Struggling to come up with ideas? Use a metaphor.

Metaphors are often used in advertising, they help your audience to understand something in a simple way. They offer an audience a ‘opportunity to escape’ and the creative a ‘opportunity to explain’ another world. Interpretation then involves coming back to understand the world that we live in and establishing a relationship.

Everything is a bit like something else, either the way it looks, or the way it works or the ways it makes us feel.You can create a metaphor to represent a characteristic of the brand. Or a feature of the service. Or a benefit of the product.  You can use words. Or visuals. Or both. But avoid clichés and if you seen or heard it before done before, don’t do again.

Visual-driven ads have done very well with metaphors. This lovely example for Sony Noise-Cancelling Headphones done by Bagby and Company, Chicago.

By directly equating a noisy child with a loudspeaker, the ad demonstrates Sony’s empathy with modern travelers, and thus predisposes those travelers to trust Sony’s solution over the competition’s.

But metaphor can just as easily live in words. Here’s a great metaphorical headline, produced by Martin/Williams, Minneapolis for L.L. Bean’s dog beds:

Crispin & Porter produced this wonderfully minimalist campaign for a homeless mission in Miami:


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