October 4, 2010
Dodge Challenger Rhetorical Analysis
I will be writing my rhetorical analysis on the new Dodge challenger commercial. The commercial makes the augment to obviously buy a dodge challenger but it’s much deeper than that, in this paper I will prove the depth and the other less obvious arguments this commercial makes. The commercial argues that the American car market is back the commercial proves this by showing patriotism, American ideology, and the mean look of a classic American car.
The commercial is about a bunch of British solders lining up against the Americans in the revolutionary war time. At this point in the add all you see is the British lined up you don’t see any Americans yet. Then the viewer hears an engine roar and it cuts to George Washington in an air born Dodge challenger heading straight for the red coats. Then the British scatter and the Yankees win the battle. Then a voice boldly says “two things America got right cars and freedom.
The auto industry is still one of the biggest businesses in the United States but not so much in the last few years with the emerging foreign markets. In fact the auto industry is so big the argument was made that they are too big to fail. That was more a General Motors argument but the auto industry none the less Chrysler (dodge) is still a huge factor when considering the American Auto market. Still though the Chrysler corporation was in big trouble in about 2008 and in the end of 2009 Chrysler took part of the American bailout money 6 billion dollars to be exact. The used the money to offer 0% financing option on their cars, and also used the money to launch a more fuel efficient product line. Part of the terms of the bailout would be that Chrysler have an electric concept car by the end of 2010. In addition to the bailout money that Chrysler also asked for another 6 billion dollars from the department of energy to help with the more energy efficient line of cars.
Later in the year the Obama administration confirmed that Chrysler would not pay back the loan that they took from federal tax payers.
Despite all that I would say that Dodge is making a very strong argument. Dodge uses the classic nature of the vehicle to sell the car. Even though the commercial may not show or display the power ratings of the car it is very fast. Not once does it say the Challenger has 2 engine packages the V6 with 250 horsepower and the V8 with 357 horsepower. The Challenger made a name for itself in the 1960’s as one of the first “pony cars” a term attached to reasonably priced, stylish, sport cars. Just like in the 60’s the pony car is back and even though the commercial doesn’t show it this a fast car the challenger runs the quarter mile in 13.6 seconds and goes 0-60 in 5.1 seconds(St. Antoine,. "2010 ) 13 seconds in the quarter mile is a gold standard for a stock car in that price range.
The American car industry was built in the 1960’s on cars like this, they were crazy popular and everyone was buying them. Back in the 1960’s the car industry was huge but all the popular American cars got terrible gas mileage and in the 1970’s when gas prices sky rocked just like they did a few years ago the American car market began to tank. This commercial shows that the American market is back, along with the Camaro, and the Mustang. These aren’t really the future cars of America but they are the face of the industry. Really though these muscle cars are just a cool symbol for the new era of American cars, the new ere of cars like the Chevrolet Volt that can run completely without gas. The American car industry has wised up and started to make cars that actually get good gas mileage and don’t emit as much of the harmful chemicals the older cars did.
The reason I believe this commercial is deeper than just an advertisement for the Dodge Challenger is because the commercial doesn’t even say the word Challenger. It doesn’t do anything of the sort, no specifications of how fast the car is or sound system or luxury interior options just the mean look of the car and the red coats running from it. That’s what makes me respect the commercial so much Chrysler for this commercial they put their own profit second to making a commercial that shows that the American cars are back.
In fact I have noticed that Dodge has gone in that direction with a lot of is commercials they really dumb down the argument and take it away from their car and just kind of put the car in the back ground and have something completely different going on. I have seen several other dodge commercials for the Charger and the Avenger that follow a similar patter one that doesn’t so much talk about the car but what the car represents.
The next major point in the commercial is that we are fighting the British with cars. Something that could never happen and is completely historically inaccurate but it makes the point, that’s what we do best. Cars. The makers of the commercials are saying as Americans this is how we are going to fight you, using Americans biggest weapon, cars. Now obviously that’s not our biggest weapon but that’s part of the irony of this add and it’s what will make people remember it. Hopefully this commercial will strike people patriotic side and persuade them to buy American cars again. By putting freedom hand and hand with the car it should make Americans just a little bit obligated to buy the car if not this one then an American car at the very least.
The advertisement is very pro-American motors. The only lines in the whole thing were “two things America did right, cars and freedom.” The quote says cars, not just the Challenger, when I first saw this commercial it honestly reminded me of how much I want a mustang not a challenger. It reminded me of this for two reasons; one the Ford mustang is very fast and looks great but it’s the classic American Poney car. The commercial is not quite as obvious as those bumper stickers you see on trucks that say “Born American, Buy American” but that’s the exact same message there sending. As is I’m not really a fan of foreign cars, I even own a Chrysler but now having seen this commercial it really gives of the impression that I should buy an American muscle car.
This advertisement is the perfect hidden message it takes what is seemingly just a commercial for a dodge challenger. When you really look into the commercial and study it becomes apparent that the commercial is persuading you to do something. The commercial says that American cars are back on the market and ready for action; but not your stereotypical American car that is really just a living room with wheels and gets five miles per gallon. America really has something new to offer the customer base of the United States, a fuel efferent car that packs a punch and is actually fun to drive and be seen driving.
St. Antoine,. "2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS vs. 2009 Dodge Challenger." Motortrend.com. 2010. Web. 03 Oct. 2010. .
Dodge Challenger Freedom Commercial. 2010. Web. youtube