Power of Persuasion: Analysis of Ruth’s Chris Steak House Ad
An advertisement is like a persuasive essay, but in a picture with very few words. When I look at a certain ad, I may not be able to understand the whole message. Thankfully we can use the Toulmin analysis and the Rhetorical triangle to help me understand the message better. The Rhetorical triangle consists of three main ideas we must look for when analyzing: the text, author, and audience. The other method is by using the Toulmin analysis. The Toulmin analysis is made up of six parts, but three of the six might not be present. The three that will always be found are the thesis, the support and the warrant. The other three that might not be found when analyzing the ad is the qualifier, backing, or a rebuttal. To explain the Rhetorical triangle in a clear and effective way we can think of what is the importance of the context? What does the author values? And what the audience should feel? In most cases both of the Toulmin and the Triangle overlap each other.
I decided to use these two devises to analysis Ruth’s Chris Steak House ad. This advertisement has a red and white background with a medium rare steak on a white plate right in the middle of the ad with four asparagus tucked nicely on the left hand side of the steak. This steak is the main focus to the reader due to the color contrast of the steak and the white plate it is on. Right above the plate there is a quote that says “Life’s too short to eat anywhere else,” coming from Ruth. Under the steak we see the restaurant logo with a “U.S. Prime” stamp on it. Then under the restaurant’s name we are given some useful information, as well as their contact information, and what is available. There are not too many colors on the advertisement, but the steak on the white plate is the main focus.
When I first thought about what the message I thought that it wanted to tell everyone they should eat here and nowhere else. Then I looked at it again and figured out that the main thesis of this article was to let the readers know how great their food is, so that they feel like they should go and try the restaurant. I feel like this is the thesis because of what the quote that says, “Life is too short…” and the other reason is because of how the picture itself looks luxurious. By looking at this advertisement I can even tell that the restaurant seems to be for upper class people. The ad gives me a sense of believing that the restaurant appreciates luxury. The information I found as the backing was the U.S. Prime stamp which is located on the restaurant’s logo. The reason I feel like this is backing is because the reader knows that it has a verification of how the food is made with better quality. Some support I found was the fact that the restaurant was voted “best steak” by Mahalo Hawaii. Since they were voted best stake makes the reader think they have quality food, which calls the attention of people who can like luxury and quality.
The value that the writer is trying to make the audience aware of is the fact that we should appreciate Ruth’s Chris Steak House’s luxurious food. I felt like this was the message they were trying to send out because of how the plate and the food are set up in a way that shows the great importance of a U.S. prime steak. The picture only has a piece of steak and four asparagus, which to me, shows the luxury by only allowing my main focus to be on the steak. Another value would be privacy because of the fact I can ask for a private party. For example, there could be a couple that doesn’t like to show public affection, but still like to go out, they can order to have their own private table. This part of the advertisement calls in all types of people whether they are shy or not, they can still get the privacy they might want.
The other three Toulmin devices that might not be found in the advertisement are the backing, rebuttals, and the qualifiers. In some cases the author may want the warrant to have a support to show the importance which is usually called the Backing. For this example the backing in the advertisement was able to use the fact of how they were voted best steak by Mahalo Hawaii. As a reader getting that extra reassurance from another person makes me feel better about going and trying their food. This can also be a way of getting the customers to think that this is great steak because they’ve heard it from someone else. In a way they are getting the idea of how great it is stuck in their head and will eventually believe that they have to go and eat there. The other device I was able to find in this example is rebuttal which is an exception to your claim. When someone first looks at this ad I feel like some people might not believe they have quality food, but they did a great job at rebutting this statement. They did it by allowing the readers know that they have U.S. Prime, by being voted best steak, and even the picture itself shows the delicious food. I was not able to find any qualifiers in this advertisement, because they say you must come and eat here, which would make this an unqualified statement.
After analyzing this example I was able to find the reasons why the author put in most of the details I found. A couple of final things we were able to tell is that the author used most the devices which gives the reader a better understanding of the values and reason they should pick this place over any other place. I would say that I have even fallen into the thought of going here rather than anywhere else. I give the author credit for being so persuasive and making me feel like I need to stop writing about it and go try it!