in our passion for what we are talking about that we lean very heavy in the pathos side of communicating. I also think that we often times try to establish credibility and focus on the facts for readers when thing are misconstrued by certain animal rights groups and begin to focus on ethos in an effort to make readers listen to us.
    I think that the pathos arguments definitely fall more into the humanistic paradigm and a hermeneutic and/or phenomenological theoretical approach. I think the ethos arguments fall more in line with objective paradigm and leans more towards a rules approach.
    Conventional agriculture can use Fisher’s narrative paradigm to their advantage in telling the story of agriculture. When I think of agriculture I think of the story that is tells about our country and the challenges that we have overcome over the years. I think that by using the narrative “tag line” we can give agriculture a story and a background. Also, often time’s agriculture is just thought of as food with no further thought into the fact that someone put their heart and soul into producing that food.
    I think this video by America’s Farmers is a good example of giving agriculture a narrative for the consumer to follow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPXM1tmpjWs

    1. Hi Tabitha-

      I like your comment about blogs and how producers are using these to reach out to the public. I follow a few different bloggers and vloggers and they do a great job of bringing facts to the table as well as showing the ‘real’ side of agriculture. My only concern with these is I don’t know how much of the general public is following them. You have to actively search these out and take time to read them and I’m not sure how many people who are just curious about agriculture would do that. It seems like most of the comments and discussion on them comes from other producers.

    2. Tabitha,

      I feel that your comment about producers and how they are using either blogs of videos to reach the public is very accurate. I think these methods are very useful however I wonder how much the public is actually viewing them. This could be due to the fact they do not know about them or because they aren’t interested in reading them.

  2. The Common Ground video used an effective combination of logos, ethos and pathos. I think talking to moms about their food choices requires this combination of proofs. Mothers tend to get emotional when they talk about their kids. They also need a lot of facts and logical reasoning to decide on something as important as what they will be feeding their children. Finally, they are more likely to listen to someone who is in the same boat they are, in this case, other moms who have to make the same decisions they do every day. By combining all three of these approaches into one, I think Common Ground set the stage for really good persuasion and conversation.

    Agriculture communications uses a wide variety of logos, ethos and pathos messaging. I have seen logos used when agricultural communicators refute false allegations against agriculture. Most of the time, I have seen this happening on social media in the form of comments that include links to scientific articles and factual evidence supporting agriculture.

    I see pathos used when ag communications messaging takes a family approach. There is something about seeing little kids on the farm growing up in the agricultural industry that pulls on the heart strings. Parents outside of agriculture also respond to this approach because they know that farming parents wouldn’t put their children in an environment that is unsafe.

    Lastly, I think ethos are used in ag communications when we give farmers the opportunity to tell their own stories. Messaging about farming that comes straight from a farmer increases the credibility of the information. Although all of the principles have their place in ag communications, I think ethos are used the most. I have seen a lot more ag communications efforts looking to farmers to tell their own stories to try to increase the credibility of the messaging.

    I would argue that using ethos in ag communications lines up with the subjective dimension approach we discussed in previous chapters. As noted in Communications Theories for Everyday Life, the subjective approach “holds that reality and meaning are always personal and always channeled through the society that contains them.” I think this approach applies to ethos in ag communications because the farmers telling their stories will mean something different to every person that hears that messaging. The credibility of farmers will usually be determined by the person’s predisposed opinion about farmers and past experiences they have had with others who farm.

    Chipotle’s advertisement definitely uses people’s lean toward narrative probability, the tendency to evaluate a narrative as a story, to its advantage. By setting the video up with a story line, the audience is sucked in and will probably watch until the end just to discover how the ending of that story will go. Conventional agriculture could do the same by following a narrative format that leaves the audience wanting to know how the stories that are told end.

    I also think the Chipotle video uses Kenneth Burke’s system of rhetorical criticism. This system, known as pentad, focuses on how the audience can discover the motives of speakers through the language that is used. After watching the video, it is very clear how Chipotle views the world of agriculture. I think conventional agriculture could do a better job at using pentad to its advantage by portraying a more straightforward idea of how the agricultural industry should operate. I think conventional agriculture messaging sometimes walks on eggshells not to offend anyone with a differing viewpoint. However, making its viewpoint and intentions clear has worked well for Chipotle, so maybe being more straightforward could do the same for conventional ag.

  3. In the first video, I saw more logos and pathos than anything. It was effective in supplying some facts about the agriculture industry and by involving families, it was incorporating more pathos.
    Pathos and ethos are probably the most utilized principals I see in agriculture communications today. Campaigns that encourage the general public to get to know their local farmers and farmers sharing the story of their operations seem to be most popular. Since the public is showing more interest in knowing where their food comes from, this is logical. There are some campaigns that lean more towards logos, but they don’t seem as popular with the general public. I think this is partly because there is so much false information circulated that people believe, it’s hard to change their opinions based on facts alone. “Introducing” them to real producers seems to be more persuasive.
    Chipotle’s video is similar to other agricultural campaigns in a sense that they rely on pathos and ethos. I personally don’t see any real facts in the video, they’re feeding into the general misconceptions about agriculture and portraying “modern agriculture” in a negative light only because that fits the narrative that a lot of the general public currently has. They are playing on emotion and ethics, even if those are fueled by misconceptions.
    I do agree that the Chipotle video also uses narrative probability. I disagreed with 99% of the video, but found myself finishing the video because I wanted to see how the story played out.
    I understand why the agriculture industry structures their campaigns the way they do, like I mentioned in my second paragraph. However, it’s hard to persuade the consumer to understand our industry without supplying more facts. It’s common to see infographics on social media that supply facts about agriculture, but I rarely see other means of getting real information out to the public. The campaigns that rely on ethos and pathos are great because they add that human element, but the industry might get farther if they started incorporating some facts into these campaigns as well.

    1. Lexi,

      I completely agree with your thoughts on the Chipotle video. I also disagreed with the main message of the video, but I was actually interested in watching until the end. I think this was mostly because it was set up in a way that made me feel the need to know what happened next. As you mentioned, I think it’s more important for agricultural campaigns to include facts than it is for Chipotle ads to do so. It’s harder to integrate facts into a narrative story line, but I really think the ag industry would benefit by combining the two. I believe it’s important for stories to be told so that consumers feel the same need we did in the Chipotle video to watch until the very end.

    2. Lexi,

      I didn’t even consider the idea of utilizing ethos due to the fact that consumers are wanting to know their local farmers and producers. That is an excellent point, and something I think we can build on in the future. There are certain personalities within our industry that have credibility behind their name, most notably the Peterson Farm Bros and The Pioneer Woman. They have successfully achieved what we all hope to do – connecting with consumers on a large scale. The Peterson Farm Bros’ hilarious, yet still educational parodies go viral and are seen by millions on YouTube and Facebook. The Pioneer Woman has a television show that is followed by thousands of people, my grandmother included! It’s always cool to talk with my Granny about something she learned on The Pioneer Woman’s show that she hadn’t realized before (Granny has never been involved with production agriculture). Really neat thought!

      -Rachel

    3. Lexi, I’m in agreeance with you, the Chipotle clip can be quite frustrating for individuals in production agriculture. You make a valid statement about customers being swayed by facts; however, I think it is important to remember as agricultural communicators the vast amount of information consumers have access to today. True or not, the volume of information makes it hard for them to sift out the “fake news,” if you will. The agricultural community has to make authenticity their main delivery method.

    4. Lexi,

      I agree that the campaigns that we need to start using need to rely heavily on ethos and pathos. This is how we will be able to convince the public that farmers are real, caring people who are not out to get them through their food. Showing people farmers stories will allow people to see that they truly do care for their animals and the environment. Through their stories they can pull on peoples’ emotions and bring in logic and facts about farming mixed throughout.

  4. I was surprised I had never seen this Common Ground campaign before. This is an incredibly effective idea. I was impressed by the questions asked of the farmers – and I realize they were handpicked to represent the program – but I wish I had been able to hear the responses. I think a lot of consumer confusion comes from getting their information from the Internet and not knowing who can be trusted to give them accurate information. The source credibility increases significantly for an audience if they hear facts straight from farmers themselves. I think there was also a subtle theme of utilizing female farmers to appeal to female shoppers by drawing on pathos on a mom-to-mom basis. The shoppers in the video also requested information via logos, by asking for specific information and facts about an individual farm or the industry itself. It was also creative to have the farmers dress as a “normal” person rather than in fitting with a fantasy theme in overalls, straw hat and boots. I felt this made it easier for shoppers to connect with the farmers.

    An example that comes to mind for me is Carrie Mess, a dairy farmer and blogger from Wisconsin. Carrie uses both logos and pathos effectively to influence her audience, which are producers, consumers and others across the nation and even globally. She has built a positive reputation for herself, allowing her to also draw on ethos. “Dairy Carrie,” as she has been dubbed, uses facts on which she bases her claims, but also relates in a more human way by sharing photos of her two young sons as they grow up on the farm, family photos, stories and other news from around her area and around the nation. She is an advocate for agriculture in the truest sense and does an impressive job providing information and handling critics at the same time.

    I think we, as agricultural communicators, use a fair mix of logos and pathos. We have to present facts and help consumers understand why we do what we do, and why we do it the way that we do, but we also have to appeal to their emotional sides. By coming at them as humans and not as robotic scientists, we are able to make a more genuine connection and share our message more effectively. Over the next several decades, our roles as agricultural communicators are going to become increasingly more important as the average person grows further removed from the farm and the population continues to climb.

    Phenomenology is the theory that comes to mind when thinking about our tactics in agricultural communications. Each person perceives our industry differently, and we have to figure out how to relate to everyone as best as possible. While we can essentially narrow down our audience into those who trust us and believe in agriculture, those who are undecided and want to gather more information and those who are set against us; within those groups each person’s perception varies, even if just slightly, based on past experiences and research.

    Chipotle is a very touchy subject with me, as I am sure it is with many of you, too. I believe Chipotle’s approach to communication is most closely related to narrative paradigm. They are telling a story with characters (livestock and that weird scarecrow thing), a beginning, middle and end. As stated in the text, Fisher had “a view not limited to logical argument but one that embraced values as the center of persuasive discourse” (p. 96). Chipotle most certainly does not make a logical argument but pulls on viewers’ moral strings by falsely portraying agriculture as big, ugly factories taking advantage of food animals while producing food for human consumption. As members of the agricultural industry, we would exemplify the idea of narrative rationality by telling the same story under a different, more factual light. We could recreate the scarecrow story, but have him work on a dairy farm, milking cows, caring for calves, bedding stalls and scraping out the barn every day. He could help walk through poultry houses and check water pipes and feed lines for the birds, adjust feeder and waterer heights as they grow and clean out and disinfect the barn after each flock. We could use the same characters and ideas to tell the same story, but in a completely different way.

    -Rachel Waggie

    1. Rachel,

      I think you make a great point about phenomenology here. Perception of the speaker or the message seems to be a crucial point in all kinds of rhetoric discussed in our book. I think phenomenology also plays a large role in both the Common Ground and Chipotle videos. While the Common Ground video works to change consumers’ perceptions of agriculture through new information and ideas, the Chipotle video works to re-enforce what is many consumers’ perception of the industry. I think phenomenology plays a bigger role in all communication campaigns than we sometimes realize because we often factor perceptions in without consciously doing so.

  5. I think communication efforts like the Common Ground video are often effective because they build a connection with the audience before presenting complex topics. In this video, the farmer moms in the grocery store build an ethos based connection with the other moms, creating trust-based on their shared life experiences and desire to feed their family the best food. Then the farmer moms have a better avenue to give a logos-based answer to the agricultural questions because the trust is already built between them and their audience. Efforts like this are effective in other avenues as well because the initial ethos-based trust built between the audience and the communicator can prevent the audience from shutting down when a complex answer is given.

    Agricultural communicators most often use straight logos to explain things to consumers. For example, the Monsanto Instagram story often includes dry agricultural facts about things like GMOs, pollinators, and scientific practices. I think logos is used more often than ethos or pathos because agriculture has many scientific facts on their side. However, this is not always the best way to get the message across. The #RealPigFarming campaign uses ethos by disseminating facts through real pig farmers, often families or children of producers. This approach, while still delivering facts, often makes the audience more likely to believe the facts because they are presented by trustworthy people. I think the agriculture industry is often pathos-averse because pathos is used in anti-agriculture communications by organizations like PETA and HSUS. However, some agricultural communications blend the line between ethos and pathos by presenting family farmers in a somewhat emotional light by showing children enjoying the farm. Also, informal social media communications about organizations like 4-H and FFA often employ the pathos approach by speaking emotionally about what those agricultural organizations have given the writer.

    I think this speaks to the standard of building theories deductively because agricultural communicators already have sets of scientific facts and production data and hypothesize that presenting these facts will persuade the consumers. These communications campaigns are not based on inductive theories, which disregard preconceived notions of the researcher.

    Chipotle’s ad heavily uses Ernest Bormann’s symbolic convergence theory, in that Chipotle is communicating as a social actor and building a narrative from a perspective of social change. I think that Chipotle builds this narrative from social fantasies and popular (although not fact-based) concepts of food production. Regardless of the fantasy building-blocks of the video, observers recognize it as narrative fidelity due to their own confirmation bias. This pathos approach almost makes logos irrelevant, because people are inclined to believe a narrative that backs up their own thinking.

    Although I do not think conventional agriculture can use those theories in the same way, they could potentially capitalize on the fantasy theories associated with images of old-fashioned agriculture, like the farmer in overalls in the golden field of wheat. Attaching these more picturesque images to modern agriculture could benefit the industry by building a more positive narrative in the mind of consumers.

  6. After viewing the Common Ground video I would say it uses logos, ethos, and pathos effectively. When videos use individuals that others can relate to makes the video more effective. For example when a mother is talking about their children they show their love and tend to care a lot more about the topic. A person is more likely to listen to someone that they can make a personal connection with, so in this example this mother would connect with other mothers.

    In agriculture communications most commonly pathos and ethos are more utilized. As the consumers are starting to show more interest in where their food is coming from and the process of how it is being grown. With the circulation of false information it can make it very difficult on the consumers to know what to believe and what they should ignore. As agriculturalist we have a passion that tends to push us toward using pathos.

    An example that I think of is titled Her View From Home by Brandi Buzzard. Brandi’s blog uses a majority of pathos to share her story and information with her audience. Throughout the Kansas area she has built a reputation from providing an honest blog and with the hope of reaching other consumers around the world. Not all of her blogs will be directly related to information she is wanting to share the facts on but also shows her personal life as well to make those connections with her readers. Very commonly you can see her family in her pictures and stories of them being shared throughout her different topics.

    Agriculture communications has a challenge because everyone perceives the agriculture industry in different ways. Chipotle is a very hard topic to take the bias out of for myself because of the passion I have for agriculture. I will give Chipotle credit that they have the ability create an advertisement that draws people in through using a story line. I know that when I watched the video until the end because I wanted to see how it would end.

    We as agriculture communicators should use a similar method to get our story across. As people buy into Chipotles advertisements, a traditional agriculture commercial could do the same.

  7. Logos: I think logos is seen most by commodity groups. Their marketing is from the approach that “our commodity group is the best” but isn’t necessary trashing any other commodity group. They’re doing what they can to convince you that “beef is what’s for dinner” and “your milk comes from a good place.”
    Ethos: It maybe a stretch, but I think the Superbowl display of Paul Harvey’s “So God Made A Farmer” is an example of the utilization of ethos. The voice of Paul Harvey makes you believe and feel all the “farmer feelings.” You are drawn to listen and engage in the life of a Farmer. I distinctly remember when this commercial came on during the Superbowl that year. The entire room of fellowshipping friends got quiet. The room was convinced of the importance of the message through the individual delivering the message.
    Pathos: I’ll use the same example as above as a way of pathos utilization. No matter how many generations removed from the farm, the clip tugged on your heart strings. You felt the pain of the colt dying, you rejoiced when the son proclaimed their passion for the same industry. You were warmed by the rich heritage of the agriculturalists and were filled with pride for their work ethic. Those heart strings influenced support for the industry.
    I think that in the context of agricultural communications, logos and pathos have been and will continue to be the most successful approach. They don’t require much consumer convincing. Heartstrings always win people over (or something that angers them). Quick short messaging logos will be remembered for long periods of time.
    Agriculture has such a unique story to tell. It needs to be shared in a factual, realistic and authentic matter. Delivered in a way and on a platform that allow for easy persuasion (by the message and the deliverer) and meaningful connection. Fisher’s narrative paradigm fits nicely to this mold. Stories take us back to our childhood, reading books before bed with our parents, they take us to new places we may never get to in real life, they remind us of good feelings, stories are influential. It can be a realistic skit or a simply producer to consumer conversation, but this method can and will be a powerful tool for agricultural communications.

    1. Janae,

      I agree with you about the RAM superbowl commercial. I also made that same comment in my post before reading through yours. I had the same reaction when it came on for the first time. The whole room fell silent and you could tell that it left an impact. That commercial aired five years ago and we still remember it like it was yesterday. I would call that a win for RAM. Now that I think about it more, I personally remember all of the commercials which had some kind of emotional impact. Like the Budweiser horse and the puppy who got locked in the horse trailer by mistake. All of those stick with me more than others. I could see it being this way with agriculture messages as well. The ones which make you feel or result in some kind of interaction/emotion will impact you much differently.

  8. I had not personally seen the “Ask the Farmer” video but I think that this is a very effective effort. They definitely used ethos as the moms were so friendly and explained everything in such simple terms that anyone could understand. The moms that they used were just like anyone else in the store, and I liked how they didn’t try to portray a children’s story image of farmers and showed them as, let’s say, “normal people.” I also enjoyed how the moms were able to answer the questions with facts and not try to sway anyone one way or the other. For example, the mom who explained the difference between grain and grass fed beef strictly explained the difference and did not put in any additional opinion or bias about one being better than the other. Seeing that video makes me wish they had those buttons in the grocery stores so farmers/ranchers could answer everyone’s questions about agriculture and the food they purchase.

    Of the various videos that I have seen regarding agriculture, most of them utilize ethos. In my opinion, the most frustrating part of being involved in agriculture is the myth that farmers/ranchers don’t care about their animals and the product that they are raising. With this challenge in mind, one of the most effective ways is to utilize ethos in these marketing strategies to try to portray the message that farmers/ranchers do care about what they are producing. The video series “Why I Farm” is a great example of using ethos. They have profiles of different farm families and talk about their history and involvement in agriculture. They talk about some of the challenges they have faced and how they overcame them because they love what they do and couldn’t imagine living any other life than production agriculture. Lastly, I always have to throw in the infamous RAM Superbowl commercial as it is my favorite video promoting agriculture. Every time I watch that video, I get goosebumps with the words and it’s such an impactful video. That one surely focused on ethos.

    That Chipotle video was quite interesting. They portrayed agriculture like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and that farmers were nothing but oompa loompas working in a factory farming type of situation. They used the same music that manipulated my mind into thinking about that movie and Willy Wonka’s very unique personality. Then, I started of thinking about a farmer in that situation. They definitely create an image of how they perceive modern agriculture and are using that image to boost their product sales. I would almost use the same methods, except transform the content into pro-agriculture. I think that Merck Animal Health released a fantastic video about beef production that really put information into a unique perspective. They use a lot of comparisons of what it would take to feed a growing population without using modern practices. It’s not a widely advertised video (even though it should be), but it’s one of my favorites. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZBWBs29QkI

  9. After watching the video about the mom farmers, I would like to think that this campaign is affective for the women they interact with. But, I do not think ethos is the only theory being used by only using women farmers in this campaign. This is playing on the consumers emotions which is pathos. Ethos and pathos are used in the selection of who the farmers are. Logos is used when the women farmers answer the consumers questions with factual and logical information. This video is effective because it appeals to people on all levels. This campaign is trying to be the ultimate persuasion by appealing to peoples’ ethics, emotions, and logic.

    I think most agricultural communications use logos. As agricultural communicators we are the most comfortable with providing researched facts to consumers. Mostly because that is what the consumers ask for. Logos is also used when agricultural communicators are trying to diffuse false accusations against agriculture on social media. To diffuse the accusations, we tend link scientific articles and cite our sources, so the accusers can learn something.

    I think ethos most closely relates to the subjective dimension approach we learned about a couple chapters ago. This approach talks about there is always a personal side to reality and meaning. Ethics is the interchange of factual information and personal opinions.

    People enjoy personal stories, because there is usually some aspect of each story that everyone can relate to. Chipotle kind of did this by creating a story. Even though they promoted a lot of falsities about agriculture, they definitely played on peoples’ emotions to get them to eat from Chipotle. Because obviously Chipotle is the only place that sells good food.

    Conventional agriculture could use the narrative method by showing families working on their farms that have been in the family for generations. People could talk about how they grew up on working on the family farm.

  10. I must admit, I had not previously seen the Common Ground video campaign, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The message was a solid combination of ethos and pathos to address what the public views as difficult topics to discuss. By using ethos the audience is drawn towards the character and credibility of the women farmers, while adding pathos, through the significance of motherhood, draws the audience in via their ability to relate no matter their background in agriculture (or the lack thereof). I also feel the producers of the content were strategic in their use of women for this ad. Many studies have pointed towards the general public perceiving women as more trustworthy than men (http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/13/study-why-we-think-women-are-more-trustworthy-than-men/). I am curious if anyone else had this thought?

    When discussing the most commonly used rhetoric in agricultural communications, I feel as though we as producers would like to think that we rely primarily on logos (logic). However, it is truly the connection that the public feels to us via pathos and ethos that help with the reception of the message of agriculture. On the other hand, we often witness opposing views using these same tactics and rhetoric to sway the public away from a positive message of agriculture.

    Before this weeks blog post I had never seen a Chipotle ad, I have also never eaten at one of their restaurants. Admittedly, I have been deterred by the word-of-mouth regarding their negative portrayal of modern agriculture. It would seem their ability to use narrative has been a key factor in their success with such campaigns. I would agree with Brandelyn’s use of the word motivated. Chipotle’s ads leave consumers feeling motivated to (in their minds) make a difference by being a patron of a “forward-thinking” movement.

    I believe that agriculture could push forward with the use of animation and bringing celebrities on board. Here is a previous example of easy to follow, straight forward (logos) animation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PxRqMr0cjw. Furthermore, the public is known to trust the endorsement of prominent figures, appealing to both pathos and ethos. The use of known public figures that support agriculture (think Chris Pratt) would be a major contender for depressing Sarah McLachlan ads.

Leave a Reply