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FINDING TRUE NORTH

out, Lucas benefited from the realization that it is the inner struggle of the character that provides the deep structure. And his act also paved the way for a whole new source of inspiration and validation for creative people of all stripes who intuitively thought and felt in archetypal terms, but had no tools to guide and structure their work. Bringing the Myths to Madison Avenue Margaret Mark had long believed that archetypal story patterns could be studied, codified, and applied to the development of advertising and other commercial communication. She also felt that the marketing community suffered from a kind of insularity, in that it didn’t fully benefit from what could be learned from how the public responds to art and literature—not just the stuff of universities and intellectuals, but in their most common and everyday forms. If we are the “image makers,” why aren’t we continually examining and trying to understand the appeal of prints that are chosen to hang on living room walls across America and beyond? Or, for that matter, why aren’t we studying the pictures and sayings in the most popular greeting cards, or the postcards tourists are most likely to buy when they visit Washington, DC, or New York? (Which symbol of America is spontaneously favored by ordinary Americans and visitors to the United States? Isn’t this something sophisticated marketing communicators should know?) Or shouldn’t we be continually analyzing the content of the lyrics of the most popular songs? And most importantly, why wouldn’t we feel some urgency to understand the stories that people have loved and cherished over the ages and around the world? Working both independently and with Young & Rubicam, Margaret teamed up with Wolansky to systematically examine the patterns of the most “popular” of our story “delivery systems,” movies. Film by film, Wolansky deconstructed stories, not by superficial categories of “genre” (romantic comedy, horror/suspense, etc.), but in terms of their deep architecture or “bones” of the story. Their work deliberately focused on films that met with marketplace success, as opposed to movies that were critically acclaimed but rejected by the public. In the end, their analysis showed that virtually all of the leading box office hits of the past 50 years reflected mythic patterns in whole

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

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