Ragu and You

For over 35 years, Ragu has made pasta sauce for the everyday spaghetti eater. It is considered to be one of the most well-known names in the industry. Recently I came across an ad for the sauce, which left me feeling a little ambivalent towards the brand. Ragu’s most recent slogan is “a long day of childhood calls for America’s favorite pasta sauce.”

On first reading this line, you may not immediately picture a girl confused about whether the hamster in the cage is in fact her hamster. Nor would you consider that a loss of a pet could lead to needing Ragu pasta sauce.

As a PWR student, I think it is interesting to dig deeper and figure out how companies market their brand through the use of rhetorical strategies. One of the most known ways of delving deeper into a circumstance is through the rhetorical situation. Identifying the speaker, message, audience, purpose, and context of any situation allows the rhetorician to learn about the company and the meaning of the message they were trying to convey through commercials, slogans, branding, etc.

In this particular Ragu commercial, the message is the uncertain piece of the situation. The jump Ragu makes from losing a pet to needing spaghetti sauce that provides comfort, is a gigantic one. It is tough to decide whether Ragu was going for the hilarious or deeply disturbing. For an older generation, I might say that it would be relatable because most people have gone through the loss of a pet. It may be difficult at first, but looking back it is easier.

With all that being said, you have to see it to believe it. Click here to take part in the discussion about Ragu’s newest strategy in marketing.

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