Modes of Persuasion

Ethos is the mode of persuasion that appeals to the personal character of the creator. Ethos is used to trick the audience into believing that the creator is credible. The audience is more likely to believe the creator if they are competent, with good character, and have empathy.

For example

This Colgate advertisement uses the trust the audience has for dentists to give their product credibility.


Pathos is the mode of persuasion that appeals to the emotional influence that the creator has on the audience. The creator does this in an attempt to put the audience into a certain frame of mind. A basic knowledge of the audience is needed to guess their reactions. Pathos can be achieved through vivid language that conveys connotative meanings.

For example

This Ravioli ad uses a smiling image of a child to pull on the heartstrings of parents. This attempts to convince the audience that if they bought this brand that their children will be happy and so will they.


Logos is the mode of persuasion that appeals to the apparent truth. Logos is used to appeal to the audiences logical reason. The creator needs a sound argument or proof to convince the audience. This can be done through facts, statistics, and quotes from experts.

For example

This billboard uses a statistic to prove to the audience that the advertisers are correct and that it is only logical to listen to them.