A Rhetorical Analysis Commercial of Aunt Jemima Buckwheat Pancakes



During 1955, a commercial called Aunt Jemima Buckwheat Pancakes began to broadcast. The commercial shows a wife making Aunt Jemima Buckwheat Pancakes and which she presents to her husband for breakfast. In the commercial, Aunt Jemima Buckwheat Pancakes, the speaker uses his tone of voice to persuade the audience to be interested in the commercial. The speaker’s tone of voice and the words he employs plays on the audience into purchasing the product. The speaker tends to target an adult audience, which is seen in the commercial. 

When analyzing the commercial, it is noted that the speaker in the video uses an ethos appeal to convey the watcher into buying Aunt Jemima Buckwheat Pancakes. By the tone of the speaker, the speaker uses words like, deep, golden brown, hardy and nourishing to describe the pancakes (Vintage Fanatic, 2013). The specific words are to enhance the product into seeming better than what the product is. These types of words are what watchers look for when purchasing items to eat, whether for themselves or their family. 

The commercial appears to be geared towards men and their wives. In the video, a lady is seen pouring the pancake mix into a cup and adding milk, while at the same time the speaker is saying the action of making the pancake is easy. 

As the word “easy” would appeal to most housewives because she would need to make an easy breakfast for her husband before going to work. In the era of 1955 women or wives tended to do much of the cooking in the household. Women were to make sure the house was clean; laundry was done, and food was cooked. Women were to serve their husbands and children by any means. While women tried to please the husband, women would look for alternatives to help improve their time and give much attention to their husbands. With the start of giving their husbands a satisfying meal. Vintage Fanatic (2013) states, "every man needs a good hearty breakfast of buckwheat pancakes."

The form of the home maid role in 1955 provided many different outlooks. One outlook was a trend to appeal to white’s desire to return to the old status quo of black servants was in a lot of brands in the past (Black&Sexy.TV. 2018). Aunt Jemima was picked to fit that desire. In this time a stereotype had begun to surface where black women were called “mammy.”A mammy is a stereotype to portray an African American Woman as a domestic servant who has a good heart, is overweight, and very loud and wanting to take on the role of a mother. Mammies were also portrayed as being protected over white people. 

In conclusion, the speaker employed his tone of voice to convince the audience into purchasing Aunt Jemima Buckwheat Pancakes. While the video was produced in the 1950s and at that time men were the primary bread earners, but women did the shopping to take care of the household. It brings to question gender roles. Men have to advise their wives to go buy buckwheat pancakes, so they are able to enjoy a hearty breakfast. In contrast, while today, both women and men can be seen as the head of the household. Many women, however, look for a great recipe to rely on. The recipe is supposed to be passed down from generations, and to this day Aunt Jemima Pancakes are still selling off the shelf.