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Use of Archetypes

  • Date Submitted: 12/15/2013 03:44 AM
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Use of Archetypes in Advertising
The term "archetype," as used in advertising, is based on Carl Jung's theory that humans have an innate tendency to use symbolism to understand concepts and that the subconscious plays a role in deciding which advertising messages we retain. Archetypal images are characters that represent deeply fundamental human needs and desires, and have often been used by the advertising industry to subtly persuade consumers to purchase their products or services. Although the names vary, advertisers use 12 archetypes to drive purchasing decisions. To be effective, advertisers must thoroughly research the motivators likely to be shared by its desired demographic.

The Hero, The Outlaw and The Magician
Advertisers have long used the archetypal model of the ruggedly handsome hero to speak to the human need for protection. Characters and brands such as the Marlboro man, the Old Spice guy, GI Joe and Gillette Razors exhibit the true essence of man through adventure, heroism, bravery or service. The outlaw archetype -- the risky rebel -- is used with success by Harley Davidson motorcycles to characterize the rule-breaking risk-taker, as does the Virgin brand and its business philosophy of doing things "differently." The magician archetype is the Harry Potter-like, Disneyland-ish, Wizard of Oz-type figure who symbolizes transformation. The late Steve Jobs and his Apple products personified the magician who promoted the amazing world of technology.
The Regular Guy, The Jester, The Lover
Every age needs a lovable, pretension-free everyman, and it's hard to think of a more "regular guy" than Homer Simpson. People relate to Homer because when the chips are down, he does the right thing. IKEA also aligns its brand's personality with the universal man; the one-size-fits-all personality who can put together products with ease. If you want a regular guy online shopping experience, turn to Ebay. Joe Camel, and his humorous “jester” archetype is the...

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