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Postmodern Marketing


symbolism of regal power, status, and control. If marketers think in terms of market segments, it may be tempting to stereotype such a person, mentally confining her to a very narrow motivational category. However, if we realize that she is a full human being, then it isn’t difficult to recognize that from time to time, she might feel trapped by her high-powered life. Like many of us, she may be working so hard that she has begun to feel too driven. Every human being has a basic desire to achieve, and this desire may have taken over her life. In addition, we all have a need for pleasure and adventure. Our executive might not even be conscious of this sense of yearning or the need for balance. Yet, despite this lack of awareness, she is suddenly attracted by advertising images that connote freedom. The Jester could appear to her through an ad in which people are having a wonderful time drinking a particular beer, an airline is taking a couple to exotic places, or happy people are riding in a convertible by the beach. Whether or not she analyzes her responses and concludes that she needs more balance in her life, she might well respond to the archetypal pull by buying the beer and throwing a party, booking her next trip on the airline, or purchasing the convertible (even if she never actually takes it to the beach). The woman who is juggling multiple roles may be empowered by the ability of the archetypal Hero to overcome great challenges or the Ruler to maintain order when chaos threatens. But she also may be attracted to archetypes that give her what she is craving, rather than those that simply reflect what she is experiencing. Thus, she may respond to the peace and simplicity of the Innocent or the erotic intensity of the Lover. Instead of connecting with empowering images, the representation of the modern “superwoman” in advertising today has become clichéd and stereotyped. Most women are simply annoyed when they encounter yet another portrayal of the overworked, frantic wife– mother–career woman. They do not feel known. Rather, they feel trivialized, just as they once felt demeaned by stereotypical images of the housewife. People’s eyes glaze over when confronted by messages that do not meet them where their compelling issues are. This may be the primary reason marketers have trouble getting the attention of con-

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype