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Promoting Business in the Media: Archetypes in Advertising and How to Use Them

[ BLOG ]

Table of contents of the article

While aggressive marketing is an effective psychological tactic, more environmentally friendly methods of influencing the audience are often used in advertising campaigns. This article will discuss with examples which archetypes are used in promoting brands and services.

Introduction: Archetypes

At the core of a company's brand or personality often lies a specific image that comes to people's minds when they hear the name or title. Consider the list below:
  • Kim Kardashian;
  • Elon Musk;
  • Marvel;
  • Steve Jobs;
  • Rolex.
Most likely, with each of these names, a specific association arises upon reading. If so, the PR campaigns that helped popularize these corporations or individuals have achieved their goal.
However, the images that form in the minds of the audience did not just happen. Each is a well-thought-out strategy created using ready-made tools. And these are archetypes.

An archetype is an image that accumulates cultural experience, allowing for variability, but at the same time recognizable and intuitively reproducible.

The Concept of "Archetype"

The term "archetype" was introduced by C.G. Jung in 1919 in his article "Instinct and the Unconscious." Currently, a total of 12 archetypes are recognized, and all of them are found in advertising:
  • The Child
  • The Sage
  • The Explorer
  • The Rebel
  • The Magician
  • The Warrior (Hero)
  • The Lover
  • The Jester
  • The Everyman
  • The Mother
  • The Ruler
  • The Creator
example of a facebook text

Examples of Archetypes in PR Campaigns

It's always intriguing to delve into famous advertising campaigns to understand what exactly, according to the creators' intent, should captivate the viewer. Let's do just that.

The Child and The Mother

These archetypal images are usually used together.
The Mother symbolizes care, affection, and love, while The Child represents simplicity and naivety. These images are found in advertisements for family products, insurance or medical services, charitable foundations, courses, and children's goods.
To incorporate the archetype into brand advertising, build close, family-like relationships with clients. Use a trustful tone, respond quickly to client requests, and focus on service. Show in the advertisement that, thanks to the product, a person can take care of their loved ones.
The Explorer

The Explorer is driven by the desire for new experiences and impressions. He travels, tries something new, and even unusual. His values are freedom and individuality.
Many have likely seen the Dior advertising campaign featuring Johnny Depp. The archetype of the explorer is well captured in this material.

Dior's advertising campaign featuring Johnny Depp
The video is dedicated to the presentation of men's perfume. Depp plays a musician who gets bored with his previous life and sets out to find himself.
To actualize the image of the explorer, tell vivid emotional stories, share impressions of new places, and demonstrate exciting videos and photos. The content should provide unique emotions and experiences.
example of a facebook text
The Jester

The Jester is a vivid character who is not afraid to break the rules and be funny. He brings laughter and joy, always optimistic, even in the face of difficulties.
A good example is the M&M’s commercials with animated candies, Red and Yellow. Recall the old New Year's commercial where they caused Santa Claus to faint.

M&M’s commercials with animated candies

For promoting the brand in the media and online, engage with your audience in an easy and relaxed manner, tell jokes, share funny stories. For visuals, use bright colors and cartoonish characters with a twist.
example of a facebook text
The Ruler

The archetype of the Ruler combines confidence, decisiveness, power, and leadership. The Ruler is the master of life, takes responsibility, guarantees quality, and keeps everything under control. He aspires to luxury. This image is characteristic of luxury brands.

For example, the Mercedes-Benz commercial where a lion is put behind the wheel. The message: if you want to be like him, buy our car, and everything will be top-notch.
Mercedes-Benz commercial

When advertising your brand, engage with your client as a business partner, maintaining a respectful and business-like tone. Advertise the product as an indicator of prestige and status.
example of a facebook text
The Creator

The Creator is an enthusiastic character with a rich imagination. He values freedom of expression, aesthetics, and innovation.

The bright and flamboyant Kenzo perfume advertisement demonstrates the spirit of freedom, uniqueness, and manifests diversity and creativity.

For promoting the brand, it is important to involve customers in the creation of the product (design, choosing certain characteristics). Flamboyance in advertising is appropriate, but not provocation. Surprise with an unconventional approach or idea, a fresh perspective on things.
example of a facebook text


Most often, brands utilize multiple archetypes in their PR campaigns. Archetypical images are useful because they are easily recognizable and convey certain information to consumers on their own. For instance, the image of the rebel is attractive and understandable to teenagers, while the explorer appeals to young people seeking their place in life. Skillful use of archetypes can be beneficial in promoting a company in the media and online.


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