Many argue (and I believe) that analogy (of which metaphor is the most widely used example) is the basis of all human thought. Associative structures are the key to how we think and are the basis of rhetoric (going back 2,000 years to Aristotle), through metaphor, metonymy and irony, Metaphor and metonymy are important concepts in semiotics, standing for figurative and literal meanings of signs. Metaphor uses comparison, association or resemblance to make an analogy between one thing and another (war and argument, or time and money). Metaphor is based on symbolic (arbitrary meanings) and metonymy on indexical meanings to use the language of Charles Peirce (read more here). Many metaphors are commonly found across different languages and cultures, especially those based on our sensory experience of the world (read more here about the sensory basis of metaphor).
The Eternity ad is in black & white, uses realistic imagery, has a casual feel showing a girl next door with a maternal and caring relationship (metonymy), whereas the Paloma Picasso ad is colourful, iconic (an element of fantasy), has an artistic and creative feel and a much more formal and goddess-like image of woman (metaphor).
Similarly, the three whisky advertisements below, show very different ways of creating meaning (and brand value) from symbolic to literal. Brands use metaphor and metonymy all the time (and generally focus on one or the other), and brand names themselves make use of these ways of meaning. In fact, many very successful (metaphorical) brand names end up being metonyms for their own product category (which they often helped to create).


A true form of mobile advertising, radio is ancient yet unique, growing and pervasive medium.
This entry was posted in Advertising Basics in 100 Words, Advertising Glossary, Radio Advertising and tagged radio ad, Radio Advertising by admin.
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson wrote a whole book (or books) on the topic (see Metaphors We Live By), and it is the driving idea of Douglas Hofstadter’s thinking on a wide range of subjects from computers to music (see I Am A Strange Loop). By contrast, metonymy uses an attribute of something to stand for the thing itself, or point to the thing itself by reference to its effects (smoke and fire, or brass and military officers).
Warm, cold and heavy are commonly used across a wide range of applications in language, although differences in context lead to differences in use.
Take a look at the ads for Eternity and Paloma Picasso perfumes below, and see the huge difference in their use of associations. Some brand and product names are more literal (iPhone) and others are more symbolic (Apple). Think of Coca-Cola, Hoover, Jell-o, Kleenex, Post-It notes, Scotch Tape, Thermos, Vaseline, Walkman and Xerox to name a few which are now commonly used for any product in the category.
Radio is able to penetrate our daily lives still of-limits to other media like television, internet, print or outdoor.


Synecdoche is a specific type of metonymy where a word for part of something is used to mean the whole (sail for boat, wheels for car, face for person). Radio is with its audience when one wakes up in the morning, goes to jog, commutes to and from jobs, at workstations and goes to bed.
It structures the language and behaviours we use when arguing with someone, and is deeply embedded in our thinking.
Commercial radio stations earn revenue by playing radio spots ranging from few seconds to minutes.
The format is evolving with time; stations now stream their program on internet and reach wider audience.



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