The Metaphor Is the Message

I worked a lot of odd jobs to pay for school—from waxing floors to stocking grocery shelves to cleaning park grounds.  

One summer, I got paid to replace all of the mattresses and box springs in a 400-room hotel, which I began energetically. But by lunchtime, one of the hotel’s full-time employees stopped me and said, “Dude, slow down, you’re making us look bad.”

I must have raised an eyebrow, because he snapped back at me: “You don’t get it. You’ll go back to wherever you go in the fall. But I’m stuck here, because this is my real job.”

That idea—“I’m stuck here”—is the insight that drives this ad, which promotes the GED as a sledgehammer for breaking through the confines of low-paying, soul-decaying jobs.

A genuine insight + a simple, powerful metaphor = more effective advertising than all the “be anything you want to be” messaging the Ad Council might have conjured.