Page 130

The Hero

115

Brands as Heroic Guides and Props on the Journey In some cases, the company is pictured as providing the heroism you may lack. Upside, a Web site for dealmakers, runs advertising that asserts, “Ambition and will to succeed aren’t part of everyone’s DNA.” Dealmakers who read this publication can learn what they might lack. It is not uncommon for services to be cast as guides that can teach you to be a Hero. J. P. Morgan Securities promotes hostile takeover insurance with this language: “In today’s hostile business environment, ignoring the possibility of a takeover bid means your company may be less prepared to challenge one successfully. There are steps you can take now—before a hostile bid is made—which can improve your chances of surviving one.” Many such ads picture the economy today as essentially a battlefield or an athletic contest. Deutsche Bank markets itself as “winning the game” of achieving positive returns on investment and then sharing with consumers how to do it. An ad for Calico (“eBusiness for Leaders”) shows a man in a three-piece suit with a Viking hat on his head with these classic words: “Don’t just compete. Conquer.” Such an ad is an example of how a number of companies are using archetypes in obvious, but not very effective, ways. Just wearing the hat makes the man look a bit silly. To invoke the archetype, it should better call up the power of the Hero—the inner drama of feeling and being heroic. An ad for the Marines, for example, that ran repeatedly on national television evoked the hero powerfully. It begins with the image of a great hero fighting a monster. The image could have been from Star Wars or many other truly heroic tales. Then, suddenly, the warrior morphs into a U.S. Marine, standing at attention. The message is clear: You can be a real hero if you sign up. Market research by the U.S. Army revealed the fact that young people did not join the Army just for scholarships. They joined out of a heroic desire to develop their discipline and character. The “Be all that you can be in the Army” slogan has strong drawing power. There is a yearning within people—especially the young—to meet real challenges and prove their mettle. The Army provides an arena for realizing that desire. Similarly, the Women’s National Basketball Association targets

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Advertisement