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The Innocent


tional rollout, Coors beer’s reliance on the pristine imagery of the Rocky Mountains set it apart from a meat-and-potatoes category and led drinkers to imagine John Denver and rushing streams of pure water. More recently, regional beers have succeeded in conveying this spirit. Instead of imagining a huge factory when thinking of the production of these brews, consumers picture a small brewery, full of local color, and they believe that the characteristics of the locale are somehow delivered in the experience of drinking the beer. The marketing of environmentalism is a natural for emphasizing the Innocent archetype. America’s electric utility companies have run an ad with a picture of a lovely little girl in a sunlit, idyllic forest and the following words superimposed on the image: “We’re doing our part to make sure our children inherit a world where the wood thrush still has a reason to sing.” Back to Basics The poet W.H. Auden wrote that people come in two varieties: Utopians, who imagine the perfect world in the future, and Edenists, who, if life is not perfect now, believe it once was in the past. Innocent ads, then, often appeal to nostalgia. An ad for Belvedere Vodka runs a picture of a wonderfully alive old man with the words “The same way my father made it. The same way his father made it. The same way his father made it. . . .” The ad explains further that the vodka is “drafted using traditions over 500 years old.” The revival of Rheingold beer, which traced its roots to Brooklyn in 1835, was fueled with the energy of nostalgia, as was the reintroduction of the Volkswagen Beetle. Early Rheingold ads also played on the Innocent’s optimism, saying “Suddenly the world’s glass is half full again.” Like a good child, the Innocent is always trying to get life right. An ad for Maxwell House—with the requisite Innocent pastel colors and a sweet-looking young woman with a white blouse and soft blue coffee cup—resolves, “I will forgive my husband for snoring. I will stop finishing other people’s sentences. I will buy myself sunflowers and anemones. I will send my parents on an Alaskan cruise. I will read everything ever written.” At the bottom is the promise of paradise: “Make every day good to the last drop.” The Innocent is not only allied with the past; it is also associated

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype