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The Jester


ises, “There’s no searching. Just surfing.” And surfing can be playful. Pocket PC ads picture energetic, outrageous young men and women jovially challenging the reader, “Can your palm do that?” Yahoo!’s bright colors and exclamation point practically shout: It can be fun to surf the Web if you use our service. Just as children love animals, Jester ads frequently use friendly animal images. Hyundai (whose slogan is “driving is believing”) positions the Hyundai Elantra as man’s best friend, saying it “does everything but lick your face.” Glad zipper storage bags with the double-lock seal shows a cartoon goldfish, happy that the seal is tight enough to keep the water from seeping out. The pokes gentle fun at the newlyweds in bridal gown and tux in a totally empty house, drinking wine from paper cups and looking shyly at one another. The caption is “Gift Idea: Wine Glasses,” but it is clear that they could use anything you might give them! Finally, many brands succeed in being regarded as more contemporary and fun by associating themselves with a comedian or cartoon figure. IBM overcame an overly stuffy image by using a Charlie Chaplin character in Junior PC ads. MetLife used the Peanuts characters to soften its image and to suggest a playful side to what can be an unsettling category. And Butterfinger successfully updated its image with commercials featuring Bart Simpson.1 The Jester Organization The Jester organization makes enjoyment the bottom line. Ben and Jerry’s, for example, prides itself on being a playful place to work. The walls are painted in murals based on ice cream flavors, some floors have a bounce to them, and people get bonuses in ice cream. The company even ran an essay contest at one point to choose its new CEO. At another point, it had an official “minister of joy.” Ben and Jerry’s also protects itself against the association of the Jester with irresponsibility by its social responsibility program, giving a percentage of revenues to causes much of the public supports. 1. David A. Aaker, Building Strong Brands (New York: The Free Press, 1996), pp. 150–151.

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype