LEAVING A THUMBPRINT ON THE WORLD
ﬁnally found a way to help her daughter stop smoking. [She] is a patient who calms her own fears by talking with others who care. [She] is a wife whose newfound strength has given her husband hope.” Finally, green innovation is perfect for a Hero-brand identiﬁcation, because the higher levels of the archetype are focused primarily on making a positive difference in one’s time and for the planet. Green Mountain Energy (“Choose wisely. It’s a small planet.”) runs an ad saying, “Some people dream of making a difference. Others actually do.” Rather than focus on the heroism of the company, the ﬁrm wisely portrays its customers as Heroes, making “renewable facilities” possible “as a direct result of customer choice.” One of the most successful ads of the Partnership For a Drug Free America was “The Long Way Home,” in which a young boy, going home from school in a truly tough neighborhood, climbs over high fences and cuts through alleys and backyards to avoid the drug dealers. This ad—which shows wonderful empathy with the plight of the inner-city kid—says that “just say no” is not so simple. The boy says “ . . . and maybe the dealers are scared of the police, but they’re not scared of me. And they sure don’t take no for an answer.” Rather than promoting simple-minded solutions, this ad is empathic with the plight real kids face, while still portraying them as Heroes with options. Subsequent research by the Partnership indicated that the ad increased children’s conﬁdence in their ability to resist drugs and drug dealers.5 Marketing to the Hero When asked about Western civilization, Gandhi responded that he thought it was a good idea. People widely experience our time as one adrift and lacking in values and convictions. Consumers—especially those who express the higher levels of the Hero archetype— are hungry for convictions and attracted to people, companies, and brands that have them. In The Dream Society, Rolf Jensen predicts that before long, brands will be seen as the owners of meaningful stories, not products. The most compelling stories are those which 5. See also the discussion of the March of Dimes as a Hero brand, examined in detail in Chapter 6.