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THE YEARNING FOR PARADISE

consciously. The caption says, “You don’t just want clothes. You want clothes that make you feel completely at ease with yourself. Like when you were six.” The Innocent often wants to go back to nature and natural living. Clairol Herbal Essence pictures spring leaves and flowers, promising “a totally organic experience with style.” You can think of Thoreau in America advocating the simple, natural life, or Gandhi, in India, who advocated a return to simplicity in ways that would free that country from British rule. Similarly, you can remember the back-tonature hippie impulse in the 1960s. In today’s affluent, but rather driven and fast-paced society, the urge to go back to a simpler life takes on a rather different emphasis. A magazine like the upscale Real Simple promises “low-stress living, one-dish dinners, simpler skin care, clothes that work, nurturing friendships, [and] serene spaces,” yet delivers on this promise by advertisements for extremely expensive, but nostalgic, clothing. Real Simple (motto: “do less, have more”) has been created with the Innocent visual effect. Colors are soft pastel. Images are simple, uncluttered, and classic. The page layout provides a refreshing amount of white space that keeps the text and the message from being overwhelming. Sometimes, new technologies wisely capitalize on the promise of the Innocent to help translate what can be off-putting features of a product into something that feels natural and wholesome. For years, the Jolly Green Giant, created by Leo Burnett, epitomized the fresh, wholesome qualities of the frozen vegetables bearing that name. Never mind that frozen felt less than perfect; the evocation of the Green Man and his lush, abundant valley helped to convey the idea that flash-frozen vegetables could bring even more of the farm to your table. Likewise, the Pillsbury Doughboy, also a Leo Burnett creation, embodies all of the natural wholesomeness of “baking,” even as the word was being redefined to mean removing a product from a tube and putting it into the oven. Even in a hurried, technology-driven time, the act of taking something warm out of the oven (however it got there!) conveys a feeling of “life as it should be,” as it was before we were all so busy and distracted. Even in the so-called “vice” categories, the Innocent archetype has been used effectively. For example, in the early days of its na-

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

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