THE YEARNING FOR PARADISE
The Innocent archetype provides a good identity for brands that ● ●
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provide a relatively simple answer to an identifiable problem. are associated with goodness, morality, simplicity, nostalgia, or childhood. have functions associated with cleanliness, health, or virtue—and that are infinitely replicable. are priced moderate to low. are produced by a company with straight-arrow core values. desire to differentiate from a product with a tarnished image.
ﬁnally, American Beauty. The new Innocent is savvy and skeptical, as well as weary. Yet, the more jaded people get, the bigger is the pull of the great dream. Innocence is not really about reality; it is about keeping hope alive. In American Beauty, the hero leaves the emptiness of his career (in marketing, ironically), recognizes the pathology of his dysfunctional family, and escapes into regressive patterns of slinging hamburgers in a fast-food restaurant and lusting after a teenager. By the end, he has the quintessential Innocent mystic vision, recognizing that the simple pleasure of living his life is, in fact, enough. His expression of profound gratitude for the gift of being alive—as well as audiences’ unexpected appreciation of the ﬁlm—suggests a new level of the Innocent in the world today, one that is able to see the beauty in life even while recognizing its limitations.