Figures of Substitution

This week’s learning centred around figures of substitution. This can be broken down into the following categories, and I’ve found an example of each used in advertising.


Identical Substitution: An image is used to replace another; the juxtaposition provides interest.

Identical Substitution Ad

Substitution of Similar Elements: Used to compare; one element stands in for another.

Similar Elements Ad

Substitution of Different Elements: A detail or part stand in for the whole, with examples being metonymy and synecdoche respectively.

Different Elements Ad

Substitution of Opposing Elements: Paraphrasis as a roundabout way of saying something; a euphemism as an understated way of saying something and antomasia being an epithet substituted for a proper name.

Opposing Elements Ad

False Homology: Puns which are plays on words.

False Homology Ad

Project 3 Progress:

I’ve been developing ideas for my posters, and have come up with a few different concepts. The first uses animals in each poster to represent the loss of habitat resulting from anthropogenic global warming. The tagline asks viewers to interact with the scene, asking a question in each to tie all of the different images together. draft sketch 1

The second is probably my preferred option at the moment, and it involves creating animals out of different types of garbage, the idea being to discuss ways to recycle and recuse waste to reduce the impact on their habitats. Not sure what the tagline will be at the moment, but all four will use the theme of ‘garbage animals’, so to speak, to tie them together.

draft sketch 2_croppeddraft sketch 3_cropped

I’m interested in using the metaphor when creating my figures of substitution poster. I think this quote I found during my research really describes the unique position metaphors inhabit in advertising: “More interpretive effort is required in making sense of metaphors than of more literal signifiers, but this interpretive effort may be experienced as pleasurable. While metaphors may require an imaginative leap in their initial use… many metaphors become so habitually employed that they are no longer perceived as being metaphors at all.” (Chandler 2007, p 127).


Reference List:

3M (n.d.), ‘Lint Roller’ [image], 25 New Creative Advertisements, Pinterest, viewed 25th January 2016,

Chandler, D 2007, Semiotics: The Basics, Taylor and Francis, Florence

Mcdonalds (n.d.), ‘Macca’s’ [image], Maccas- It’s Australian for McDonalds, Pinterest, viewed 25th January 2016,

Ricola (n.d.), ‘She’s (cough) just a friend’ [image], Ricola: She’s (Cough) Just a Friend, Pinterest, viewed 25th January 2016,

Tabasco (n.d.), ‘Grenade’ [image], Tabasco Grenade, Pinterest, viewed 25th January 2016,

Tiket (n.d.), ‘’ [image],, Pinterest, viewed 25th January 2016,




2 thoughts on “Figures of Substitution

  1. Hi Ruby,
    You’ve shown some really great examples of substitution. It really made me realise how simple ads can be using this form of rhetoric, but have a very powerful impact in bringing the message across. Especially the Tobasco ad – it’s quite black and white what the ad is trying to say and really grabs your attention right away.
    Your posters look great so far! Excited to see the finished result!


  2. Hey Ruby,
    I’ve loved this weeks figure of substitution, it creates some really unique and powerful advertisements because of the interesting manner in which substituting elements can create for the viewer. I particularly like False Homology for the humourous effect it has. Your project ideas are coming along really nicely, I think the garbage animal idea will look really effective! I suppose we need to be careful with these posters and how we just try to keep to one figure of rhetoric in each, I think if you do garbage animals throughout it would be heavily substitution for each – how will you go about keeping them different? I think you’re first sketches kept it simpler, maybe you could still use animals and garbage but in a different juxtaposition for each poster so its still a set of posters but different forms. Looking forward to seeing them!


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