IV. How to Ethically Persuade

It is very possible to ethically persuade others. My philosophy of persuasion contends that one can persuade ethically by establishing emotional connections with their audience. How do you establish this kind of connection in the first place? Ethical persuasion essentially requires the author of the argument to become the audience. One must consider how their intended audience thinks, what they value, what they dislike, etc. In order to form an emotional connection a message must be carefully crafted in order to meet the needs of the audience.

For example, commercials that are able to establish an emotional connection with me are those that I find most relatable to my personal experiences. For example, holiday commercials evoke a significant amount of pathos in order to engage with their audiences. During the holidays in my home, my family and I are always vulnerable to the heart warming Publix commercials, which have helped shape my philosophy of persuasion. This company creates commercials that intentionally tug at your heart strings. The commercials are typically non-verbal and require the actions of the characters to accurately deliver their message. This persuasive tactic also allows the audience to interpret the meaning of the commercial in various ways.

Publix holiday commercials use ethical tactics to accurately reflect the feelings of their audience during this time of the year. Some of the commercials detail people that give back to their community, cooking with family, or even someone who misses their loved ones. By creating these types of commercials Publix is considering the values of their customers during the holiday season. The ways in which they portray these experiences allows the audience to emotionally connect with the company and trust their products. Whether the commercials are verbal or non-verbal, they are able to get  a message across that emotionally moves their customers to do something.