Thursday, August 26, 2010

Triumph for the Win!

Pure unadulterated speed, dangerous looking angles, and "cool" people in dark leather clothing are all often overused by motorcycle companies to portray their products as desirable to the consumer's eye. However, Triumph's advertisement in Cycle Canada does include all of these eye catching elements, as well as some whit and humor that appeal to the more sophisticated (and in this case, more Star Wars loving) buyer. They also include comments from apparently a very trusted magazine, and promises of warranty and availability.

Naturally, these attributes were not thrown into this picture all willy-nilly, nor were they haphazardly stitched together to form this fabric which seems so interesting. This company used the three ancient types of persuasion originally outlined by Sophocles to attempt to convince the reader to buy a motorcycle from them. The most prevalent of these tactics obviously is pathos, the appeals to emotions and feelings. The first object that the reader sets their eyes on is not the print, but the massive, perhaps intentionally picture in the center. Trust me, you can't miss it. Depicted therein is a rider driving WELL over the speed limit, and he appears to be tilting as if going around a sharp turn. Just the thought of going at such a speed makes my heart start pumping a bit faster, as well as my senses seem that much sharper. I can practically feel the wind in my hair, and the adrenaline pumping through my veins. Uh oh... This is exactly what they wanted to happen... Their tactics to make me want to buy one have infiltrated my thoughts... Perhaps that is not such a bad thing... Either way, I digress. Among the other interesting facts and tidbits that they put in the print is the fact that one of their models is designed from a tactical fighter! This appeals to people's desire to be liked, or at least the modern meaning of "cool." Moreover, when I'm honest to myself, whenever I think of tactical fighters, I think of the bombs they drop and the explosions they cause, both of which appeals to every male human being's sense of "coolness," and some females for the record. Perhaps the best claim to fame this ad possesses is the witty use of a Star Wars movie title, The Empire Strikes Back. Considering Great Britain was once an empire, I suppose they are entitled to using this pun. The ad also took the famous line, "A long time ago..." (also from Star Wars) and changed it to "Not all that long ago..." The sheer whit, creativity, and ingeniousness of the connection these Brits made both impresses me and brings back memories of my childhood. Those were my favorite movies after all. Not just mine, but quite a few people's, which tremendously helps this ad out. After all, people generally gravitate toward whatever they are familiar with, and if someone is familiar with Star Wars, then they will gravitate toward anything Star Wars related.

I must admit, the designers of this ad did not use just pathos, but ethos, appeals to trust and credibility as well. This advertisement mentions that Formula one technology influenced these bikes, and because Formula one is known for being fast, this company immediately gets people believing that the bikes are fast. Moreover, the article mentions the influence from hand craftsmanship. In America, we value skill quite a bit, and handcrafting something requires a ton of skill. We think of handcrafted objects as durable, efficient, and very beautiful. If a motorcycle has "traditional hand craftsmanship" as a heavy influence, the said cycle must be good! Another trick up the company's sleeve is a nice compliment received from the very magazine the ad appears in. "... the half-faired sportbike Cycle Canada called 'sublime." This compliment from a major critic immediately lends loads of credibility to their statements. If someone that has seen and rated hundreds of motorcycles has anything good to say, surely this bike is worth the price.

Wow, these people had to be smart. They did not just use two methods of persuasion, but they included logos, the use of facts and logic, which also is the last method. In order to not detract from the rest of the excitement of the ad, they stuck these tidbits in the print. Among their claims, they mention a full two year unlimited mileage warranty, which, upon researching, seem to at least match the best competitors. In other words, anyone knowing this knows that if this bike seems to be a better quality bike, with the same warranty, it is the better choice. Continuing to bolster their swaying force is the fact that they have the most modern production facility IN THE WORLD! With modern production techniques, very high quality merchandise can be made, but as previously mentioned there are hand crafting influences. In other words, the bikes must have all of the durability of a bike with modern alloys of the highest quality, AND be as durable and well made with attention to detail as any handcrafted object! That appears to be quite a deal!

Triumph's ad in Cycle Magazine apparently appeals to all three methods of persuasion, and quite well at that. With wonderful puns and references, important facts to know, and recommendations from valid and accredited sources, even I am tempted to buy from them! Alas, I am not a motorcycle person... even if I do like my leather jacket... (which I never wear...) However, should anyone read this and feel any interest please check them out. Who knows, you may find the motorcycle of your dreams.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Dreadful Inspiration

Young lovers can be torn asunder by many means, and one of the more diabolical means appears to be the inspiration behind the poem “Time.” However, unlike what the title may indicate, the blame does not fall to time alone, if at all, but to a far less likely source; “the two shadows towering over your life.” Time, or maybe just these shadows as the text indicates, “slapped you and hit you so hard your skin grew shell-thick sturdy and impenetrable.” As much as I hate to infer this, but these shadows mentioned may actually be the parents of the lover spoken of, and they hold responsibility for hardening this child.

The fact that there are two “shadows” leads me to believe that they are actually the two parents, or perhaps guardians, of this child. Upon considering, not many other things that really have the capacity to do such harm come in pairs. Also, as much as I hate to say it, some parents do beat their children… What a senseless act that ignites such indignation in my heart… But I digress.

Should the part of the poem regarding the hitting and slapping be taken literally, one could easily explain what happened. These shadows, which may be terrible parents, beat their child, and these beatings over time changed the child. His/her “tenderness” was lost, which makes sense considering the very people that should PROTECT and NURTURE their child are doing such harm. However, I must admit that this may not be physical abuse, but mental and emotional. Many people can take physical pain easily, but emotional pain is another story. Psychological attacks often leave deep, yet invisible gashes, which require special means to heal.

Behind this poem, quite possibly lies a story. This story happens to be a tragic tale of love gained and love lost by the betrayal of two people that should never behave in such a way. Two lovers, separated by the mental wall which one puts up over time as a result of repeated beatings by the people that brought him/her into the world… Why must such atrocious acts occur? I cannot even begin to imagine why… And I pray I never will.