What is Metaphor? How to Use It? Examples and Best Metaphors - Grower

What is Metaphor? How to Use It? Examples and Best Metaphors

Metaphor is one of the most important tools of the richness and expressive power of language. Going beyond the boring and simple meanings of words, this rhetorical figure allows us to express abstract concepts in a concrete way, making writing and oral communication more effective and striking. Metaphors involve associating something with a familiar object or concept to understand or explain it, making complex thoughts more accessible.

  • What is a metaphor?
  • Examples of metaphors
  • Why use metaphor?
  • Types of metaphor
  • Examples of advertisements with metaphors

What is Metaphor?

A metaphor is a literary or verbal expression used to describe an object, event or emotion by comparing it to something else. It usually does not use a simile such as “X is like Y”, but a direct statement such as “X is Y”. A metaphor establishes a relationship between two things that are different in reality, making them seem connected.

For example, the statement “Time is like a river” is a simile (analogy) because a comparison is made using the word “like”. However, the statement “Time is a river” is a metaphor because time is directly identified with the river.

Metaphors are often used to express complex ideas or feelings in a simple and understandable way. It is a widely used tool in literature, everyday language, art and even scientific writing. In addition to adding depth and meaning to concepts, metaphors are also used to grab the attention of the reader or listener and make them think.

In short, metaphor is a language art that makes abstract or complex ideas concrete and understandable by directly identifying one thing with another.

Here is some basic information about metaphor:

  • A metaphor states that one thing is something else
  • It equates these two things not because they are actually the same, but for the purpose of comparison or symbolism.
  • Metaphors are used in poetry, literature and when someone wants to add some color to their language.

Metaphors are a form of figurative language that refers to words or expressions that mean something different from their literal definition. When it comes to metaphors, a literal interpretation of the word is often quite meaningless. Because metaphors are used to embellish a situation.

Metaphor Examples:

  • My mother has a heart of gold.
  • My friend’s sister Sharon is a night owl.
  • My hands were like icicles because of the cold weather.
  • You just have to see the world as a stage and act accordingly.
  • Dileep has a heart of stone.
  • You have ideas flowing one after the other. Your mind is an ocean.
  • He was an autumn leaf.
  • When he steps out on the field, he’s a lion.
  • Phoebe is a nightingale. Everyone couldn’t wait for her to take the stage.
  • She’s a firework.

The Difference Between Metaphor and Simile

Here is a clue: Similes are like metaphors, but metaphors are not similes. A metaphor compares one thing by saying that it is something else, while a simile says that one thing is like something else.

You can also check this article if you want to make metaphors in your slogans and if you want slogan examples: Creative slogan examples

Types of Metaphor

1- Implicit Metaphor

Take these two sentences:

  • Jordan took his courting cues from the peacock.
  • In a room full of women, Jordan is just fanning his feathers.

In both sentences we compare Jordan to a peacock. In the first sentence the comparison is clear: The peacock is mentioned directly. But in the second sentence, however, we imply that Jordan is a peacock by comparing his behavior (fanning his feathers) to something peacocks are known to do. This does not mean that Jordan actually has feathers, but that he behaves in a flamboyant and flirtatious way to attract the attention of women.

2-Continuous Metaphor

Such metaphors are often found in songs and poems. In a famous example from Shakespeare, Romeo compares Juliet to the sun in a few lines.

But soft! What light refracts through that window there?

It is the east and Juliet is the sun!

Rise, fair sun, and slay the jealous moon,

Already sick and pale with grief.

It sort of puts to shame the expression “You are my sunshine”.

3-Dead Metaphor

A dead metaphor is a cliché that has become so commonplace that images lose their power. Examples of dead metaphors include: “cats and dogs making it rain”, “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” and “heart of gold”.

You may be interested in this article: How to do a PR study?

4-Mixed Metaphor

Clue: A mixed metaphor is exactly what it sounds like, a combination of two unrelated metaphors.

Let’s get all our ducks on the same page (a mix of “get our ducks in a row” and “let’s agree”).

Also, mixed metaphors can be funny; the great Yogi Berra was famous for his “Yogi-isms”, which often contained surprisingly mixed metaphors and still managed to get his point across:

  • Even Napoleon had Watergate.

But if you’re not trying to be funny, mixed metaphors can seem awkward or even obstruct the point you’re trying to emphasize.

Why Use Metaphors in Marketing?

There are several important reasons for using metaphors in marketing:

  • Increases Understandability: Complex or abstract ideas become more understandable and memorable through metaphors. Metaphors make difficult concepts easier to grasp by associating them with concrete and familiar examples.
  • Builds Emotional Connection: Metaphors appeal to people’s emotions through stories and visual imagery. This helps the brand build a stronger emotional connection with customers.
  • Increases Recall: Because metaphors are often creative and expressive, they stay in people’s minds longer. This increases brand awareness and recall.
  • Provides Differentiation: The use of metaphors helps differentiate a brand or product from its competitors. Original and memorable metaphors make a brand unique.
  • Strengthens Communication: Metaphors can make communication more effective and persuasive. When the right metaphors are used for the target audience, the message is conveyed more powerfully.

Using metaphors in marketing is an effective way to tell the brand’s story, emphasize the benefits of the product and create a deeper connection with consumers.

Suggested content: How to start e-commerce?

Examples of Ads Using Metaphor

To better understand the use of metaphors, we can examine the ads that use them together. You can see examples of ads that we have been inspired by many sources here.

Red Bull

The slogan “Red Bull gives you wings” expresses the energizing effect of the Red Bull drink, pairing it with the freedom and energy of flying with wings.


“The king of beers” positions Budweiser beer as the leader of the “kingdom of beers”, evoking feelings of quality and superiority.


The slogan “The heartbeat of America” depicts the Chevrolet brand as an integral part of American culture and lifestyle.


The slogan “The best a man can get” emphasizes that Gillette products are the best choice for male grooming.

Triumph’s TR7 auto

The slogan “The shape of things to come” implies that Triumph’s TR7 is shaping the future of automobile design and technology.

WWF Jenga Ad

In this ad, the ecosystem is compared to the game of Jenga, emphasizing the devastating impact of the extinction of an animal species on the ecosystem.

Nokia XpressMusic Phone Commercial

As Nokia relaunches its music-focused phone, it shows how accessible music is on this portable device with a guitar in hand.

Tic Tac Advertisement

Tic Tac uses the idea that you never know when special moments will come, implying that you should always have a Tic Tac with you.

United Nations COVID-19 Ad

Emphasizing social distancing and hygiene rules during the pandemic, this ad symbolizes the negative effects of two objects standing close to each other

We hope that our article was useful for you. Don’t forget to stay tuned for more!

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