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Finding Archetypes in the Wild to Inspire Your Brand

They are all around us. It can be hard to stop noticing archetypes once you get started

By Damian PetersPublished 3 years ago 5 min read

They are all around us. It can be hard to stop noticing archetypes once you get started. Archetypes are everywhere, from familiar characters in movies to ads for your favorite brands. They are often hidden in plain sight, even though you might think they would be difficult to spot. It's enough to take the time and pay attention when you watch commercials, or just look closer at the characters.

The 12 Archetypes

Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, created 12 archetypes which are likely to appear in every story. These archetypes can be described as elements, emotions, fantasies, or visions. An archetype can help to define a brand, as well as lead customers to develop a meaningful relationship.

An inner guide controls our decision-making and is embedded deep within our unconscious selves. This inner guide can be brought to the surface by connecting to archetypes. Jung's 12 archetypes are a way to tell a story about a brand. This will make your brand more easily accessible, and hopefully, more desirable.

Stability and control: The Creator, the Caregiver, or The Ruler

Creator, Caregiver and Ruler archetypes all want control and stability.


This archetype is often used by brands that are designed for the arts, music, entertainment, fashion and fashion industries. The Creator is driven to create value by taking a vision and making it a reality. The Creator is the reason that people in the arts and design industries, where self-expression can be encouraged, often leverage this to reach their target audiences.

Instagram is the brand that springs to mind when you think of the Creator archetype. While Instagram is a fun brand, it also offers tools and support to users who want to create their content.

The Caregiver

Teachers, Mother Teresa, Princess Diana. These are the types of people who come to mind when you think about the Caregiver. This archetype is used regularly by brands in the hospitality and healthcare industries, as well as charities and education.

Subaru captures the Caregiver archetype well. Subaru is a brand that shows its caregiving through the sale of valuable vehicles that will keep your family safe. Subaru wants to communicate directly with those who care deeply about security. The Caregiver is their archetype.

The Ruler

The Ruler archetype is a leader who likes to control chaos and take on leadership roles. William Shakespeare was a master of the Ruler archetype, and used it often through characters like Othello or King Lear.

The Ruler archetype is often used by brands that sell high-status products such as Rolex watches, fashion, travel agencies, luxury cars and hotels. Think about powerful brands that offer a rich lifestyle and their products when you think of the Ruler archetype. The Ruler is a leader, boss, and role model.

The Jester, The Everyman and The Lover: Belonging and enjoyment

Everyman, Jester and Lover archetypes are all looking for pleasure and belonging.

The Jester

Jester archetype people are all about having fun, being optimistic and finding the best in everything. The Jester believes that you only live once. The Jester believes that we don't live long so the Jester encourages laughter and makes every moment count.

The Jester archetype is favored by brands in the entertainment, child service, and food industries. Think about the ads you've seen for Dominos. The pizza company is always trying to make our lives easier by creating funny commercials that promote their product. Old Spice and Dollar Shave Club, both men's brands, also include the Jester in their advertising campaigns.

The Everyman

People just want to feel connected. Because the Everyman archetype is relatable, it makes people feel part of a larger group. The Everyman archetype is a benefit to brands that sell basic clothing, cleaning supplies, or other products that are essential for daily family life.

Old Navy, Target and Ikea are just a few examples. Old Navy uses commercials that feature people from all walks of life dancing together. It's important to show that everyone belongs in a tribe and that everyone fits in. Isn't that what many of us want?

The lover

The Lover archetype is a hopeless romantic. The Lover archetype is used heavily in cosmetics, fashion, pet supplies and luxury brands. The Lover wants to be connected and interact with others on an intimate level. This archetype is used by chocolate brands because it offers a sensual, pleasurable experience.

Chanel is not only the Lover archetype; so was Marilyn Monroe. Chanel's ad featuring Marilyn Monroe effectively represented the Lover archetype.

Risk and mastery: The Hero and The Outlaw and The Magician

The Hero, The Outlaw and The Magician are all Archetypes that want to take chances and master every situation.

The Hero

Our culture's fascination with heroes is a testimony to the Hero archetype. Similar accessibility is available for heroes of the armed forces and sports figures. The Hero archetype is used by brands in the fitness, outdoor, and sports industries. Nike is the most famous Hero brand, but they're far from the only one.

Duracell batteries even use the Hero archetype. Duracell can provide energy for emergencies, such as when a flashlight or other life-saving tool is required.

The Outlaw

Red Bull and MTV use the Outlaw archetype often to promote music, fashion, energy and extreme sports.

The Outlaw archetype believes that disruptive change is possible. The Outlaw archetype believes in disrupting change and destroying all that is not working.

The Magician

Magic is all around us, and The Magician strives to channel it. The Magician is used by brands in the entertainment, fitness, and beauty industries to create eye-popping moments. Because it keeps going and going, The Energizer Bunny has a magical effect that defies our expectations about normal battery life.

Guinness is an excellent example of Magician branding, with powerful imagery and a secretive product. According to our sources, there is deep mystery about the beer's ingredients. Guinness's magical past and the effectiveness of the Magician archetype are just two of the reasons why it is so popular.

Independence and fulfillment: The Innocent and The Explorer

The Innocent archetype, Explorer, or Sage archetype seeks independence and fulfillment.

The Innocent

You can think of healthy and organic industries, as well as brands in the cleaning, beauty, or food industry. Toys R Us is a brand that stands out when you think about the Innocent archetype. Their TV ads still ring true, even though the toy retailer has gone out of business. Toys R Us' mascot was an innocent giraffe who brought back childhood memories for every customer that saw him.

The Explorer

The Explorer archetype encourages exploration and new experiences. The Explorer archetype is used by brands in extreme sports, outdoor travel, and SUV. They offer products that allow people to embark on thrilling adventures. The Explorer is a person who explores the world and lives life to the fullest.

The Sage

The Sage archetype is concerned with understanding the world around them. Sages seek to understand the truth and help improve the world. Industries such as engineering, mass media, literature, science and education all offer wisdom and self-awareness. They make effective use of this Sage archetype.

Google and CNN, for example, use the Sage archetype. One well-known example of the Sage archetype is the Dalai Lama, who seeks deep insight to help us understand our world.

You need some assistance in launching your brand using archetypes. A branding workshop is offered by many branding agencies. These workshops will help you identify the archetype of your brand and how to integrate it into your brand.


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