The Power of the Metaphor in Marketing

Mr WindI know it’s several years old now but the Epuron video about Mr Wind has to be one of the best metaphors used by a brand in recent years.  If you haven’t seen it,  it’s an advertisement that demonstrates how the wind affects us and how, when it’s harnessed properly, it can be very powerful and a resource we should all love. The advert shows a large French man in a mini bowler hat who annoys everyone he comes into contact with; he blows a woman’s skirt skyward, throws sand in the face of a child and ruffles hair styles.

The huge, intimidating, yet misunderstood hulk at the centre of the video is the metaphor which helps us all identify with our own beliefs about the wind.

Like stories, metaphors engage the creative and visual part of the brain.  We connect with them on a more emotional level as they bypass the rational side of the brain and lower our defences to a ‘pitch’ of any sort, including for example a sales pitch. This is why metaphors can be more persuasive and help you win more business.

For many of us, we feel that our brains are not designed to understand jargon, widgets and technicalities.  We want things to be easy and accessible and to make life easier or more enjoyable rather than posing challenges.  Our brains naturally understand stories, symbolism and imagery. And when you build in a human element to your metaphor then invariably it will make a powerful impact.

Our giant Mr Wind is an inspired metaphor and one that we talk about and pass on to others on a regular basis. It has already had nearly 5 million views on You Tube with 25,000 comments, so that’s helped to drive a lot of conversation about one brand.  If you haven’t seen it already here it is:

Mr Wind

If you have examples of other great metaphors we would love to hear about them.