Page 9



We all love stories, and we need them. From fables to novels, from musicals to advertising, we instinctively crave stories which can provide the human context for forces that are often vast, ancient, and abstract. Stories are the best teachers. This is a book about finding the right story. It provides a fresh framework for understanding how brands and companies gain and lose meaning, attention, value, and share of market in these hectic times. In 30-odd years in the business of advertising and marketing, I have met no more original thinker or articulate researcher than Margaret Mark. I have had the good fortune to work with her for nearly two decades, during which I have watched her constantly tear up the hard sod of accepted wisdom and break new ground for the great benefit of her clients. Now, she has joined forces with Dr. Carol Pearson, a uniquely gifted scholar who has not only been delving deeply into archetypal studies for years, but has been applying her insights in a practical fashion as a consultant to major organizations. Together, they have fused a remarkable thesis that, in the end, is all about strengthening the value—even the market value—of brands and companies. I could not help but think of Margaret and Carol on the last Super Bowl Sunday, as a fresh phalanx of dot-coms paraded their million-dollar-per-half-minute commercials in front of the nation’s richest TV audience. Most of the commercials were witty, novel, and spectacular in effect. And most lacked anything close to ‘‘meaning.’’ Their millions were wasted. This book illuminates the most ancient grooves in our mental architecture, which Carl Jung described as ‘‘archetypes,’’ and shows how they can be employed to bring meaning and profit to a brand. There is a nascent power here that, if understood correctly, can bring a rare vitality to a brand or a corporation. But let me post the ‘‘warning label’’ up front. In my opinion, meaning is not something that can be grafted onto a product, particularly an inferior one. To attract and keep customers, meaning must be true to the intrinsic value of a brand—that is, what the product really is and does. Thus, the management of archetypes must begin long before an ad is begun. It starts with the development of a product or service that provides a real benefit.

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype