Rhetorical Aspects of a Visual Document



In this paper we will analyze trade mark Michelin, its new product and will talk about the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. Michelin is considered to be one of the leading tire manufacturing companies in the world. There is no doubt that this market is quite competitive and in order for a company like Michelin to stay on top, it is important not only to produce high quality tires but to create an appeal for its products, using such marketing technology as advertising. Recently the Michelin company introduced its brand new tires called Pilot Super Sport. These ultra-high-performance tires were designed to let the drivers feel the difference in their driving experience and improve the position in the world. The ads can be found in a number of magazines and billboards all over the world. The advertisement like the one presented for this analysis must bear in mind the target audience that shall either consume the products from Michelin company or competitors that produce similar products.

Thesis statement

Michelin’s super sporting tires are the best for all types of roads regardless the weather conditions and they are designed to bring out excellence and high performance standards to the drivers. The tires can be used up to 2 times longer and handled up to 12% better than the main competitors. And these are not just words – the company gives 30k mile tread wear warranty. That makes a significant competitive advantage.

The target audience

The ad presents three types of target audience. The first and main audience is a loyal Michelin customers who are buying Michelin tires only. The aim of the ad in to inform the customers about new type of sport tires and show its competitive advantages. For the first audience, the ad is purposefully targeting seasonal users of tires. This has been enhanced by in the words super sporting tires for summer. The tire, which is the main subject of the advert, directs the consumer to its seasonal use, and it is specifically a feeling of superiority in its design and driving experience. The second audience that Michelin is targeting to is a new comer to the new product of Michelin. The ad explains why a driver should buy a new Michelin product and what will be the benefits making such a choice. The first two audiences are the main subjects of the rhetoric.

The third type of audience that the ad is appealing to is the Michelin competitors in manufacturing tires. The ad shows that the Michelin company stays among the leaders of the industry and is always improving its products to satisfy the customers. It is like a challenge to other tire producers.

Purpose of the ad

On the one hand, the ad is intended to create a sense of inspiration of a new product due to its superiority, however on the other hand it is also an informal kind due to the use of detailed description of performance and extended usage period as opposed to the others that are used by other tire leading manufacturers. This is enhanced by the use of bright and appealing colors in the document. The context of the ad appeals to a wide range of car drivers.

It is a small document even when viewed under the computer monitor, the magnification effect created for viewing makes a feeling as if the image has been placed on a huge bill board for many people to view.

The left hand margins of the ad create a movement effect as it shows the cutting lines being concentrated to the left margin of the paper. There is also an unknown sports car on the left. The right hand side of the paper shows the Michelin logo and on the bottom there is product description.

The Aristotelian appeals in the endorsement are direct. The most vivid part of the ad is a super car that is glistening in the night lights, it makes a sense of speed, luxury and comfort at the same time. The bright and bluish colors make the driver proud of using Michelin tires for his car and at the same time they tend to try the brand new sport tires. Another perfectly presented character is a Michelin man, he is one of the most famous advertising characters in the world and is presented on each ad of Michelin. Lots of car drivers and Michelin fans have this logo on their car. The advertisement starts with the words “introducing the Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tire”. The use of italics makes a movement effect with their small font, leading and increased font with the words, “THE THRILL OF THE RACE” introducing a feeling of heightening pace, visually enhanced by the white color. The movement patterns shift to the center, in a slowing pace (Pepper). The lights on the car qualify the above statement since its break lights are on, suggesting to prepare a car for the summer and put it in a good shape. As we move to the bottom right of the ad we encounter a Michelin man, he is inviting us to have a ride on a hilly and rough track with sharp curves. That road, however, does not look like a normal hill, in my opinion, it is a high skyscraper! The designer’s message was that Michelin is a winner; therefore, it can take you to the top of the podium with its brand new summer tires.


There is no doubt that the ad is pleasant to look at. An extra tire beside the rear tire of the car in the ad enhances the performance and handling appeal of Michelin tires. The ad achieves its intent by the perfect design it employs, the use of Michelin man makes the ad well-recognizable and the sports car draws readers’ attention. As the result of great work, the Michelin company reached its goal and touched the target audience.

Works Cited

Pepper Mark, Allen Brizee & Elizabeth Angeli. Visual Rhetoric. “.” The Purdue OWL. The Purdue online writing Lab, 2010. Web.

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