Brand Archetypes

Archetype is defined as a statement, pattern of behaviour or prototype which other statements, patterns of behaviour and objects copy or emulate.

In marketing using archetypes is crucial to make one seller’s product  stand out from those of others. Companies anchor their brand against something iconic—something already embedded within the conscious and subconscious of humanity.

There is twelve recognised brand archetypes:

  1. hero
  2. magician
  3. sage
  4. lover
  5. explorer
  6. every person or citizen
  7. ruler or sovereign
  8. innocent
  9. revolutionary or rebel
  10. jester
  11. caregiver
  12. creator

I will analyse three examples of how brand archetypes were used by three popular companies.

Apple Macintosh 1984

One of the brand archetypes that is dominating the scene undeniably is revolutionary/rebel. In the video you can see the room full of people dressed in dark, boring clothing being brainwashed by a figure appearing on a big screen. He is using big words and his tone of the voice is deep which has been proven by scientists that to have more leadership quality than higher-pitched speakers.

Everyone gathered in the room looks rather emotionless, their faces have no expressions, they look drugged. The sound heard in the background adds dramatism. It all drastically changes when a lady dressed in bright red shorts storms in with a sledge-hammer and smashes the screen.


The word revolution is associated with red, white and black colours. What is more, it shows that what is coming is not all grey and boring but energetic, confident and lively. Smashing the screen symbolises a breakthrough for new Mackintosh computers. It’s portrayed as a revolutionary invention and life changing for many. It definitely made computing industry more exciting and innovative. As we can see nowadays they lived up to the expectations.

Together-Nike LeBron James. 

The commercial for Nike featuring NBA player LeBron James, is very much portraying him as a hero who is inspiring and who is bringing the community together. He is motivating his fellow players to give it all in order to say thank you to their supporters for being there for the team.

The commercial is very inspiring and promotes community uniting and supporting each other. It brings out a lot of positive emotions in me and even gives me goose bumps while watching it.

T-mobile dance

The commercial for T-mobile is showing improvised or spontaneous performance called “happening”. It was organised at the Liverpool Street station. People who organised it started dancing and for their surprised onlookers joined in. People of all ages, all gender, all races started dancing, laughing and taking pictures. Brand archetype used was jester and I believe that the message “Life is for sharing” has been delivered successfully. I cannot imagine anyone watching this with a completely straight face.

In all three examples we can see how the brand archetypes were used in order to bring out emotions in people and make the brand memorable with their successful execution of delivering the message.


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