Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Aristotle believed that effective communication incorporated “the ability, in each particular case, to see the available means of persuasion.” The three main forms of rhetoric are Ethos, Logos and Pathos.

Ethos is based upon the reputation of the speaker.
Logos is based upon sound logical reasoning.
Pathos is based upon emotional appeal.

People do not make spontaneous decisions based upon facts. Think of the last time you bought shampoo. People are driven by the smaller, unnoticed details that have been tweaked to trigger and affect the subconscious.

Brand reputation is one component. It develops the ethos, as does an actor dressed as a doctor. You can win someone over with pseudo-scientific logic. But it is the emotional appeal that comes from the creative that seals the deal. People want to be spoken to personally, even if it’s nonsense, because in a fast-paced, time-starved, heuristically-driven world, decision making is not about what is right and wrong, but about how it makes you feel.


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