This analysis takes a look at how car brands appeal to each individual consumer, by offering rhetorical devises that can allow people to better picture themselves in the car of their choice, as well as a dedicated effort to making each car, and the car brand, look great online.
For my project, I decided to undergo a rhetorical analysis of Chevrolet’s website, in order to better understand how the website, and the collective brand, tries to sell cars.
Let’s Start at the Beginning…
In beginning my process, I first had to understand what the brand was trying to achieve in such a website. For Chevrolet, numerous challenges become apparent as an automotive company, most notably because of the need to appeal to a diverse set of audiences, all looking for different types of cars, all in one site. Additionally, the website has the important task of painting each type of car in an extremely favorable light, which applies to the brand itself. There is also a need to provide an easy user interface, one that helps the customer move ever closer to a serious purchase; the website must help this task in any way it can.
I first referred to the various terms described to us in class relating to different types of modes and rhetorical devices. Upon understanding these, I decided to apply them in the best manner to the rhetorical techniques Chevrolet may be using on it’s website. I looked specifically at visual and spacial rhetoric when considering this brand, since visual appeal is critical in marketing cars. I decided to base my final video off of the question of how Chevy seeks to make each car look appealing to the customer, all while incorporating a website that appeals to different types of people, with different consumer needs.
Finding the Key Points
I first began storyboarding with the idea of describing the website and noting the various rhetorical devices found on the site. I was initially describing the main features of the home page, followed by an emphasis on the individual car pages, highlighting the visual and spatial modes that make the page appealing to the consumer. I highlighted some particular points, including different background designs for each car, in order for the consumer to best picture a car in the environment they currently may reside in (for example, the Chevy Spark is often photographed in urban settings, trying to appeal to the urban driver). I also highlighted the fact that very little faces are used in the photos of the cars, which is another rhetorical technique used to allow the consumer to better picture themselves in that car, instead of someone else. I also highlighted the various features consumers have available to customize the car and learn more about individual features in greater detail, which is something that appeals more to the serious car buyer. Additionally, this is further emphasized by offering various tools that allow consumers to ‘build’ the car of their choice and price it, while, additionally, helping them locate a car dealership.
Room for Growth
I eventually ended up switching the question around a bit, focusing originally on site design and appeal, now moving more toward how they accomplish the goal of appealing to a broad base of consumers, making the car look great, allowing the customer to better picture themselves in the car, and emphasizing the setting that may be most appropriate to them; all of these points are included in the final analysis.
Some Main Takeaways:
Some of the strengths of this project, in my view, include highlighting the more subtle rhetorical techniques used to appeal to individual consumers. I emphasize this because these may not seem like obvious features found in a car website, but nonetheless are critical to the marketing campaign of the car and it’s brand. Such examples I added include favorable car images, different photo backgrounds found in the car shots, as well as not including the faces of drivers found additionally in the car shots, as previously noted.
Overall, I hope this video better highlighted the importance of digital rhetorical devices used in a market as competitive as the automotive industry.