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,




Figures of Suppression

This week’s learning centred on figures of suspension. I’ve included a brief description of the five different categories of suspension below:

  1. Ellipsis: An element is continually missing and becomes obvious in its absence.
  2. Circumlocution: Part of object is left out but linked to another through similarity.
  3. Suspension: Part of the message is held back, not revealed immediately.
  4. Tautology: A word is repeated but used in a different sense, its second use attracts attention in its redundancy.
  5. Preterition: When an advertisement feigns a secret.


I’ve found an example demonstrating ellipsis below:

Charity Water Ad

In this example an element is continually left out in an obvious fashion. Here, as Durand states (Durand 1987) ‘…the reader must understand that something is missing… and then guess what is missing.’ In this case, even though the text reveals this missing element, the ad still acts as a riddle the viewer will take pleasure in solving (Hoeken, et. al 2009) by looking at the images first.

 Project 3 Progress:

At the moment I’ve been doing research into other advertisements looking at global warming. I’m also hoping to get started researching the issue in depth to determine which way I want to go when producing my posters.


Reference List

Charity Water (n.d.), ‘Water Changes Everything’ [image], Water Changes Everything, Pinterest, viewed 19th January 2016,

Durand, J 1987, ‘Rhetorical Figures’, in J Umiker Seobeok (ed.), Marketing and Semiotics: New Directions in the Study of Signs for Sale, De Gruyeter, ePub, pp. 295-319.

Hoeken, H, Swanepoel, P, Saal, E, & Jansen, C 2009, ‘Using Message Form to Stimulate Conversations: The Case of Tropes’, Communication Theory (10503293), vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 49-65.

Figures of Addition

This week we’ve been learning about figures of addition. This can be further categorised into five sub categories, and I’ve included a short definition of each of these below:

Repetition: Repeating the same word, sound or group of words (Dyer 2008, p 129), or visual elements.

Similarity: Similarity of form or content; their difference is used to compare like objects.

Accumulation: An image made of a build-up of different elements conveying “abundance and quantity or disorder and chaos” (Dyer 2008, p 133).

Opposition: An image with a common theme between otherwise contrasting elements, and is used to attract attention.

Double meaning, ambiguity and paradox: These “play on the opposition between appearance and reality” (Dyer 2008, p 133). In double meaning similarity conceals difference; conversely in paradox, difference “conceals a real identity or sameness” (Dyer 2008, p 133).

I’ve also been looking at project 3 this week, and have decided to go with the topic of anthropogenic global warming.

Head in Sand image

This image is an interesting take on global warming advertising, and uses the figures of addition, particularly repetition and accumulation, to create a very impactful image. Something like this could be an interesting way to approach project three for the poster using figures of addition.


Reference List:

Dyer, R 2008, Advertising as Communication, Taylor and Francis, Florence.

Rouse (n.d.), ‘The world on Climate Change’ [image], The One Picture That Perfectly Sums Up World Action on Climate Change, Pinterest, viewed 12th January 2015,

Figures of Rhetoric

This week we have started learning about Durand’s Figures of Rhetoric, which can be categorised into four different groups:

  1. Figures of Addition
  2. Figures of Suppression
  3. Figures of Substitution
  4. Figures of Exchange

Valdman_My Masterpiece is Finished

In looking at this political cartoon, I’ve identified the forms of rhetoric which may have been used.

Figures of substitution is the main category which has been used in my opinion, predominantly substitution of similar elements, being a metaphor which allows one figure to stand in for another; in this case, it is the statue and the bulldozer standing in for Gillard’s Carbon Tax policy, and Abbott’s scrapping of it once he was elected. The black smoke coming out of the bulldozer could also represent Abbott’s reticence to acknowledge the impact of Global Warming. False homology is also used here, which uses puns as a play on words – the word ‘finished’ is given two meanings, being completed and destroyed. Figures of addition, particularly double meaning, could also be used here for the same reason.




Reference List:

Valdman n.d., ‘My Masterpiece is Finished’ [image], My Masterpiece is Finished, Pinterest, viewed 6th January 2016,