Advertisements exist to sell you a product. It might be soap, music, political positions, or ideas. Most advertisements use a variety of logical fallacies to persuade but some use them to subtlety or overtly manipulate the intended audience.
– Review the list of logical fallacies in your content and study the ads presented.
– Select at least two (2) ads that you feel represent two (2) different logical fallacies.
– Determine how the language and images of the ads appeal to the consumer; identify the kinds of fallacies being used; and describe what needs or insecurities the ads are trying to reach.
– Explain the ads’ effectiveness.
Here is a list of fallacies
Ad hominem – attacking the person rather than the issue. Sometimes this is acceptable if the reason for attacking the individual is related to the issue.
All or nothing (black-and-white and either/or) – unfairly limiting reader to only two choices when there are most likely more options.
Appeal to authority – appealing to an authority is a fallacy if the authority is not an expert on the topic, cannot be trusted to tell the truth, or is misquoted.
Appeal to emotions – attempting to use emotions as key premises or tools to downplay relevant information.
Appeal to force (scare tactic) – threatening opponent rather than giving logical reason.
Appeal to ignorance – saying that something is false because it is not known to be true.
Bandwagon – saying that a claim is correct because it is what most everyone believes.
Begging the question – using circular reasoning to prove a conclusion that is included in the premise.
Circular reasoning – beginning an argument with what the reasoned is trying to prove.
Either/or – unfairly limiting reader to only two choices when there are most likely more options.
Exaggeration – overstating or overemphasizing a point.
Rationalizing – providing reasons that may not be our reasons for supporting our claim.
Red herring – like using a smelly fish to distract a bloodhound, using a digression to lead reader off track from relevant information.
Scapegoating – blaming an unpopular person or group for a problem.
Self-fulfilling prophecy – not recognizing that an act of prophesying will produce the effect that is predicted.
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