Internet Marketing

It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s Another Excruciating Marketing Metaphor.


aretha franklin
Sometimes a rose is just a rose.* In other words, a landing page does not have to be a ship, a sandpiper, or a head of arugula in order for your audience to listen to you-really!

In fact, there are many other lonely literary devices out there that just might give your internet marketing an unexpected boost. Witness A List Apart’s arresting use of allegory in this article on Findability. I never met a metaphor that made me want to kneel down and Eskimo kiss an internet marketing discipline the way this article did. Similarly, at Christmas this year, I wrote an ad in rhyming couplets that went on to be a best-seller for one of our clients. And yet another time, we did an online mad libs campaign for a client, one of our most successful social marketing endeavors to date. What will we think of next?

Better yet, why don’t you think of it first? Next time you are writing marketing copy, don’t be muzzled by the metaphor. Try foreshadowing, irony (shown here with a healthy side of hyperbole), sonnets, epistolary, etc. Why? Because metaphors are going the way of alliteration when it comes to contrived “cleverness,” and because internet marketing could use some good old-fashioned onomatopoeia.

At the very least, if you must use metaphor, write what you have to say first and then apply the metaphor afterwards. If you do it the other way, you are destined to dilute your point.

Even better, challenge yourself to use of the above literary devices this week, because using metaphors to be clever is like eating Thai food for culture. It’s a little better than nothing, but barely (and for the record, that was an analogy, not a metaphor.)

*According to closet internet marketing genius Aretha Franklin.

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