The purpose of this study was to examine the portrayal of Apple’s organizational identity in iPhone commercials from 2007 to 2013. After examining over one hundred American iPhone commercials aired from 2007 to 2013 using rhetorical criticism method of cluster analysis, I found out that Apple had encouraged American audience to join its community by appealing to commonly-held American values. Then Apple used induction process to associate the iPhone with the values through the repetition of these associational clusters: functionality and simplicity, indispensability, and community. Finally, Apple drew an association between itself and the iPhone and encouraged audience members to believe that Apple – as an organization – bears the stellar characteristics of the iPhone’s. This study reveals the rhetorical strategies behind Apple’s iPhone commercials from 2007 to 2013 that helped Apple to persuade American audience.


Denise Bostdorff


Communication Studies


Dramatism, Identification, Cluster criticism, “God” terms, Apple, iPhone, functionality, simplicity, indispensability, community

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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