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Logical Fallacies in Advertising


Is the study of logic relevant to advertising? Is advertising, which is purely emotional, ever required to be also logical? Logical fallacies are highly suggestive and persuasive. Every day consumers are bombarded with one persuasive communication after another.

These appeals persuade not through the give-and-take of argument and debate, but through the manipulation of symbols and of our most basic human emotions. With the growth of communication tools like the Internet, the flow of persuasive messages has been dramatically accelerated.

In this paper, 10 different examples of logical fallacies are identified as they appear in print ads in leading publications. Although some of these ads might represent more than one logical fallacy, in each sample an attempt has been made to focus only on the most obvious.

Since few of us want to be left behind, this technique can be quite successful in advertising. This is an unabashed appeal to the emotions rather than the logic. The connection that an Internet Search Engine will keep you interesting is a good example of a second type of fallacy, the slippery slope.

When confronted with this technique, it may be helpful to ask the following questions:

* What is this propagandist's program?

* What is the evidence for and against the program?

* Regardless of the fact that others are supporting this program, should I support it?

* Does the program serve or undermine my individual and collective interests?

This technique shown here is more subtle than just showing a normal celebrity like La Toya Jackson talking about the Psychic Friends Network changed her life. Here the company took a winner, "Miss Black Houston" and compared her winning to the car's winning. This is clever because it also adds a touch of racial equality to the ad that in a way helps overcome some of the problems Mitsubishi had with the NAACP. ...

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Logical Fallacies in Advertising. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 00:31, September 03, 2015, from