Perhaps the most evocative image is that of the courageous woman.
This idea is compelling because of its complexity. The facets of this idea include vulnerability, generosity, grace, sacrifice, expectations, acuity and strength.
Although superficially contradictory, historically, this admixture of facets comprises the essential motivating metaphor of nations.
In the United States, this metaphorical figure is Columbia. As a statue, she stands above the Capitol Building in her District of Columbia.
Seen in this 1917 poster, wearing the classical cap of liberty, she extends her arms to implore actions for the common good.
In 1918, this imagery appeared in a more contemporary form. Standing before the Capitol Building, with the Columbia statue atop, a young woman quotes then President Wilson and embraces the flag to her heart to summon the nation to action.
Metaphors are not merely stylistic "figures of speech" comparing two objects without using the words "like" or "as." Reliance on that kind of definition is an injustice.
Metaphors carry deep cultural meaning. And, without such meaning, we cannot move forward, we cannot act with productive purpose.
Therein lies the power of metaphor in advertising. If you have not connected your message to its cultural value, you have missed the opportunity to persuade.
Copyright © 2013 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.