Chapter 7 Artifacts

Euphemism: Mercedes – Benz Pre – Owned Commercial

A euphemism is the practice of using words to make the worse appear the better and vice versa. Companies often use euphemisms which are inoffensive terms substituted for offensive ones to create messages with less sting. Companies engage in “downsizing,” “right-sizing,” or even “bright-sizing.”

 For example, Mercedes uses this car commercial to make their “used” cars appear almost just as good as their new cars. They do not used the word “used” in this commercial, instead they use the term “certified pre-owned” because it sounds more appealing to a potential customer that is looking to buy their car.  I think a customer is more likely to be interested in buying a “used” care if the car dealer is using the term “pre-owned.” I think the target audience of this advertisement is anyone in the market for purchasing a luxury car but does not want to pay the full price for a brand new car, so they are looking into certified pre-owned cars.


Ultimate Terms: #LikeAGirl Campaign

Ultimate terms are words or phrases that are highly revered, widely accepted, and carry special power in a culture. Charismatic terms is a type of an ultimate term. People in the business worlds are fond of using ultimate terms as persuasion devices. For instance, the word empowerment is a modern – day charismatic term on which marketers and advertisers have capitalized. Products and services that promise to empower people have become unavoidable.

The #LikeAGirl campaign is a great example of the use of an ultimate term, in particular a charismatic term. This campaign is all about women’s empowerment and showing that doing anything, like running, throwing, etc. “like a girl” is not a bad thing because if you are a girl that is how you do those things. However, our society has put a negative connotation behind “running like a girl and throwing like a girl” and this campaign is saying that just because you are girl does not mean you are bad at doing these types of things.

This advertisement played during the Super Bowl for the first time. Because of this I think the target audience is not only girls but it is also targeting men to show what the words “like a girl” actually mean to women and how it is an insult.

This commercial can also be applied to the Attachment Theory in Chapter 14. This theory is when people develop emotional ties to specific brands (Thomson, MacInnis, & Park, 2005). When watching this commercial, I got emotional and I am sure when men watch it, they can also get emotional because they do not realize how much of an insult these words are and how much of an impact they have on young girls.



Political Correctness: Freedom of Speech

Political correctness is all about being nonoffensive. Political correctness refers to issues of inclusive speech and advocacy of nonracist and nonsexist terminology (Hoover & Howard, 1995). Although political correctness is relevant to a wide range of contexts and topics, including issues of gender, race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status.

In this ad, a man holding a sign reading “death to abortions,” a white supremacist, and a Nazi are lined up at a “Free Speech Complaints” booth. The law says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech to American people. However, these people may be offensive to certain groups of people but under the law they have the right to say whatever they want.

Political correctness seeks to put boundaries on offensive speech and behavior, but there is the risk that such boundaries are likely to be determined by the personal beliefs and values of those in power. This means that the definition of what is offensive can change with each group that comes into power.


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