Copywriting is different from the content you create on a daily basis. A copy is created to inspire or persuade people to make certain choices.
This type of content is generally used by businesses to increase their brand awareness or capture quality leads for the sales funnel.
The only problem is that people are not easily persuaded, especially when you’ve created a lifeless and bland copy to stimulate the call to action.
Copywriters know this, and it’s one of the reasons why they tend to spice things up by using metaphors and analogies in the copy.
Metaphors can transform a boring-looking copy into an elegant work of art, capable of generating high traction and driving the call to action.
However, using metaphors in your copy is not a skill you can master overnight. It requires practice and consistency for you to get good at it. If you’re unfamiliar with how you can elevate your copywriting with metaphors, this article will help you get started.
So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Table of Contents:
- What is a Metaphor?
- The Importance of Metaphors in Copywriting
- How Metaphors in Copywriting Enhance Your Copy’s Effectiveness
- Leveraging Metaphors in Copywriting in the Best Way
- Examples of Metaphors in Copywriting
What is a Metaphor?
A metaphor is a figure of speech used to convey a message or share an idea by describing one thing as another with no literal implication.
For example, describing your best friend as a rock doesn’t mean that he literally is one, but rather reflects his dedication or resolve.
Another example that can help you understand the concept is a famous quote by Vincent van Gogh: “Conscience is a man’s compass.”
A tangible object representing something you can’t see or touch may seem odd in the literal sense, but considering the context of the quote, one can’t help but stand in awe.
This is how metaphors work and are used to amplify the impact of an idea or a message for the audience. The phrases contain a deep underlying meaning that helps persuade the audience or drive a particular action.
It’s amazing how your choice of words can add a deeper meaning to the message. Marketers know this, which is why we often witness metaphors being used to advertise solutions or generate brand awareness.
Metaphors make it possible for your messages to tap into the subconscious of the audience and make an overall greater impact.
The Importance of Metaphors in Copywriting
Humans tend to forget about their experiences quickly, no matter how memorable they are.
But what if something clicks deep inside and impacts your subconscious?
If your conscious mind is the river, then think of your subconscious as the ocean. It’s more powerful than most of us realize and capable of generating strong impulses.
Your subconscious mind actively gathers information from your surroundings and helps form a point of view towards things you observe or events you participate in.
Unlike your conscious mind, which prefers logical or analytical information, your subconscious mind excels at processing different kinds of data, such as visuals, metaphors, and symbols, to generate ideas or drive certain actions.
This is the reason why metaphors are so important when writing copy, as they amplify its impact and help fulfill the purpose it’s created for.
When you use metaphors in your copy, you speak the language a subconscious mind best understands. It enables you to tap into the psyche of your target audience and convey a message that has a deeper meaning and greater emotional impact.
Metaphors make it possible for you to imprint your thoughts or ideas deep inside an individual’s mind and send impulses to an area of the human brain that’s generally beyond reach.
Simply put, a metaphor-infused copy has a greater subconscious appeal and is therefore more likely to persuade your audience to go for the solutions advertised.
How Metaphors in Copywriting Enhance Your Copy’s Effectiveness
Metaphors enhance the efficiency of your copy and allow you to generate a higher ROI from your campaigns. Here are a few ways it helps:
Metaphors help add clarity and make things easier to comprehend. They enable you to convey even the most intricate of your messages to the masses and explain complex concepts in a simple way.
Your brand ambassadors or loyalists may easily decipher the messages you convey, but pitching your solutions to an audience unfamiliar with your company or advertising your solutions to them is a completely different story.
So, it’s best to relate your solutions to familiar concepts and come up with analogies that stimulate an aha moment for your target audience. And that’s where metaphors come in handy.
Metaphors help convey your message clearly without you having to get into the nitty-gritty. When you use metaphors, fewer words have a greater impact. So, you don’t lose your audience amidst the rambling. Your audience will listen to what you have to say and likely remember the message conveyed.
Metaphors are capable of generating strong recall, as they empower your copy to form neural links in the readers’ minds. Each time they come across an analogy similar to a metaphor representing your copy, their minds are likely to instantly recall your message or the solutions promoted.
Unique Selling Proposition
Metaphors make your copy stand out from the crowd. They help you design an attention-grabbing copy as you add unique elements to it, such as humor, and cook up a writing style with a distinct flavor.
When you have hundreds of competitors offering solutions similar to yours and advertising them by highlighting the features and capabilities of the products or services, metaphors help you get noticed by offering a fresh perspective to the audience.
Did you know that just by adding a few powerful words to your copy, you can increase your conversion rate by up to 12.7%?
Metaphors add weight to your words and enable you to make a lasting impact. Since your copy outshines your competitors’, you generate greater traction and acknowledge a higher conversion rate in comparison.
Using metaphors in your copy will help improve your writing style and make it more refined with each passing day.
To use metaphors efficiently in your copy, you need ideas that best fulfill the purpose. You don’t just stumble upon the right metaphor that brilliantly explains the concept. You work for it and do extensive research to find one.
Practice makes perfect. So, the more frequently you try to inject metaphors into your copy, the better you get at it. You improve your thought process and come up with creative ways to explain different concepts and convey messages that are not bland or redundant.
Not only does this help you get good at grabbing the attention of your target audience, but you’ll also be better at copywriting in general. Each day brings new learning experiences that help you grow and develop a unique writing style of your own.
Leveraging Metaphors in Copywriting in the Best Way
As said earlier, a copy powered by metaphors is generally better at grabbing the attention of your target audience and has a greater impact in general.
However, there are times when injecting metaphors into your copy works exceptionally well. And that’s when you try to score a tough sale.
For example, selling products or services to an audience that’s not aware of the significance of the solutions offered or not interested in buying them in general.
These products or services often represent dreary industries such as data security, personal financing, insurance services, consulting, legal services, health, toiletries, and so on.
Creating an appeal for such solutions by highlighting their importance or promoting their attributes can be challenging.
This is when you stop trying to promote your solutions by advertising the perks and come up with creative ways to convey your message to the masses. And that’s where metaphors come in.
Metaphors are also helpful when explaining complex processes and making things easy to understand for laymen.
Let’s say you’re writing a copy to advertise certain medications. Adding a description of the drug and classifying its benefits would be essential, but such information won’t be easy for commoners to comprehend and is less likely to generate a strong recall.
In that case, pairing specifics with metaphors can be a great strategy, as you provide necessary information to your audience and make it easier for them to recall the message.
Examples of Metaphors in Copywriting in Action
To help you better understand the importance of using metaphors when creating copy, here are some examples showcasing their efficient usage.
Charmin is one of the leading toilet paper manufacturers in the United States. Owned by an industry giant, Procter & Gamble, the brand is renowned for its witty copy and creative ways of engaging its target audience.
The image below was taken from Charmin’s official Instagram account, which contains a copy capable of generating a strong recall.
Promoting bland products like toilet paper can be very challenging. However, the copywriters at Charmin are masters in the art of using metaphors and analogies. They came up with the brilliant idea of picking a Valentine’s Day theme and creating humor-infused copy to grab the attention of the audience.
As a result, they came up with a clear message that not just highlights the product’s capabilities, but is also capable of generating a powerful recall.
This is just one example. There are many others like this where Charmin takes charge and shows its competitors how it’s done.
The second example is from KFC, the world’s second-largest restaurant chain with franchises around the globe.
The image below was taken from KFC’s official Instagram page, where they came up with an amazing Halloween special campaign.
This is one of the best examples of metaphors in action, as they promote their chicken bucket using a Halloween basket as a reference.
The overall copy is great, but it truly shines at the second pointer, where they suggest how the KFC bucket can be a perfect match for a Colonel costume.
Even if you don’t intend to cosplay as Colonel Sanders on Halloween, the copy is powerful enough to generate a strong recall and make you crave KFC each time you see someone in a Colonel Sanders costume.
The next example is from another American-based multinational fast-food chain known as Burger King.
The following image was taken from Burger King’s official Instagram page, where the campaign targets people with and without fitness goals.
The concept of six packs representing a box of nuggets just hits differently. The campaign conveys the message to fitness enthusiasts who occasionally crave junk food and people who simply live to eat.
The copy is neat, contains humor, and has a unique appeal to it. It’s definitely capable of generating a decent recall. Plus, it kills two birds with one stone.
This next campaign is close to our hearts, as we love it when brands take a stand and generate awareness about critical issues in our society.
The campaign is from a brand that’s been a strong advocate of women’s rights and raising its voice against other burning issues in our society like diversity, discrimination, and equality.
The brand’s name is Dove, and it’s a multinational consumer goods company with operations in over 150 countries.
At the end of 2022, Dove launched a campaign via its official Instagram page with the purpose of raising awareness about body-shaming, obesophobia, and plus-size representation.
They specifically addressed the body representation issues in the entertainment industry and criticized the way certain characters are stereotyped in the movies.
The campaign conveyed a powerful message that touched the hearts of Netizens around the globe, which led to increased engagement on the thread and traction for the brand.
When writing copy, grabbing the attention of your target audience can be a challenge since each player in your respective industry is striving to get noticed. And that often leads an audience to be bombarded with more or less similar messages advertising different solutions.
So, it’s essential that you come up with unique ways of engaging your audience and conveying a message that’s worth their time.
In this scenario, metaphors can come in handy. A metaphor-infused copy enables you to touch upon complex concepts and promote solutions without having to annoy your audience with unending or monotonous messages.
By using metaphors in your copy, you can generate a strong brand recall, which in turn helps foster favorable brand associations. So, if you haven’t used them in your copy yet, now is a good time to get started.