Strong is Beautiful

“I hate my butt, my hips, my thighs, my legs, my shoulders, my knees. My butt is too big, my thighs are too fat, my legs are too long, my shoulders are too broad, my hips are too wide, and my knees are too bruised. I hate my body.” Millions of young women have problems with self-body image. Nearly every person in the world sees flaws in his or her own body, but it’s the self-hate that can bring someone down. Instead of seeing the beauty in the differences of one’s figure, a good percentage of the population turns to hating his or her own body and communicating that through emotional and physical harm.My Shoulders It is a common occurrence among the athletic portion of the world, especially the female athletes to self-hate on the body that she has created for herself. In a world driven by the media’s perception of beauty, where the only accepted beauty comes in the form of a size 00 model, Nike comes through and shows young athletes it is okay for a woman to work hard and build muscle. Nike for Women’s message in the ad campaign is to show young athletes and women that any strong body is a perfect body.

Ad campaigns come in many forms. Some companies choose to run a campaign with a series of the same athlete selling one specific product, while others choose to do one ad per product. Nike tries to connect with the “average” person through using non-famous figures. In the case of the Nike for Women campaign, Nike uses large standout images of women’s body parts, which are often problem areas for women, as the main focal point of each ad in the series. The primary focus of the ad is to portray to athletes that athletics do not make one ugly, bruises and muscle tone are a sign of hard work. A few of the ads reinforce the idea that it is important to be proud of the body you have, there are body parts people can’t change including the size of one’s hips and the length of one’s legs. It is important to just be proud and love the body you have been given. No two bodies are ever going to be exactly the same and Nike tries to encourage all women to love her own personalized body.

The company attempts to attack the viewer’s self-esteem by targeting the major problem body parts of a woman’s figure. This is an attempt to create the idea amongst the target audience, women, that females who wear Nike have a better self-image. The ad campaign appeared in several publications including Seventeen, a magazine geared toward young girls typically between the ages of 13 and 19. Seventeen has a current campaign which aims to create a positive self-body image amongst its readers. Nike’s campaign was able to appear side-by-side with Seventeen’s “Body Peace Project”.

Nike has established credibility through its own long-term customer base. Nike for Women is a more recently added product line. The idea created by the corporation was revolutionary. At the time it first appeared on the market it was one of a kind, the very first line designed with just women in mind. In athletics, women typically come second to men, and Nike creates the relationship that women are just as good as men and are not second-best in athletic training. The products designed for the new line are created with a women’s body in mind and allow for more comfort and form appeal. The alterations made to the previous models of clothes include: more padding in the soles of the shoes, wider sneakers, or stronger sports bras. The popular enterprise designs with specific needs in mind and always put the customer first. The company does not only create one size and expect its customers to fit only one mold. Nike understands that women come in all different shapes and sizes and the company believes that any size is beautiful.

The campaign is not only addressing the main issue of improving self-body image amongst women in general; it also focuses on the smaller issue such as the fact that athletes are going to be bigger than the typical “thin” person due to the element that he or she works out and creates muscle mass on his or her body. This idea is common throughout the athletic community, mainly the female population, because of the fact that certain clothing brands don’t fit over “fat” thighs, “plump” hips, “broad” shoulders, or “junk in the trunk”. It can be easy for a female to fall into an eating disorder to slim down and lose a few pounds, but Nike shows women that athletic bodies are just as beautiful as a non-athletic figure.

There is an old sexist statement, “women can’t play sports” often causes some women to shy away from being athletic. The physicality of female sports can be intimidating for any man and is often the cause for this sexist statement. The idea that some women can take on a man is threatening to the male. There are several fallacies of emotion that the ad campaign targets including the idea that bruises are ugly and girls who have them are ugly as well or untouchable or unmarryable, as seen in the ad about “My Knees”. Bruises simply show one is tough. Girls need to be happy with their own body; negatively downing something they have created causes more emotional stabilization problems than it is worth. Any girl’s body is beautiful; any girl can play any sport just as well as any boy, and muscle on a girl means that she is tough and focused on a goal.

Body image is a hard topic to cover in print. Creating one visual that appeals to all people in the population is nearly impossible, but Nike makes every attempt to create a campaign to promote positive body image and body respect to women athletes. The images and words combined in the campaign portray the message of self-respect. Athletes are powerful and therefore need a powerful body to support the strong mental attitude. The colors of the ads are pink and purple in an attempt to connect to the female target audience. In the ad focusing on the knees, the words are slanted in the way a knee bends. In the ad concentrating on the shoulders, the words are curved like the back of a female or the curve of a shoulder. My ButtThe words in the My Butt ad curve and form a backwards C just as a round butt curves. To go along with the placement of the words, the designs of the pictures are meant to represent any woman. The viewer’s eyes are immediately drawn to the bodily feature being defined, in hopes of inspiring the observer. The ads contain no faces or recognizable features of anyone besides the assets that are the center of focus for the ad. For example, in the ad concentrating on the thighs, the model’s shorts are extremely short accentuating the extremely defined muscles in her thighs. The ad for strong legs enhances the strength of a pair of long legs. Everything in the ad is placed with a purpose, from the slant of a word to the colors in the background. Placement means everything. Specific visuals are a key component to any ad campaign and Nike’s My Body campaign is no different. Each ad is specifically designed to create a positive image in the viewer’s mind about that particular body part.

My LegsThe belief that any shape or size is beautiful is not just an idea sponsored by Nike for Women; it is also sponsored by the entire Nike Company. This can be seen through the Just Do It slogan appearing at the end of each poem on each ad. The slogan “Just Do It” is the main company slogan that appears on nearly every ad campaign sponsored by Nike. Just Do It gives every female the empowerment to go out and do her best everyday no matter what sport, training, job, or day to day activity it is.

The beauty of this ad campaign is that it can run all year long because anyone can train at any given point during the year. Nike has developed products that fit the needs of women training in any weather condition. The beauty of athletic training is one can always cross-train indoors or put a jacket on and run outside; there are always ways to be active. Nike gear allows anyone (with any body type) to be given the opportunity to be an athlete and love the body they have been given.

Negative body image is a huge issue all over the world especially in the United States. Millions of people, a large percentage of which are women, struggle with poor self-image. Nike strives to create a positive image for all women through its My Body campaign, sponsored by Nike for Women. The series shows that having bruises proves one is

My Thighs

tough, sculpted shoulders are not something to hide in large baggy sweatshirts but something to be proud of and show to the world. The connections Nike makes to tug at the emotions of woman are countless the main point is that curves define a woman, no two bodies are going to be the same, but every body is beautiful. Women need to stop self-hating on every flaw they see on their bodies. Hard work deserves praise, not disapproval, especially by one’s self. Through the Nike for Women ad campaign, Nike attempts to create the idea that every figure is beautiful.

My Knees

Nike: A Brand Audit

A company I have always had a strong passion for is Nike. The company has continued to define industry standards for over forty years. They have built an empire on campaigns like “Just Do It” and “If you have a body, you are an athlete”.

Nike #Gameonworld (Social Media)

The Nike #Gameonworld challenge, dares people to get up and be active. Of course it is also endorsing the new Nike+ systems that pair shoes with apps to measure individual’s progression and conditioning. The target audience is athletes, which in Nike’s mind is everyone. Game on NikeBut the main focus for this campaign is those athletes that want to show off their stats to themselves, their friends, their community, and the world. Nike+ challenges people to do more so they can post about it on social media, to essentially brag about the number of push-ups they can do or the speed in which they can run. I feel that this campaign was executed very well. The packages in which the new Nike+ systems are sold feature the description of the missions people can join, as well as, when the apps are downloaded people can have a demo of the different things they can do with them. This falls in synergy with Nike as a brand because the names of the missions tie together popular Nike brands, symbols, Nike sponsored athletes, and give people a chance to get up and get moving and show off their stats.

Fast is Faster (NFL) (Television)

It is no secret the NFL is sporting new Nike jersey’s this season. The jerseys have caused a little bit of controversy which has been slightly over shadowed by the referee problems the NFL has faced this season. Some athletes have stated the jerseys are too tight and extremely difficult to get on. But regardless of the physical problems jerseys may have, Nike created a unique commercial which features multiple popular NFL players including Calvin Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, Larry Fitzgerald, Alex Smith, LeSean McCoy and several others. Fast is Faster - NikeThe voiceover of the commercial states, “This game is not fast. This game is faster. Strong is no longer strong. Fast is the new strong. Lungs are jet engines. End zones are scorched.” There is more included in the commercial but the message is clear, the game has changed and now the uniforms have too. This was a successful campaign which continues to get publicity every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday as NFL games are played. It was also successful based on the timing of the commercial launch which took place during the NFL draft in April 2012. This was perfect timing because NFL fans all have their eyes glued to the television during the draft (at least the first and second rounds). Nike ran the introductory commercial during the break between the first and second draft picks when the highest number of people are watching. This launch created a buzz and fans could not wait to get their favorite players jersey in the new design. This campaign fell right in step with Nike’s #gameonworld campaign because though it was not challenging people to get up and move; it was saying the game was changing and fast and the fans needed to be prepared.

Fast is Faster Nike

Legends Run Forever (Print Ad)

Some of the best advertisements can be the advertisements a company never plans on making. During the London Olympics, Nike received a lot of controversy for running ads that featured their sponsored Olympians, though Nike is not an official Olympic sponsor. Paula Radcliffe, a Nike sponsored athlete since 2000 was set to run in the Olympic marathon, until she was sidelined with a foot injury and forced to withdraw from the London games. Nike: rolls out Paula Radcliffe adThough Radcliffe was not an American athlete ( she ran for Great Britain), Nike quickly pulled together a campaign that contained the slogan “Legends Run Forever”. The ad was run in black and white and had perfect timing with the closing of the Olympic Games and the feelings of loss and success, winning and failures, and the announcement of multiple retirements still fresh in everyone’s minds. The ad also holds true to the synergy of Nike as a company and connects the athletic community. You are an athlete for life; it is a lifestyle not just a hobby.

Nike = Innovation

Nike SwooshWhen I think of innovation, I think of one thing, Nike.  There is no denying that Nike is an innovative and world leading company in both design and creativity for sports apparel.  Nike has served as the number one sports apparel company since the mid to late 80s and has continued to shock the world with each new product design.  The creative team of designers, developers, and marketers has come up with winning product campaigns, time after time.  To Nike it was always about the mind of the athlete, the body of the athlete, and helping the athlete be the best that they could be.  Nike was an athletic driven company that wanted to help athletes all over the world improve and reach new limits every day.


It is hard to imagine a world without Nike.  It is not surprising to me to know that Nike was founded by athletes for athletes.  The original founders were Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight.  Both were track runners.  According to, Phil Knight essentially created the market for running shoes.  But people would often ask how did he do it?  Well, he made athletes believe, to be a serious athlete you have to have the right equipment, his and Nike’s.  After getting the athletes on board, he turned his product into the “it” thing to have and convinced the remaining non-athletes to buy into the company.

Knight was the young track star, coached under Bowerman and while at the University of Oregon, ran a 4:13 mile (  Track was in both founders blood.  They were committed to designing the most innovative track shoes to push the limits of their passion-filled sport.  Even today as a basketball athlete I know that almost every single athlete has to own a pair of running shoes to train outside of their sport, Nike just capitalized on that market like no one else, in my opinion, had.    The Mission of Nike

Sources of Innovation  

A great product comes from passion.  Bowerman and Knight had a shared passion for running and innovation.  They understood the mind of an athlete, the body of an athlete, and the passion an athlete can have.  They also understood that the world of athletics is constantly evolving as research becomes available and knew they needed to stay up to date with the latest trends and research to fit in to the athletic world.  They believed in doing research in house and studying real athletes.  The pair wanted to understand what athletes want in a product for their sport, so they turned to applied research.  Nike developed their own research lab known as the Nike Sports Research Lab (NSRL) to which few outsiders are allowed in (Newcomb).  Inside the lab they do personal interviews with athletes to understand the mind of today’s athlete, as well as, physical tests to understand motion and feel and the reactions of athletes (Cushioning Explained: Nike Lunarlon).  I believe that it is important to understand your market before you try and create for that market.  In my opinion after conducting my research, Nike is one of the best companies at doing applied research.  The research lab is probably one of the coolest things I have ever studied and now have a better understanding for Nike’s passion for its consumers.

Running shoes were the company’s first product.  They were designed for athletes with runners in mind.  In order to create the Nike Lunarlon, and design the best product the company could develop, they performed a series of tests to understand how the body would react to the samples and made changes.  They studied different pressure points in the foot; in order to, displace the pressure running can place on particular areas of the foot.  I believe that the dominant light weight design lead to the creation of a signature product that developed into an empire.  Bowerman and Knight did not set off wanting to create an empire; they saw an opportunity to help athletes with their passion and took it.  This in my mind is extremely important; you rarely find success in things you are not passionate about.  To find your calling, you must be driven by passion. Nike Shoe


The Nike Inc. strategy was to create products for athletes designed with the athletes (consumer) in mind.   The company took risks when risks were not always popular in businesses.  They designed with passion and detail in mind, rather than dollar signs in front of their eyes.  I believe that that mentality drove their success.  Athletes want to feel like the products they are using are designed with them in mind, not something that was mass produced with little thought.  Nike products allow users to feel like way.

Nike’s strategy did not just end as customers would hope it would.  Nike had a main goal to produce their goods cheaply since the process of production required fairly little skill, Nike was able to acquire a large unskilled labor force in Asia to aid in the manufacturing process (Nike- Managing).  The design and modeling/pattern making phases could take place in house by the team assemble at Nike.  Followed by molding of soles, cutting materials, lasting, stitiching, finishing, inspection, and packaging could all be done cheaply with the help of unskilled labor.  Nike then placed staff members at their contract factories.  These workers were in charge of reporting back between Headquarters and the Research and Development team and the factories.  See Problems for more information about the unskilled labor at Nike.

Porter’s Five Forces

Degree of Existing Rivalry – When getting down to the specifics of the Nike running shoe, Nike is the industry’s leader in the athletic footwear market.  Companies like Under Armour, New Balance, Adidas, and Reebok all hold a smaller share of the athletic footwear market.  I believe that with the current competitors of Nike, no one with the exception of Under Armour, can compete with Nike in the sport specific athletic shoe market.  In my opinion, athletes come to Nike to get a shoe designed for their sporting needs and then find additional products at the store.  I understand that there will always be competition within industries, but for me and I believe that most runners will agree, Nike will always be the leader in running shoes.

Threat of Potential Entrants – The running shoe has been around longer than Nike has but the company was the one (in my opinion) to modernize the athletic shoe market.  To change the way things had been done in the past and customize shoes on a sport by sport basis.  The Nike Empire was built for its customers and stood by the idea that athletics are constantly evolving and athletes need a company to grow with their desires and needs.  Their buyer loyalty towards the signature swoosh helps create an entry barrier for potential entrants.  Fun fact, Nike only paid $35 to have the signature swoosh designed (Gunderson).  With the big five (Nike, Under Armour, Reebok, Adidas, and New Balance) in shoe manufacturers holding a majority of the market shares; potential entrants are hesitant to attempt to enter into the athletic footwear market.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers – Nike is a company built on good relationships and products that have a lasting quality to meet the needs of all athletes regardless of sport, fitness level, or competition strength.  Shoes in general are built out of basic materials, including rubber and leather; suppliers have little bargaining power over prices, as these are manufactured into something else and the warehouse.

Bargaining Power of Buyers – Brand loyalty is a staple of Nike’s company.  Customers choose to buy from Nike based on what they grew up with.  It is often innate for Nike loyalists to go to purchase a Nike shoe over that of its competitors.  These loyalists dictate a lot of things and can alter Nike’s success if they are not happy.  Nike has to think twice before discontinuing or changing popular products.  Nike loyalist grow accustom to certain things and when things are altered it can either work in Nike’s favor or be a negative (shoppers may choose to go to a rival and purchase their like merchandise and cause a loss for Nike.  Buyers also have the power to dictate price.  Nike offers a high quality and moderately priced good to the masses.  In terms of Nike running shoes, their prices on, averaged typically between $80 and $100.  This is in comparison to Under Armour which ran from approximately $100 to $120.  I will never not be brand loyal to Nike but I know and recognize that there are other brands out there for sale.  I was having problems with my feet last year and was told I should try a pair of New Balance running shoes because they are better for people with extremely high arches like I have.  I bought them but I have only worn them once because I am convinced they hurt my feet.  I know deep down they do not but because they are not Nike there has to be something wrong with them.  For me however, I do not know if I will ever be able to fully accept another brand, at least when it comes to my athletic shoes.

Threat of Substitutes – Nike is a globally recognized brand for athletic shoes. Athletes from all over the world will be sporting Nike shoes during the Olympic track and field competitions.  In most athletic competitions (on-land) it is recognized that one must where shoes.  One threat of substitute could be going without shoes, I recognize that there will always be the latest research going on that says that running barefoot is better for this or that.  However, dry-land athletes, I believe, will want to protect their feet and will always need shoes.    Nike’s design will continue to change the sport of running for the better, creating a lighter design that will help athletes dig deeper and reach for their dreams.

Introducing the World to Nike         

The original idea for Nike came from a research paper that Knight wrote at Stanford.  But the timing of Nike could not have been better.  The first New York City marathon was planned in 1970, this started a national running culture.  As Nike emerged to the world in 1971, the new runners of the world needed a shoe that was going to power their run. Runners began turning to Nike for their shoes because it was a company for athletes created by athletes.  Runners could relate to a company that was created by runners because they felt the design would be running focused and they were right.  The 1972 and 1976 Olympics were the press that Nike needed to continue its new found success (Gunderson).  Nike started out so many years ago as a shoe manufacturer and I believe that despite their continued expansion they have continued to return to their first product, running shoes.

 Dominant Design

The running shoe was not a new piece of technology.  Running has been around since (hypothetically) the beginning of time.  Nike was the company that put running back on the map.  Their continued innovation and drive to produce a better product for athletes made the company a popular favorite of many athletes; whether they were professionals, Olympians, everyday citizens just starting out, young or old, Nike drove the phrase, “if you have a body, you are an athlete”.  As the times changed, and as athletics developed into a cultural phenomenon, Nike had to evolve to make their athletes better.

In 1979, Air Technology was implemented into the Tailwind running shoe. The new technology was the first of its kind.  The original technology was created in an insert form according to the article Cushioning Explained: Nike Air.  The technology was then transformed into a patented process by Frank Rudy which placed dense gas-filled plastic membranes inside the sole of the running shoe to provide a cushiony light feeling to athletes (History of Nike).  It was an “air revolution” in the world of sports.  This was a large step towards athletic training and running becoming more comfortable for the athletes.  The air technology was placed in multiple models of Nike’s shoes and continued to advance the way athletes trained.  As the technology evolved it became lighter and provided more cushioning adding additional comfort.   The innovative Air technology allowed for smoother transitions and quicker responsiveness.   I believe that Nike’s dominant design powered their work and increased sales driving them to the top of the industry.  People want the latest and most innovative and that is what Nike promised them.

Who is Involved?

Nike is home to many different types of workers.  One can start with the designers.  The team has created product after product that challenged the way people think about sports.  The factory workers are the shoe manufacturers.  Unfortunately most of these workers are paid below the cost of living and are working extensive hours (see Problems for more information).  Then there is the marketing team who has run successful campaigns that have become known all over the world.  Biomedical engineers can be involved in the process because in some cases Nike’s running shoes are designed for a health benefit and based on movement.  These engineers are helpful in understanding motion and the way the body functions.  Electrical engineers are involved in some Nike running shoes.  They have helped create the Nike + system in which a tracker is inserted into your shoe and registers data on your iPod.  Nike contracts hundreds of shops around the world to manufacture its products.  Nike is always on the hunt for mechanical engineers, software engineers, and program management engineers.  There also other areas of engineer that are less assumed including Quality Assurance, Manufacturing, and Development Engineers (Career Areas).  There are countless other engineer types but at Nike they fall under the Shoe Engineer category.  A lot of people make the team run successfully at Nike.  Through my research I was able to find out even more people are involved in making Nike the company everyone sees.


Nike has received a lot of complaints from consumers due to their labor conditions.  Nike is a company that outsources their production to countries such as China and Vietnam, which continue today to be the major countries Nike shoes are made.  Nike also does not own its own factories, it simply pays the price that they set, controls what materials are used, and gives out the design.  The controversial statement Nike used to use was that they were simply the “buyer”.  This has lead to the anti-sweatshop movement and now Nike is forced to take responsibility for their workers who manufacturer their profitable products (Nike FAQs).  The workers in the factories in Southeast Asia receive minimal wages and work large amounts of overtime.  Workers continue to organize labor strikes that Nike often leaves out of company briefs.    After doing my research, I can conclude that there is a lot to Nike that people do not understand because all we are exposed to is the athletic powerhouse.  Although I can see that Nike did raise their standards for working conditions and increased their minimum wage, I can accept that Nike has a long way to go.  For a company that can afford to have everything, they can afford to pay a living wage to the companies factory workers.

Nike is not just a company that is based around running shoes anymore, or even shoes for that matter.  However, when you look at their core values, despite their success, they are still a company whose core competencies lie in innovation and creativity, for athletic sneakers.  Knight was quoted speaking to “I hope nobody ever starts thinking this company is some kind of institution.  We’re still just a bunch of guys selling sneakers.”

Just Do It

Work Cited

Career Areas. (n.d.). NIKE, Inc. . Retrieved July 17, 2012, from

Cushioning Explained: Nike Air. (n.d.). Striperpedia. Retrieved July 16, 2012, from

Cushioning Explained: Nike Lunarlon. (n.d.). Striperpedia. Retrieved July 16, 2012, from

Gunderson, A. (n.d.). Great Leaders Series: Phil Knight, Co-founder of Nike . Small Business Ideas and Resources for Entrepreneurs. Retrieved July 16, 2012, from

History of Nike . (n.d.). KicksOnFire – Sneaker News & Release Dates. Retrieved July 16, 2012, from

Newcomb, T. (n.d.). A Look Inside the Nike Sports Research Lab – Popular Mechanics. Popular Mechanics. Retrieved July 16, 2012, from

Nike FAQs. (n.d.). Global Exchange . Retrieved July 17, 2012, from

Nike – Managing a Non-Market Environment. (1998, May 1).Goodworks International. Retrieved July 17, 2012, from

Women’s Running Shoes. (n.d.). Eastbay. Retrieved July 16, 2012, from

Persuasion in a Digital Era

        Advertising is not a field for the light-hearted.  People are ruthless when they interpret a message they do not like.  Messages can tug at the heart strings, pull at your emotions, instill fear in your mind, draw attention to a worldly issue, or call people to action.  Life is a walking advertisement, and people are simply the pawns in the advertiser’s game to get you to feel a certain way.  Sometimes these advertisers fail and other times they succeed beyond what they ever imagined.

To grab the attention of anyone living in the digital era, advertisers and marketers need to do something that changes the game, stands out in the mind of the receiver, makes the interpreter take a second glance, or sets a new standard.  Today’s world wants to see something different or otherwise the ad is simply lost in the crowd.  Sometimes the best ads are the ones that break the barrier (so to speak) and challenge what we accept as acceptable.

The purpose of this case study is to analyze four potentially successful persuasive advertisements.  Each advertisement utilizes a different technique (other than visually appealing) to attempt to persuade their target market.  In this study, we will analyze persuasive advertisements which use elements of Elaboration Likelihood Model, Charles Larson’s Persuasion: Reception and Responsibility in Cultural Images and Myths, the Narrative Paradigm, and the Cognitive Dissonance Theory; in order to, persuade their expected target market through visual imagery.

Chobani’s Nothing but Long-Term and the Elaboration Likelihood ModelChobani is Natural

Chobani is a company that started as a small business with a team of five people and has grown to employee over 1,200 people in under ten years.  Their primary target for the company is college graduates, who are typically young business professionals between the target ages of 24-40; they probably have one child or more with a household income of at least $75,000.  The typical non-sale price for a single cup of Chobani is roughly $1.20 (that is low balling).  When you break down their target market for this ad and the psychographics they are targeting it comes down to healthy eaters, those that are concerned with eating natural and outdoor families.  Most likely this ad would succeed with more mothers over fathers because typically the women are doing the grocery shopping and looking for healthy options for their families, which are good for the body.  These mothers also want to know they are giving a good quality product to their child and Chobani offers that to its customers, with 2x the protein as regular yogurt and no fat in over half of their products.  You can also identify their products fat level by looking at the percent (0 or 2) that appears on both the front label and top lid.

This is a good advertising example of a persuasive message that utilizes the Elaboration Likelihood Model.  This ad utilizes both the central route and the peripheral route;in order to, advance the persuasion to buy Chobani.  Regarding the central route, this ad gives information and facts to allow the observer to reach their own conclusion about how Chobani is the best yogurt for your body.  Chobani is looking to gain customers for life, so the central route is the most effective.  But because the central route is the more complex route, Chobani knows it may not persuade everyone to be a long-term customer and create a long term change.   The central route is the most effective for this target because they are always looking for a healthy option that will better their families overall health.

But for those that are not persuaded by the central route, Chobani challenges the observers using the peripheral route.  They use the peripheral cue of authority claiming power over the subject matter (Greek Yogurt) to persuade the audience to buy their brand.  The company also shows a commitment to staying natural, unlike other like products, to persuade the target market to want to buy natural as well.

Nike a Cultural ImageEveryone Loses Games. Few Change Them.

Nike is probably one of the best known companies for creating ads that challenge everyone, not just the athletes, because in their words “If you have a body, you are an athlete”.  Nike targets anyone with a body to go beyond what they think they can do physically.  But for this specific ad, they are targeting the sports world; anyone who competes for something, whether individually or as a team.  You do not need to know the story of Oregon State to get a feeling about what they have done.  To me, I know the story, because in a sense, I lived it.  As an active collegiate sports competitor and drive to follow athletes that have the same passion to compete as I do, Oregon State was a prime example of that mentality.  Athletes are the primary targets of this ad because they understand what it means to lose a game.  They know the feeling of lose, disappointment and the quest to get back on track.  The Oregon Ducks were having the season of a lifetime and came so close to being perfect but fell just one game short to Auburn.  Everyone can be motivated to get back in a game, but a loss can either come define you in a negative way or become a catalyst to spark you to get better.  The latter is what drives the true athletes to be better.

Nike made this ad to show the Oregon State team that they as a company were behind them, to not stop believing, that they had made a difference.  So in a sense there were two targets for this ad.  The Oregon State Ducks were one target, calling them out individually.  The second target was the athletes that may not have been a part of the team, but as mentioned above knows what it feels like to lose and have the decision to either rise up or allow failure to define them.  This persuasive message is persuasive because of Charles Larson’s Reception and Responsibility in Cultural Images and Myths.  It applies to the particular portion of his theory that includes the Value of a Challenge and Possibility of Success.  Athletes play the game because there is a winner and loser, everyone wants to win, but if everyone won all the time, the game would not mean as much.  The chance you may lose, offers the challenge that drives athletes to do their best.

The image may be simple when you first look at it, but it is persuasive because it makes the target think about things with a real example, as the Oregon Ducks are.  Some may not see football as life changing, some may not see it as important, but if you cannot relate to football, you can relate to the Value of a Challenge and the Possibility of Success in life.  You can relate it to your daily life, maybe you want to eat healthier but your favorite food is chocolate, so slowly you eat less and less chocolate and in time you are eating healthier.  Or maybe you want to quick smoking, the Possibility of Success can drive you to do better, it can force you to look towards a healthier life as the Goal (Value of the Challenge).   Sometimes just trying to do it is as important as doing it.  You learn from the challenge and that’s the most important part.

Apple’s Narrative ParadigmMac vs. PC

Apple has dramatically changed its advertising and marketing team in the last 20 years.  They adapted to meet the changing culture of the world.  They were one of the first companies (in my opinion) to drastically change their marketing to reach their target market and develop into the “it” technology brand.  Apple’s target market for this advertisement is a large range of people who are in the market for a new computer; however, it is generally the 18 to 30 year olds, typically the college students or young graduates starting out in the professional world.  If one looks deeper, this ad will succeed more with males than females.  The world dictates that males are more technology savvy than females.  However, on the opposite side of the argument could be the words appeal to the female because females tend to excel in organization more.  But Apple is not going to draw the women into reading the ad because the image on the ad is targeted towards men.  People buy Apple products for the name and the quality of the product.  Apple products often come off as a status symbol.  Do you have the Apple Suite of products that all sink up together, as this ad implies, if not you aren’t cool like Justin Long (the Mac guy).  The psychographics of the target market are artsy designers, those interested in starting their own business, individuals interested or working with technology, and those that think outside of the box.

This advertisement is a good example of the narrative paradigm because it tells a story.  Those seeing this print ad will remember the story that was told in the commercials, because it is targeted towards a younger generation who has grown up with television.  The story can be persuading to buy a Mac because as the print ad states, a Mac is ready to go out the box, no loading software and other things like a PC.  In the commercials you get the verbal narration; however, since this is a print ad you can only get the nonverbal elements of narration.  Take the body language for instance, the PC guy looks friendly and very serious while the Mac looks laid back and cool.  Their clothes have two very different styles and to the target a Mac is more relatable, he looks as if he could be a young guy that maybe is in college or just graduated.  Apple lists good reasons to purchase the Mac and lets the message make sense to the observer.  For some people, Apple is the brand they always buy, they value it and are consistently brand loyal, and this ad touches on that buy bringing up the Apple iPod in the text.  In this add the use of imagery draws in the target market and encourages them to read the message about what a Mac can do for them…make their life easier. Pro-Choice

Cognitive Dissonance in Pro-Choice

This image is targeted toward women.  These women may be pregnant, just had a baby, wanting to get pregnant, or not pregnant at all but in general they are women of the modern generation below the age of 40.  Abortion is a different topic than it was 30 years ago.  Pro-Life and Pro-Choice is a huge debate, but more women feel strongly towards the idea of choice now than ever before.  The target audience believes that this is not a choice for a man to pass judgment on.  There are different scenarios to which can be applied to any situation, but this image is telling the world that she and her baby are Pro-Choice; she made the decision to keep her baby.  The viewer’s eye is immediately drawn to the woman’s belly and the message it is trying to convey, every person deserves a choice.  Women are more susceptible to this message because they are the ones that will carry a child, and ultimately make the end decision.  Some women may feel more strongly at times to this message if they have had an abortion or are currently pregnant; this debate will continue to be a hot button issue for many years to come.

This picture creates a cognitive dissonance and instills the sense of guilt in its viewers if they do not feel the same way about Pro-Choice.  It can create the sense of guilt within an observer if they are Pro-Life because Pro-Life means choosing to keep your baby and sometimes Pro-Choice can end in an abortion.  The observer who is Pro-Life may have assumed that anyone who is Pro-Choice will choose abortion but the woman in the picture made the choice to keep her baby, creating a sense of guilt.  Not all people who are pro-choice will choose to abort their baby, but it’s the sense that they have the choice to do what is right for them that makes them choose their side on the long-term issue.  The woman in this picture is saying that her baby will always have the choice.  Those pro-life observers can also feel embarrassment for the same reason listed above.  The fact is that Pro-Choice does not always mean abortion, it can mean life too.  The Pro-Choice party simply wants the choice to choose what is right given the situation.  Unfortunately; in order to, make those Pro-Life people feel better about themselves they may devalue this picture by reducing the credibility of the source or misinterpret the message by claiming that since she kept her baby she is really Pro-Life.  They may also rationalize for the same reason, that she kept the baby so she must be Pro-Life.  Observers can also justify how the baby has not been born yet, so it has not made its choice whether is pro-life or pro-choice.


Some of the best marketing teams spend months on development of their marketing campaigns.  Everything has a purpose in an ad and in order to be effective they have to have a set target market.  Selecting a target market for a given company or product can be one of the most challenging aspects for a company, but it is key to a campaigns success.  As we have seen through the Elaboration Likelihood Model, Charles Larson’s Persuasion: Reception and Responsibility in Cultural Images and Myths, Narrative Paradigm, and the Cognitive Dissonance Theory, marketers use a variety of techniques to target their desired audience and create a persuasive message that lasts in the observers minds.  Through the use of the Elaboration Likelihood Model, the advertiser creates a message that appeals to their target using both the central and peripheral routes.  With the central route, the marketers use facts and information to allow the receiver to come to the conclusion that their product is the best for them, with the ultimate goal being to create a long-term customer.  Using peripheral cues such as authority and commitment to creating the best product, the sender aims to have the message set into the receiver, enough so that they try the product.  Charles Larson’s Persuasion: Reception and Responsibility in Cultural Images and Myths,allows the sender to show the receiver that everyone has the ability to succeed but it’s the challenge that drives human nature to compete and be persuaded to do something.  By using the Narrative Paradigm, the sender allows the receiver to make their own judgment based on good reasons listed by the marketer with ultimate goal of being as clear as possible for the observer. Lastly the marketer can choose to use the Cognitive Dissonance Theory.  This theory challenges the viewer and uses what makes the reader question their beliefs and morals against them; in order to, persuade the audience to think about things differently.  The theory is known for making people uncomfortable. The four theories observed in this case are just some of the strategies marketers use to persuade their target audience and achieve the desired response.