Analysis of the Toy R Us Ad


Analysis of the Toy R Us Ad

The sole purpose of any advertiser is to appeal to as many people aspossible. Advertisers use various techniques to achieve their aim ofappealing to a certain section of the market. Collectively, thesetechniques are referred to as rhetorical techniques. The techniquesinclude the appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos, and having a specificaudience. Some advertisers may dwell on one technique but most ofthem prefer to combine the techniques in order to cover a widerscope. The advertisement, Toy R Us, is an example of a perfectuse of rhetorical techniques in order to appeal to a target audiencein a vintage advertisement. The advert for toys was shot in the1980’s hence falls in the vintage category. This analysis of thevintage Toy R Us will illustrate that the advert connects withthe audience due to the effectiveness of the rhetoric techniquesused.

Rhetorical Techniques in the Toy R Us Ad

The use of music appeals to the emotions of the target audience.Since the ad aims at marketing toys for a top company, it targetsyoung children and maybe some parents. However, the selection ofmusic proves that indeed the primary target of the ad was childrenless than ten years (Toys R Us, 1983).

The music is appealing to children because it imitates the sound ofthe common children jingles loved by kids. The melodies and tunestherein are synonymous with play songs for children. The advertiseruses this music to attract the attention of not only the audience,but the target population. He or she knows that children will beattracted to watch the ad if they hear a melody that they can relateto.

In addition to attracting children to view the ad, the music alsofunctions to make it memorable. When a message is accompanied bymusic, it becomes easy to remember it. The ad falls under thecategory of vintage because many adults still remember. Some adultswill listen to the music and have a bout of nostalgia. They are ableto remember the advert after all this while because of the musicaspect of it. According to Snider (2000), music has a longer lastingeffect on the brain of human beings when compared to visual images.

The advert also identifies the target audience from the onset. Allthe characters in the clip are children engaging in various playactivities. The voices in the play songs are all from children of thetarget population. The advertiser uses children in his advert becauseof the determination to set them as the target audience.

The ad does not feature any adult because it adults do not form partof the target population. There is no adult voice in theadvertisement, or even in the visual or video representation of thecharacters. This may be deliberate strategy to explain to theaudience the kind of products that the company sells becausechildren, unlike adults, are more interested in the pictures of toysrather than listening to the voice of an adult explaining the pricesof the various products.

The advert appeals to ethos in that it acknowledges the happenings ofthe society at that particular juncture. During the 80’s, theAmerican society was gradually embracing the concept of culturaldiversity. The country had just come out of a dark age of racialsegregation. The advert contributes to the notion of culturaldiversity in that it includes children from minority groups for an adthat targets a country whose majority population is White.

Through the application of the ethos strategy, the advertisers aim atcontributing to the society’s attempt to have a culturally diversecountry that can peacefully coexist. Looking at the issue fromanother angle, the advertiser seeks to appeal to children from allthe races, the minorities included. At a time when minority groups inthe USA felt disadvantaged, it was only prudent of the company toshow that the toy company really catered for everyone, theirethnicity notwithstanding.

The advert also seeks to appeal to ethos in that it does not containcontent that may be offensive to children. The images therein arerelatively normal according to the children of that time. It does notinclude adult concepts such as romance, gender roles, and the familyunit because ideas may come off as offensive to some parents. Inorder to avoid offending some parents, the advertiser decided tostick with simplistic ideas that are characteristic of childrenplaying with toys.


In conclusion, We R Toys is a vintage ad from the 80’s. Thisanalysis chose the ad because it was among the favorites during thattime. The success of the ad is majorly attributable to the rhetoricaltechniques therein. The appeals to the emotions of children in thatit plays melodies that are synonymous with children during theirplaytime. The play songs attract children in addition to making thead memorable for a long time. The ad appeals to ethos because itaddresses a prevailing issue in the society at that time- growingmulticulturalism. It also maintains ethics by showing content that isnot offensive to children. In summary, the ad used rhetoricaltechniques effectively hence the reason it was a huge success in the1980’s.


Snyder, B. (2000). Music and memory: An introduction.Cambridge, Ma: MIT press.

We R Toys. (1983). YouTube Video. Retrieved from&lt accessed July 31, 2016.