Rhetoric in Video Content

One of my favorite parts of my job is the ability to spread helpful information and make brands feel personal. Brands aren’t *solely* in the business of making money. An integral part of brand success in the current economic climate is to build brand equity.

Being seen as approachable, relevant, helpful, and even caring goes a long ways to creating loyalty.

How does that translate to video content?

Video content, like any other type of content, can serve the purpose of increasing brand awareness, involvement, or have a specific call to action.

There are three primary forms of rhetoric: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. In case you haven’t thought about rhetoric since your freshman year speech class, here’s a brief reminder on what these are.

Ethos is an ethical appeal, trying to appeal to someone via credibility of the speaker.

Pathos is an emotional appeal, and uses language to create a moral dilemma for the audience.

Logos is a logical appeal, and tries to convince the audience with facts, science, or reason.

A comedic GIF from The Office

Working rhetoric into a video sounds harder than it is. Let’s make our English professors proud, and dissect our recent Hot Car PSA as to how rhetoric can impact the success of video content. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can view it below!

The Hot Car PSA serves multiple purposes: it makes Evolve Pet Food a reputable source for all things related to your pet’s health, and it works as a brand awareness introduction piece. Several rhetorical appeals are made during the video to make this all function.

Ethos: Evolve Pet Food used licensed veterinarian, Dr. Matt Wall from Brentwood Veterinary Clinic as the spokesperson for the video. Dr. Wall also shared insight as to what you can do if you encountered the situation, creating take-aways for the users. We intentionally sought out a veterinarian for this video as opposed to a football player, or other celebrity, so that we could benefit from Dr. Wall’s ethos as a speaker.

Pathos: The emotional aspect of leaving your dog in a hot car leads to a high viral potential. People can either feel anger over the fact that others leave their pets in hot cars, and share the video as a result. Or, they can feel happy that someone made a video on what to do if you see a pet in the hot car, and share it. Either way, an emotional response is triggered.

We would advise to have your community management team on standby while using a Pathos appeal. The emotional nature of the video can cause arguments in the comments, and you’ll want to make sure no one crosses any lines. See below gif for appropriate community management techniques.

A funny GIF illustrating community management.

Logos: Even if someone isn’t emotionally affected by the thought of a dog suffering in a hot car, the facts of the matter cannot be disputed. Dr. Wall did an excellent job communicating the health effects of leaving a dog unattended in a vehicle, which include anxiety, dilated blood vessels, and more, which leads to heat strokes. This logical appeal is the final piece to an effective video campaign.

Every video concept is different, but I would encourage users to evaluate their video scripts for these appeals. If you aren’t interacting with users in one of these ways, it may be wise to think about the purpose of the video and how you can incorporate rhetoric in an effective way. In a noisy world, being the brand that helps people effectively is one way to build brand equity.

Are you utilizing rhetoric in video concepts to your full potential? If your brand wants to develop rapport in their online presence, we’d love to hear from you. 

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