A Descriptive Study of College Students’ Preferences toward Rhetorical Devices in Advertisements
Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness
Committee Member/Second Reader
Advertisements are specifically created to convince people of the importance to either buy a product or subscribe to an ideal. Companies are the primary users of advertisements, where advertisements are designed to increase profitability (Roberts, 2020). The advertising industry in America is quite large. Food is a diversified and competitive industry, this competition in the food industry causes companies to be dependent on consumer preference and knowledge (UC Davis Nutrition Department, 2020). With Generation Z on the rise, there should be an increased focus on their preferences and needs in all industries, including the food industry (Southgate, 2017). The purpose of this study was to identify the advertising messages that Generation Z consumers prefer with rhetorical devices. This study used a non-experimental research design, with survey methods, using the online platform Qualtrics. The population included young adults between the ages of 18-25 enrolled at a four-year institution and a sample was recruited using convenience sampling, by using a post in Arkansas News and by reaching out to faculty in a single college. The online survey remained open for two weeks. Data was analyzed using StatsIQ, the statistical analysis program in Qualtrics. There were 113 survey responses (n = 113). Most participants responded with a birth year of 2002 (26.51%), female gender identities (58.43%), white (89.89%), non-Hispanic (90.91%), undergraduate students (94.38%), and Agribusiness majors (44.95%). The results of the study were that statements using aphorism and alliteration were consistently not chosen, while statements using antithesis were consistently chosen. Statements using metaphor and parataxis had mixed responses. In summary, the results of the survey show that college students have mixed preferences for rhetorical devices in advertising and that more research is needed to understand their preferences more fully. This study recommends that further studies should be conducted with a larger sample across multiple colleges, and that future researchers seek funding to incentivize participation, and the exploration of rhetorical devices should be broken down further, asking not only if rhetorical devices are still effective, but also which rhetorical devices are effective. Potential opportunities include conducting qualitative studies to investigate the reasons and influences behind their preferences.
Rhetorical Devices Study, Advertising using rhetorical devices.
Beyer, R. (2022). A Descriptive Study of College Students’ Preferences toward Rhetorical Devices in Advertisements. Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Undergraduate Honors Theses Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/aeabuht/23