As talked about in my first blog post of this series, having a distinct identity is essential to online success. It raises your visibility and allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal emotional level. So discovering what your brand archetypes are, is central to positioning your company and products in a unique way. There are 12 of them, and we have already discussed The Innocent and The Regular Guy/Gal, The Hero and the Outlaw/Rebel and The Explorer and The Creator, The Ruler and The Magician, The Lover and The Caregiver, and now the final two.. The Jester and The Sage.
The Jester’s goal is to bring joy to the world. They are fun, have a great sense of humor, light-hearted & mischievous. A drawback to this trait is that they can sometimes be seen as frivolous or disrespectful. To get a good idea of who fits this archetype.. think of Jim Carrey or Jack Black or even Bart Simpson. At their best they are carefree and joyous and at their worst they can be cruel & irresponsible, but with a light-heartedness about it all.
Jester customers don’t want boring, regular type ads. They want to be entertained. They like things that are unusual and playful, especially ads that make fun of the seriousness of life.
Jester brands promise entertainment and generally are targeted at younger audiences because of their silliness. Jester brands use outrageous imagery and sometimes fall along the line of “teasing” their customers.
Some brands that do this well? Skittles and yes, Old Spice!
Skittles ads are fun, light hearted and represent Skittles in a variety of ways. From being a “chicken pox” type epidemic that is contagious, to Skittles being a “pet cloud” for an elderly woman that rains Skittles. Skittles ads are just absolute silliness, but their intention is to create ads that younger audiences will share with others and they succeed in that very well! Skittles slogan is Taste the Rainbow, but they pair that with other things that relate to their ads.. for example, the pet cloud? Pet the Rainbow, Taste the Rainbow. and the “skittles pox”, Contract the Rainbow, Taste the Rainbow.
Old Spice, used to be more of the Hero Archetype, with a ruggedly handsome man promoting their aftershave. But now, Old Spice has added body wash & other new products and when they did, they now create humorous ads. Yes, the men are still strong & ruggedly handsome, but with a comedic side. They are in a way, mocking themselves and mocking their “manly, macho ways”. First targeted at women.. “Ladies, does your man look like me? No. Can he smell like me? I don’t know..”, then going into the ad with asking ladies if they want a man that smells like he can bake a cake in a kitchen that he built, or swan dive off of a waterfall onto a waiting motorbike. “Should your man smell like an Old Spice man?” is the ending sentence. Then the next ad.. “Hello Ladies, look at your man.. now back to me.. now look at your man…now back to me…sadly he doesn’t look like me, but he can smell like me…” I absolutely love the humor in the Old Spice ads, and so do millions of others. Old Spice now fits the Jester archetype perfectly.
So if your products or brand has an emphasis on humor, fun & light heartedness, then keep these brands in mind when creating your advertising.
The Sage’s main goal is to help the world gain insight and wisdom. They are knowledgeable, a trusted source for information, thoughtful & analytical. They are mentors, gurus & advisors that can cover a large range of ideals. The only drawback is that they can be too opinionated. Some good examples of Sages… Yoda from Star Wars or Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. They are wise, articulate, and open minded, but can also come across as cold or self-absorbed in certain situations.
Sage customers understand that growth comes from knowledge and they are always seeking to educate themselves more. They want to see ads that challenge them and make them think differently.
Sage products and brands promise wisdom & education, and so they often use higher levels of vocabulary and imagery. They trust that their customers understand their difficult intellectual jokes and ideas and the biggest mistake a Sage brand could make, is to dumb things down to their customers. Some good examples? Rosetta Stone and National Geographic.
Rosetta Stone is “a global education company that develops language learning, literacy and brain-fitness products from Observer that are used by millions of individuals and thousands of schools, businesses and government organizations”, according to Wikipedia. They are best known for their language learning software. Their ads focus on empowering people to learn new languages to open up more of the world to them. With slogans like… “Their future begins with language” and “The world is yours if you ask for it” and “Create a Smaller World”. Their ads are inspiring and make you feel that if you learn another language, you can connect better with the people around you and how different the world would be if we can connect better by understanding each other better. This greatly appeals to the Sage archetype, because.. they are learning and expanding their knowledge, which is what they are always seeking.
National Geographic, either their channel on television or their magazine, is all about education. Everything they offer is non-fiction and factual content, that covers a large range of areas; nature, science, culture & history mixed with entertaining programming. “See today’s world though tomorrow’s eyes” is a slogan that they use to advertise their HD channel. But something that National Geographic cannot be beat, is their imagery. Their amazing jaw dropping shots of animals, landscapes and other places around the world, is what grabs readers and watchers attention. National Geographic, in my opinion, is still the front runner when it comes to this type of imagery education. National Geographic appeals again to the sage so they can continue educating themselves and National Geographic is a trusted source for it.
So if your brand is about education & promises wisdom by using your products, then keep these brands in mind when creating your marketing.
Brand archetypes are a very powerful tool to help you understand where you fit into the market and ALL successful brands are built on these ideas. They are used to create compelling personalities for your companies brands and products and help you to create BETTER marketing ideas for your company.
You don’t have to choose just one! There are several archetypes that bleed into others, just for the simple fact that people do not have just one distinct characteristic to their personalities or one brand doesn’t just fit one personality. Someone can be a hero and a sage, or someone could be a lover and a jester. But what you CAN do, is take your brand, and look at it from the different archetypes and create advertising that will appeal to a large range of consumers.
Let’s do an example for fun. Let’s say, my company was created to offer cleaning products.
I could appeal to the Jester, who likes humor, by creating funny ads with a main character pulling pranks on people that end up creating a mess, and my cleaning products are perfect to remove that mess so you can make another one.
I could appeal to the Caregiver, who likes to take care of others, by creating touching ads about how my cleaning products make taking care of your home and family easier and safer for your children.
I could appeal to the Ruler, who likes things organized, and create ads about how my cleaning products can restore order to your kingdom (home or business).
There are many directions that you can take these, and I hope that my blog series inspired some ideas to how you can better engage with your customer base. If you can identify the archetypes that fit your business, and work on those advertising angles, you will find that the world of marketing isn’t as daunting or complicated as you might think and it can be a lot of fun!