Marketing Street Culture

In “Marketing Street Culture,” Marc Spiegler who is the rhetor, made this rhetorical essay a success in many ways. Marc clearly supports one side in his essay the whole time. Spiegler’s hypothesis is that corporations can identify and sell authenticity if they have a more sophisticated understanding of the social processes involved in achieving authenticity. In order for corporations to sell their products they must understand how hip hop culture, which spreads from housing projects to rural environments can affect their sales. Spiegler is trying to persuade the audience who could be almost any one who is interested in “Marketing Street Culture”. Marc relies on survey data gathered by marketing or trend watching firms to offer an analysis of what makes white suburban youth willing consumers. In this essay there is a lot of appeal to logos, ethos, and pathos that makes this very persuasive to the reader. The essay gives a lot of facts about surveyed data, gives names to a lot of marketing companies, big name rappers, and also some emotional tragedies that people can probably identify with. “Marketing Street Culture” is a rhetorical success because it can appeal to logos, ethos, and pathos.

The facts provided in this article make it very convincing for the reader to be persuaded just by logos. Spiegler believes that celebrities have a lot of power to convince the consumer to buy their products. By spring 1993, 80 percent of teens favored the style which Marky Mark wore in the famous Calvin Klein magazine ads. The data here relates to logos by showing facts that Spiegler researched from books and magazines. Spiegler provides data to show how marketing techniques such as advertising can persuade a teen to buy products. The use of logos makes Spiegler’s character more credible. If corporations can see the facts they are more likely to believe Spiegler’s research. I believe Spiegler is very good with the data he gives in his article, he also says, “In 1993, about a year after “YO! MTV Raps” hit cable, more than six in ten teens aged 12 to 19 rated hip hop music as “in,” according to Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU) of Northbrook, Illinois.” As you can see Marc is showing how a mainstream audience can easily be influenced by what is on a television show like MTV because of what is “in”. I agree with this because most people who watch T.V. are easily influenced by what they see. The author can appeal to reason with many facts to read from the essay which makes it a more persuasive paper. I can easily remember a time I’ve watched MTV, listened to the song, and bought the CD. Spiegler is asserting that if a mainstream audience watches a popular show which can market its products well, then the audience will buy more products.

Although the appeals to logos are essential to this article, Spiegler has just as many appeals to ethos to convince the audience that corporations can identify and sell authenticity if they have a more sophisticated understanding of the social processes involved in achieving authenticity. Spiegler shows how fashion has changed because mainstream rappers wear expensive designer clothes today like Gucci or Versace. Sputnik Misdom says that, “All the rock and grunge styles have stayed the same, but hip hop always has a lot of styles coming out.” Before people used to wear Hilfiger because of Marky Mark, now people don’t see him as trendy, they see puff daddy as trendy. Also, an appeal to authority is here. By Spiegler giving us all this information we can trust Spiegler’s character. He has gone out and interviewed people who know what they are talking about, and is bringing it to a mainstream audience. Corporations see that Spiegler is going out there and doing his research on “Marketing Street Culture.” Misdom, and puff daddy are very respectable people in the hip hop world that people will listen to them and follow them. Spiegler shows the corporations this by getting interviews from Sputnik Misdom. Sputnik Misdom is the hip hop culture emphasis on innovative fashion and shows marketers the strongest selling points for teens. By Spiegler doing interviews he is building his credibility with audience and making his appeal to ethos even stronger. I strongly would agree with Spiegler getting her into this paper because she has so much knowledge and wisdom. She is basically the guru for hip hop selling points. Spielger is using an appeal to ethos again, but in a different way. When he talks about Sputnik, Puff Daddy, and Marky Mark he is showing the appeal to authority and how it can influence the way people act or think. If people saw puff daddy wearing a new style of clothing, the chance of consumers buying it is pretty good. The reason for this is because what these rap icons or any other celebrities are doing is wearing what it is “in” or mainstream.

The appeal to pathos makes this essay successful because the audience has a way to identify with the emotions of mainstream icons. Spiegler makes the audience feel they have a connection with at least something in this article. “The Source, Vibe, and Rap Pages” are good places for local players to be mentioned says Spiegler. Of course if someone from your home town made it big time, then you would think that you have just as much of a shot. The reader believes that they can identify with this character because they came from the same neighborhood or had the same values. Spiegler is showing the audience identification which is essential in this article. If you knew someone who got shot maybe you can connect to Biggie Smalls or Tupac. In the article Spiegler brings up a depressing time in hip hop. Haven’t we all had a depressing times where we knew some one who had died? I don’t believe he is trying to make the audience feel depressed, but just trying to connect with them to grab their attention. This connects also with appeal to emotion, this part of the essay that Spiegler is making the audience feel some some way. Emotions like depressed or sad are good ones to use because the audience can definitely connect to it.

The reason for the rhetorical success of this essay is the strong appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos. Spiegler makes so many connections to make to the audience. Spiegler’s gathering of facts, appeal to authority, and appeal to emotion are very detailed through out this essay. It makes him so credible that corporations are looking for someone who can help them with “Marketing Street Culture.” It is almost impossible not to appeal to one of these three things. Spiegler persuades and convinces the audience, that marketers and firms can sell their product with an in-depth research by gathering as much information as possible. Whether it is surveys or interviews I strongly believe Spieglers article about “Marketing Street Culture” is a rhetorical success in many ways.

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