Broughton House Ad

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Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・Marketing ・APA ・2 Sources

Veterans' health insurance is an integral aspect of the political and cultural landscapes of the United Kingdom. It is not shocking, then, that advertisements for social programs targeted at Veterans in the United Kingdom appear from time to time. The print ad commissioned by Broughton House is one example. The aim of this essay is to provide a brief rhetorical review of the ad in question, as well as to peer into the political and social milieu that created, if not needed, this ad and the rhetorical elements that it employs. It will specifically aim to shed light on what Broughton House aims to do by commissioning this advertisement. First, a brief description of the ad. The ad has at least two primary and distinct parts, both of which are set against a dark background. First is a full-blown, half-body shot of an elderly Veteran named John Logan in formalwear and wearing a pensive expression, front and center. The second is a copy on the left side of the ad, six paragraphs long, which briefly describes Mr. Logan’s long-time service in the British Army and how he had found a home in Broughton House at the end of his military career. The copy concludes with a statement regarding their 100 years of serving ex-service men and women, and with a call to action for donations to their organization.
There is little information on why this ad has been commissioned or where it was originally used. All that is known is that it is classified as a print ad; no other information on its publication is publicly available, at least to the writer’s knowledge. As such, it is difficult to ascertain the nature of its target audience or its immediate purpose (e.g. as an ad for a fundraiser or an ad on a Veterans magazine). However, the ad itself is clear with regard to its chief intent, which is to promote Broughton House, mainly to encourage private financial donations.
The ad was released just February of this year, and its publication is rather timely considering its context. Veterans suffer a multitude of health issues that they develop during their extensive years of service, from permanent musculoskeletal injuries to mental health issues like PTSD. In the UK, the private sector is responsible for the facilitation of a large Broughton House, with their motto “we serve those who served us,” claims to have been in the service of providing services to improve the welfare of veterans in the UK since 1916. Out of all the types of nursing home facilities in Britain, Voluntary Not For Profit-type care homes like Broughton House are the most accessible to geriatric ex-service men and women, and so are largely responsible for the provision of long-term care of the said demographic in the country (Behning 76-78).
However, the unstable economy currently faced by Britain amid questionable economic policies currently threatens the existence of these types of nursing homes, as care home owners lose incentive to maintain operations due to lack of government support and rising costs (Plimmer). The ad in question can then be treated both as a reflection and a continuation of their vision to improve the welfare of retired servicemen in the country, and as a call to action for public and government support in lieu of the current crisis faced by care home facilities in the UK.

Analysis of Rhetorical Appeals

Emotion (Pathos)

The simplicity of the ad lends to easier understanding; the lengthy copy detailing the story of ex-serviceman John Logan is designed to elicit empathy from the viewers. It is worded in such a way that lists his participation in state-defining moments that helped shaped the current political and social milieu of Britain. For example, it lists his participation in the Korean War, a well-known war for the democracy of South Korea, as well as his feats during the Cod War, which was waged to protect Britain’s fishing rights in the North Atlantic. The language employed develops John Logan as a man who has dedicated his life in the service of his country—a real British Hero.
It is against this backdrop that Broughton House’s call to action gains momentum. The copy reads “And when John’s service ended, when all he wanted was to be comfortable and to talk to someone that wasn’t a ship, we gave him a home,” suggesting that they are a company that gives back to people like John, who have given their all for the homeland.

Character (Ethos) and Reasoning (Logos)

The copy then neatly segues to its conclusion: “That’s what we do at Broughton House. It’s what we’ve been doing for 100 years. We serve those who served us,” further implying that their services are humanitarian in nature, tested by time, and have refined expertise. All of that, of course, is to establish their credibility as a care home and encourage donations to their worthy cause, and also, possibly, customer trust.
The conclusion also doubles as an appeal to reason. Their citation of their 100 years of history as a care home, alongside their call to donations at the end, makes a powerful and logical statement about why people should donate to their institution. It is as if they were saying how they have more experience than other care homes, and can therefore provide better care for their residents. On top of giving their benefactors the moral opportunity to help them serve British Heroes, they give reassurance that any donations made to their institution would effectively be used for the welfare of retired service people.

Conclusion

The goal of this essay was to investigate what Broughton House hopes to achieve with this ad. The answer lies squarely in the rhetoric it employs. To recap, the rhetoric caters acutely to the emotions; it relies on the humanity of the ad’s readers. Like its design aesthetic, its message is simple but also direct to the point. Its call to giving back to the worthy ex-servicemen who have given their all to their country is as bold as the full-blown picture of John Logan, front and center of the ad. It asks its readers to donate because it benefits people who have helped defend their rights and their freedoms; it demands that people donate precisely because the cause is worthy.
The ad, of course, was commissioned out of necessity. Hard times have fallen on care homes in Britain, and Broughton House is not exempt. Perhaps, the imposing and bold-faced approach of the ad is a daring reminder on the part of Broughton House that retired service men and women ought not be forgotten. Perhaps the ad itself is meant to be taken as a necessary reminder, even a wake-up call that people who enjoy their present liberties should not forget to honor and care for those who helped protect those freedoms.
URL
https://aotw-pd.s3.amazonaws.com/broughton_house_john_aotw.jpg

References

Behning, U. (2005). Changing long-term care regimes: A six-country comparison of directions and effects. In B. Pfau-Effinger & B. Geissler (Eds.), Care and Social Integration in European Societies (pp. 73-92). Bristol: The Policy Press.
Plimmer, G. (2015, November 11). Fears of crisis in UK care homes as capacity shrinks. Financial Times. Retrieved from https://www.ft.com/content/630d155c-86e7-11e5-90de-f44762bf9896

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