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What are examples of emotional appeal?

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Quick Answer

A cellphone advertisement featuring an image of a grandmother waiting beside her phone to receive a call from her grandchildren is an example of emotional appeal. Another example is the "think of the children" tactic where the speaker implies that he has the best interests of children in mind.

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Writers, speakers, advertisers, politicians and people from everyday life make emotional appeals when they attempt to convince others of their positions or persuade them to purchase products by appealing to their feelings. Emotional appeals fall into several different categories.

An appeal to self-esteem takes advantage of others' innate desire to feel good about themselves. For example, a company may create an advertisement for an anti-acne cleanser that implies that people with clear skin are more romantically desirable.

In an appeal to pity, a person tries to get others to do what he wants by suggesting that them not doing so hurts him in some way. In a so-called plain folks appeal, audience members are convinced that the person presenting the argument is just like them. The idea behind this type of emotional appeal is that people are more likely to trust someone they perceive to have similar values to their own.

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