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NO MAN (OR WOMAN) IS AN ISLAND

necessarily good for you. The Jester identification basically says, “Lighten up on nutrition and health, and have some fun.” Candy (M&Ms, Snickers), snack foods (Pringles), cigarettes (Merit, “Lighten up with Merit”), and liquor (Parrot Bay; Kahlua, “Anything Goes”) all promise a mini-vacation along with the relaxation of ordinary health rules. NeoPoint cell phones sport a Jester image, advising the use of the company’s “smartphone to boost your IQ” and “make up for the brain cells you lost in college.” So Jester brands help you avoid the logical consequences of irresponsible, unhealthy, or even illegal behavior. You might remember the all-time great Alka-Seltzer ad, “Mamma Mia, that’s a spicy meatball!” The self-deprecating humor reassures customers that they can eat spicy food with impunity. The Jester also promises that activities which might ordinarily be seen as tedious or boring can be fun. Kubota tractor, for example, says, “The end justifies the tractor. The smell of fresh-cut grass. The quiet hum of precision. The ability to do more than you imagined. The belief that it’s not really work if you enjoy it.” Perhaps this is a “tractor thing,” because John Deere likens the experience of riding its tractor to “your first pony ride,” promising that “You’ll never want your first ride to end.” The turn of phrase that changes a negative assumption into a positive one is a great Jester strategy. Trident sugarless gum for kids turns the expectation that gum is bad for kids’ teeth on its head. One ad, featuring a cute little boy half hidden by the bubble he has just blown, says, “He huffed and he puffed, and he strengthened his teeth.” Similarly, ABC has run an ad campaign for many years that uses the line “TV is good,” irreverently defends couch potatoes, and jokes about the allegation that watching TV leads to the disintegration of brain cells. The “yellow campaign,” as it is known in the industry, has been noticed and talked about, but the question remains whether anything in the network’s lineup or the company’s culture reflects a Jester identity, and whether a clever advertising idea that would have been a natural expression of a Jester network simply ended up in the wrong home. Companies are wise, when expanding services or acquiring new companies, to stay within the same archetypal brand identity. Camel

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

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