So I had 2 days left before my friend’s birthday… and I needed a gift. Knowing my friend, with his Casper mattress and Quip electric toothbrush, I had a good hunch that his ideal gift would come from another “up and coming” millennial company. During my hunt, I began to pay careful attention to the messages these brands were marketing to me via their various channels, from Instagram to their own websites. I took note of some of the persuasive devices their brand narratives and advertisements incorporated and thought deeply about why some were successful in persuading me to take action and why others weren’t.

To kick off my search, I surrendered myself to Instagram, the marketing hub for this growing sector of brands. In no time, every other post or story on my feed was persuading me for my attention.

After combing through advertisements, I realized the ones I felt most compelled to learn more about were ones utilizing assumptive discourse and ethos to persuade me of my attention. Both kinds of rhetoric made me feel uninformed and therefore, more interested in learning about what I’ve been missing. I then selected the few that interested me and went to their respective Instagram pages and websites.

Zitsticka: Moving away from their assumptive discourse strategy for Instagram advertisements, their website and Instagram profile rely on Ethos to ground legitimacy in their product. They repost photos from real customers on Instagram and feature logos from publications that have featured their products. They also highlight their ingredients and give step-by-step instructions to further prove their knowledge in the acne space. In addition, they use metaphors in the naming of one of their products, KILLA, to push the effectiveness and outcome of the sticker.

Form Nutrition: Despite the persuasiveness of their advertisements, Form’s Instagram profile offered little incentive to better understand their brand. Most posts made little effort to establish a connection between me and their brand offerings. Only their website utilized Ethos by featuring the logos of the publications they’ve been featured in.

Silvon: Focusing on projecting Ethos as done through their Instagram advertisements, Silvon utilizes their Instagram profile to further highlight quotes of individual’s experiences with their pillows as well as highlight their pillow’s innovative materials.

In the end, I came to purchase Silvon for my friend although I would say Zitsticka made the strongest case. Interestingly enough both products worked toward the same end goal, fighting acne. I would say Zitsticka’s focus on transparency with their ingredients is something that has become typical, yet still very successful of millennial branding.