FINDING TRUE NORTH
of the best print ever has evoked a story, even if it could not fully tell one. Consider, for example, the long-running campaign featuring the “Hathaway Man,” who wears a patch over one eye. Why does he have the patch? Who is he really? The not knowing—the having to “ﬁll in the blanks”—demands that the reader build a story around the ad. More recently, Foster Grant’s “Who is it behind those . . . ?” campaign does a similar thing: We are required to participate in the advertising by imagining the story that accompanies it. Today’s Story Becomes Tomorrow’s Icon Archetypal brands are classless, ageless, and regionless, and their deep meaning must be inviolate. That’s why it matters that the brand’s story (not just its advertising, but the whole myth or legend surrounding the brand) must be congruent with the brand’s core archetype. Brands are trusted to the degree that everything they do is consistent. Products seem right when everything about them is aligned with their informing archetype. This obviously includes the product’s logo, tag line, product design, packaging, and placement in stores, as well as the design of the story, the environment surrounding the sale of the product, and the look and story line of all promotional materials, including your Web site. They all should tell your story. Brands make history, and they become history. They may be part of our shared story or our personal and individual narratives. Generally, if you ask an American three-year-old to draw a cookie, she will draw an Oreo, and if you ask her to draw a dog biscuit, she will draw a Milk Bone. Sketching the “ideal home,” many baby boomers will create the two-story Colonial the Cleavers lived in. Etched deeply in our collective and individual memories are stories of our ancestors and our ﬁrst loves, our dreams realized and unfulﬁlled. The commercial world is comingled with these deepest memories and longings. We need only study and understand these road maps of the unconscious to ﬁnd the surest paths for our brands.