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The Innocent


tional power of Coke. In fact, after a key invasion, Ike asked the company to set up sufficient production facilities to provide 3 million bottles for the troops. Postwar Coke became associated with a particularly global kind of Americanism, distinguishable from the Harley-Davidson kind by its idealism. In the early 1970s, Coke hit a home run with the following words from its theme song: “I’d like to build the world a home and furnish it with love/Grow apple trees and honeybees and snow white turtle doves.” The song was so popular, it ran for six years.1 Even the slogan “Coke, it’s the real thing” suggests the emphasis within the archetype on honesty and authenticity. The firm’s one real mistake—the introduction of New Coke—ended up rebounding to its benefit, as customers demanded Classic Coke, demonstrating an enviable amount of customer loyalty. The Promise of Renewal The United States is not only associated with enduring, wholesome values; it is also integrally associated with new beginnings. From the immigrants coming to the New World to wagon trains going west, America has promised that people could start over and, when necessary, reinvent themselves. “Go west, young man,” urged journalist Horace Greeley during the latter part of the 19th century. Horatio Alger stories written in the early 20th century invested that onward and upward energy into entering an economic system that rewarded merit. Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse cartoons typically illustrated how persistence transmutes defeat into success. Disney himself had endured many failures before ultimately gaining enormous success, as had his family before him. In inventing the famous mouse, his intention was to reinforce the best of the American rags-to-riches tradition and to teach values of optimism and persistence. Before he died, Disney summed up the impulse behind his films this way: “I 1. Bernice Kanner, The 100 Best TV Commercials . . . and Why They Worked (New York: Times Business, 1999), pp. 18–19.

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype