Advertisingplays a critical function in the competitive marketing of the modernworld (Terkan 239). Advertisements perform both communicative andcreative functions. The communicative aspect entails informingpotential clients about the existence of a particular product. Thecreative aspect, conversely, draws individuals to the market. Thechallenges of the ever expanding market have prompted companies toseek ways of tuning their marketing strategies, with the intention ofmaking these strategies more relevant to the needs of thecontemporary world. Lexus has adopted this approach to marketing, asrevealed by its “going green” advertisement.
Lexus’advertisement makes clear that “Solving tomorrow’s problemstoday” is the primary concern of the company (WordPress).The allegation of this statement is that the cars (Hybrid) that Lexusmanufactures provide a logical solution to one of the most seriousglobal threats in the 21stcentury. The advertiser thus appeals to logos of consumers based onthe assumption they are rational. The information revealed in thebottom left part of the image reveals that the car under review is aHybrid. Intelligent consumers are more likely “process and evaluatethe advertisement more deeply” (Yeh, Wang & Huang, 2014, p.223) using both the provided information and any that may be missing.There a website of the manufacturer is provided as it providesadditional information to assist potential buyers in making theirdecisions. Such detailed information, could, for instance, relate tostatistics on emissions, engine power, fuel efficiency, and speed.This assertion means that the car is more economical, in terms offuel and electric efficiency.
Thead also reveals that the “hybrid” car uses less fuel and thus itis friendlier to the environment. This allegation applies ethos as away of appealing to the consumer who cares about the wellbeing of theenvironment. The company establishes its grounding by developing abackground that emphasizes this viewpoint the maize stalks and windturbines back the allegations forwarded by Lexus. Conventional fossilfuel-powered vehicles account for over 20% of global air pollutionwith about 25% of these vehicles contributing to about 90% of thisamount (EPA 2016). Ideally, combustion of fossil fuels in vehicularengines produces exhaust fumes with the main one being carbondioxide, which happens to have greenhouse effect leading to globalwarming and climate change. Therefore, efforts to prevent globalwarming and fight climate must seek to reduce the use of fossil fuelswithout necessarily sacrificing too much in lifestyle therebypositioning hybrid vehicles as the ultimate solution.
Thecompany also positions the aesthetically appealing car against thegreenery as a way of appealing to emotions (pathos). The premisebehind this decision is that green cars do not have to look odd orout of place. In essence, the combination of aesthetic appeal andenvironmental wellbeing brings to the fore an automotive that canmeet the needs of a comfortable and safe means of transport and alsoresponsive to the issue of global warming and sustainability. TheLexus brand is associated with luxury, comfort, and quality whichallow the manufacturer to price goods at a premium. Thus consumersmake purchase decision not solely based on the advertisers’ effortsbut rather how they feel about themselves and the product and howwell such a product/service symbolizes their self-perception or theimage they want to portray. In this case, buyers who feel that theLexus hybrid model matches with their identity, then they will buyit.
Anotheraspect that the advert utilizes is the marketing of a status symbolas a responsible consumer. Some consumers may be interested in buyingsuch a hybrid car not because they are interested in the actualeffect of such technologies on the environment, but rather portraythemselves as conscientious individuals eager to conserve theenvironment (Solomon 404). Ideally, “the competitive nature ofdemocratic societies breeds a desire for social distinction, ayearning to rise above the crowd” (Solomon 403). In so doing, thevehicles changes from being a fuel-efficient and environmentallyfriendly vehicle to being a signifier of their place in society asecologically responsible individuals.
Furtherto that, the image of the car is placed time-space dimension tocapture a changing world and movement of some sorts (kairos). Inparticular, the logo of Lexus has been positioned all over the imagewith the intention of showing its place as the world moves towardsconserving the environment (WordPress).Since the emblem is placed on the areas that have, for an extendedperiod, been associated with pollution, the consumers view thecompany as being environmentally conscious. The positioning of thelogo also hints at the future of the green technology. The directionof the car appears to be one moving the geothermal plant and theturbines, technologies that have, for a long time, been associatedwith clean energy, which implies that these resources may have fueledthe car. Finally, the automobile has been placed at the center of thegreenery. This depiction reveals that Lexus believes in promotingenergy sustaining initiatives.
Onthe contrary, there are claims that Hybrid vehicles may contribute toeven more harmful emissions as well as the fact the cost of thesevehicles is prohibitive. Toyota Motors, which is the parent firm ofLexus, has in the past admitted that production of hybrid andelectric vehicles takes longer and results in higher emissionscompared to fossil fuel-powered vehicles. This is mainly becausethese vehicles are made with more advanced components. Batteries ontheir part utilize heavy metals such as lead that which have agreater negative environmental impact upon disposal. The complicatedmanufacturing process also results in higher prices that make thevehicles uncompetitive and inaccessible to the larger masses.Nonetheless, these claims are not true. Given that conventionalgas-powered vehicle utilize batteries with heavy metals means thatthey are no more harmful in that area. Additionally, hybrid vehiclesconserve more energy that would have been lost in other cases such asduring breaking. The claimed higher cost of these cars has been goingdown significantly with enhancement in technology and increased massproduction (EPA). The cumulative savings on fuel also cancels out thehigher cost of these vehicles in the long term. Thus, the fears overuse of hybrid vehicles are not valid.
Fromthe points raised above, it is clear that the marketers of Lexus haveapplied the right rhetorical devices in persuading consumers to buythe hybrid car. Essentially, the advert appeals to ethos by includingelements associated with environmental conservation alongside thecar. The advert also appeals to emotions by highlighting brand of thecar in recognition of emotions and its associations in the market.All in all, the advert strategically highlights the concept of theenvironment conservation and the brand’s strong name as way ofpersuading consumers to buy the car.
EPA(2016) “Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” EnvironmentProtection Agency.
Solomon,Jack. Masters of desire: the culture of American advertising.
Terkan,Remziye, Importance of Creative Advertising and Marketing Accordingto University
Students’Perspective. InternationalReview of Management and Marketing 4, No. 3, 2014, pp.239-246.
Universityof Louisville, What are logos, ethos, pathos, and kairos? 10/02/2016.Web. n.d.
WordPress,Lexus ad: Advertisement Blog. 10/02/2016. Web.
Yeh,Lifen, Eric Wang and Sheue-Ling Huang, “A Study of Emotional andRational Purchasing
Behaviorfor Online Shopping,” OnlineCommunities and Social Computing,vol. 4564, 2007, pp. 222-227.