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FINDING TRUE NORTH

people and things for the better), and the Sage (who provides wisdom and knowledge). Informed by both types of story patterns, the organization thus is in a position to communicate in inspiring, rather than frightening, ways. This newly developed inventory of story patterns is now helping communicators of all stripes to benefit from the inspiration offered by timeless, beloved tales. And it is finally working its way into the little stories we call advertising. One Archetype, Many Stories Our approach recommends identifying the most appropriate and effective single archetype for your brand. But having done that, you will likely find that a myriad of story patterns, or different aspects of one story pattern, can inspire your brand’s communication over time. Start by revisiting the motivational needs that underlie your brand’s archetype, and then find the corresponding concepts that relate to the story patterns. For example, Nike, once a strong Hero brand, did a great job of expressing some parts of the Hero’s journey: the call to adventure (“Just do it”); entering the special world (magnificent vistas, the private space of the runner); and the supreme ordeal (the implication that, by testing yourself, you are taking on your own inner demons). But much opportunity for plumbing the depths of the story further was left unrealized: Who is the runner’s Merlin, or wise elder? Who are his or her allies and enemies? What is the “elixir” in this case, and how do you find it? By way of comparison, Pepsi, over time, has richly milked its Jester archetype with a myriad of fresh and interesting stories: Michael J. Fox, our modern-day Puck, sneaking out of his apartment window and running down the fire escape to get the can of Diet Pepsi for his pretty neighbor waiting at his apartment door; Pepsi being accidentally delivered to the old folks’ home, prompting a wild party, while everyone snores at the frat house that got the delivery of Coke; and an “archaeology” spot, in which a professor and students of the future uncover artifacts from the 1990s, identifying their historic significance one by one until they come to a bottle of Coke, an article so long extinct that nobody knows what it is. (Of course, they are all drinking Pepsi as they marvel at this unknown object.)

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

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