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Why You Should Consider Using Metaphors in Your Social Media Advertising

First, let's bring everyone up to speed... what is a metaphor?


A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes an object or action in a non-literal way that (ultimately) helps explain an idea.


Or, in other words for us copywriters...


Combining non-related (but independently well understood) concepts to help paint a clearer picture in our prospect’s mind.


For example, the Porsche ad below.


What a dog feels when the leash breaks. Porsche print advert.
An 8 word masterclass. You don't always need to write an essay to get the job done.

"What a dog feels when the leash breaks."


Concept 1: Driving fast in a Porsche

Concept 2: A dog breaking off its leash


Joe Sugarman said it best, "Probably one of the most important keys in copywriting and conceptualizing is the ability to relate totally divergent concepts to create a new concept."


And metaphors (used well) achieve this.


They create a new "combined" experience that involves the reader and enhances their ad experience.


…and this is vital for successful advertising.


Understand so far? Good. Because there’s more.


As copywriters, we should also find the most concise way of expressing our points without taking away from the key message. Agreed?


Well, metaphors can help with this too.


As Luke Sullivan says in "Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This":


"What makes metaphors particularly useful to your craft is they're a sort of conceptual shorthand and say with one image what you might otherwise need 20 words to say. They get a lot of work done quickly and simply."


So if we look at the ad from earlier, we can see how, with just 8 words, the reader can vividly picture (and almost experience) how it feels to drive this Porsche.


It’s easy to imagine how a dog would feel breaking off its leash. Freedom. Excitement. A rush of energy.


And now we associate those feelings with driving a Porsche.


Metaphors use images (concepts) that already sit in the mind of our prospect.


Those images carry their own emotion and meaning.


And by twisting them you to fit your message, you express what you're trying to say in a much more concise and engaging way.


Thanks for reading, I appreciate you taking the time and getting all the way to the bottom. :)

If you'd like to see more content like this, you can follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter.


--Lewis

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