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How to go beyond the 30’s
spot using archetypes in
brand storytelling
Adriana Peña
BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT
CONTENTS
I. Why brand storytelling and branded
Entertainment?
II. Brand storytelling
III. Brands and the fulfillment of un...
We all know that no matter how much we could crave for those glamorous
times when one could smoke and drink in the office,...
‘‘ In the early days of navigation, mapmakers would mark the
mysterious gaps on their charts with cheerful warnings such a...
BRAND STORYTELLING
Stories are the cornerstone of branding, Richard Maxwell and Robert
Dickman, in their book The Elements...
To tell the story of the brand we have to find first the archetypical
persona of that brand and use that archetype to tell...
Most of these metaphors are derived from ancient archetypes.
That´s why we chose to work primarily on a brand storytelling...
Their model connects brands with the problem or human desire they are
trying to solve; then it maps those universal human ...
In essence, if brands somehow satisfy universal human desires
we can relate brands to archetypes. Our hypothesis was that ...
“Just Do It” is a message about giving your best to reach your goals. Nike is
about achievement, about being the best and ...
If we continue matching successful brands to archetypes, we could find
something like this:
Using these archetypes as guid...
We are fortunate to have the opportunity to put these ideas to the test with an
innovative client, creating a successful a...
So, going back the the elements of the story, we had to define the message,
conflict, characters, and the plot.
The Messag...
The Characters:
Remember the brand motivators of achieve, explore, and belong? We
matched these motivators to the archetyp...
With these archetypes in mind, we set about to discover the real skaters and
riders who would tell the Snickers story. The...
The content was received very enthusiastically. The general response was that
the audience related to the stories and the ...
Bibliography
Chip Heath and DanHeath, Madeto Stick, New York: Random House, 2008.
Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson, The ...
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Branded content and archetypes

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How to use archetypes to create branded video entertainment. Using archetypes in brand storytelling to produce long formats of multimedia branded content

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Branded content and archetypes

  1. 1. How to go beyond the 30’s spot using archetypes in brand storytelling Adriana Peña BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT
  2. 2. CONTENTS I. Why brand storytelling and branded Entertainment? II. Brand storytelling III. Brands and the fulfillment of universal desires IV. Brand storytelling and archetypes V. Creating branded content with archetypes, a case study: Snickers Roadtrip TV show
  3. 3. We all know that no matter how much we could crave for those glamorous times when one could smoke and drink in the office, the Mad Man advertising days are long time gone. The 30 second spot obviously isn’t enough anymore. Brands are exploring different windows and messages, breaking out of traditional commercial spaces and trying to merge with entertainment, a space where we naturally pay attention. The most straight-forward way to do this has been through classic product placement but that is not enough anymore either. In order to stand out and to make genuine connections, a brand must give something back, it must reward the consumer for granting his time and attention. Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson in their ground breaking book The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes, cite the work of Mary Jane Schlinger from the University of Illinois to prove this point: ‘‘ Analyzing viewers’ responses to hundreds of television commercials, Dr. Schlinger discovered that the most effective ads demonstrated a principle of “reciprocity”: When the viewer was “given” something (beyond the information necessary to consummate the sale) in return for his or her time and attention, the running of the ad constituted a “fair exchange,” a kind of quid pro quo in return for the viewer’s time and attention. Viewers were then more likely to consider rewarding the advertiser with their business.” Mark p. 290 This is what branded entertainment is about: “reciprocity” WHY BRAND STORYTELLING AND BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT? 2
  4. 4. ‘‘ In the early days of navigation, mapmakers would mark the mysterious gaps on their charts with cheerful warnings such as, “There be dragons!” . . . the truly creative people are those who are irresistibly drawn to do battle with them.” The Desingful Company, p.37 So, there be dragons on the way to branded entertaiment. How do we go beyond the traditional advertising messages? How do we keep our audience entertained and compete against the endless entertainment options they are exposed to? What role does the brand have in entertainment? How does a brand communicate it ́s message through entertainment without heavy handed, obvious, and tasteless product placement? How much branding makes the entertainment lose credibility? When does subtle branding go unnoticed? There be dragons! It is an interesting journey. We shall be prepared to slay the dragons. Our weapon: storytelling. This is the core challenge of branded entertainment: Story Telling Six words are enough to tell a captivating story. In six words we have conflict, narrative tension and we can infer characters and the plot. We can be moved, even feel empathy. Six words are enough, especially if they´re written by Ernest Hemingway. He is said to have called this short, short story his best work. "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." One of the ways of rewarding our consumer’s attention is by giving them entertainment. In turn, when the consumer is entertained he is more likely to lower his guard and to let himself be influenced by the message. How should a brand communicate through entertainment? How do we move beyond the 30 second spot? How do we fill the gap between traditional brand messages and non- traditional brand entertainment? 3 In the early days of navigation, mapmakers would mark the mysterious gaps on their charts with cheerful warnings such as, “There be dragons!” . . . the truly creative people are those who are irresistibly drawn to do battle with them.” The Designful Company, p. 37 So, there be dragons on the way to branded entertain- ment. How do we go beyond the traditional advertising messages? How do we keep your audience entertained, competing against the endless entertainment options our audience is exposed to, including Hollywood, primetime television, music, and live shows? What role does the brand have in entertainment? How does a brand com- municate it´s message through entertainment without heavy handed, obvious, and tasteless product place- ment? How much branding makes the entertainment los credibility? When does subtle branding go unnoticed? This is the challenge of branded entertainment. There be dragons! It will be an interesting journey. We shall be prepared to slay the dragons. Our weapon: storytelling. Stories are strongly associated with entertainment—movies and books and TV shows and magazines. When children say “Tell me a story,” they’re begging for entertainment, not instruction.” Heath p. 208 There has been a lot of work regarding the role of brands in human psychology, many of those discussions seemed to agree that these days we buy products much more to satisfy psychological needs than functional ones. What is a brand? Robert Walker, New York Times Magazine columnist says: “Branding is really the process of attaching and idea to a product. . . If a product is successfully tied to an idea, branding persuades people—whether they admit it to pollsters or even fully understand it themselves—to consume the idea by consuming the product. . . A potent brand becomes a form of identity in shorthand” Walker, p. 8 brands and the fullfillment of universal desires
  5. 5. BRAND STORYTELLING Stories are the cornerstone of branding, Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickman, in their book The Elements of Persuasion say that “stories are facts wrapped in emotions and the key to remembering facts is to anchor them it those emotions” since stories make people act, they provide a tool for persuasion. Advertising is ultimately about persuasion. Martin Lindstrom in his book Buyology states that because emotions are the way in which our brains encode things of value, a brand that engages us emotionally will win over the one that does not. So, in a world were people buy for emotional reasons, having a compelling brand story to tell is a must However, the skills needed to tell a good brand story in longer forms are not usually the same skills needed to produce traditional advertising pieces. The relationship between stories and brand experiences is not so clear. Think for a moment: what makes special events special? Why is a wedding different from any other gathering? Why is a concert like Live Aid different from any other concert? The answer is story. A wedding is a celebration with a story that supports it, the story of a man and a woman who promise each other a lifetime together. Live Aid is a show with a story, a show that tries to help solve a conflict of hunger in Africa. A good story can also provide meaning to a product, going beyond the product’s inherent benefits by surrounding them with significance 4
  6. 6. To tell the story of the brand we have to find first the archetypical persona of that brand and use that archetype to tell stories that are consistent with the brand archetype. In the art of storytelling elements like plot, characters, conflict and message are always part of the narrative but how can we tell a story of a brand that includes all these? The theory of brand archetypes provides a very usefull blueprint for making compelling stories. If used correctly, it can help us define what type of characters and conflicts can best tell the message we want to communicate. BRANDS AND THE FULFILLMENT OF UNIVERSAL DESIRES There has been a lot of work regarding the role of brands in human psychology; many of those discussions seemed to agree that these days we buy products much more to satisfy psychological needs than functional ones. If a brand is a sort of halo, a layer of meaning that surrounds a product then where does that meaning come from? 5 ng and Archetype vide a he story, eme. The hat the ory move audience ry we an antag- between s. If the g d. le aspect ate d they and ways. at make Most advertising creatives tend work through the storytelling elements from intuition. However, if we intend to use longer form stories successfuly in advertising through branded entertainment, we need to let our clients be familiar with these elements and we should learn to use them from the beginning of any creative process, even as early on as a support to the creative brief.
  7. 7. Most of these metaphors are derived from ancient archetypes. That´s why we chose to work primarily on a brand storytelling model based on archetypes Brands essentially strive to satisfy basic human desires Those desires have been personified in universal archetypes present in all myths, legends, religions and great stories. Gerald Zaltman states in his book Marketing Metaphoria that a very powerful tool to decipher deep levels of consumer thinking regarding a brand is to discover the metaphors that this brand triggers in them. Archetypes, in Jungian psychology, can be defined as “a primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors, and supposed to be present in the collective unconscious” (New Oxford American Dictionary). Archetypes have been vastly studied and have even made their way to popular culture and advertising. Archetypal brands are classless, ageless, and regionless, and their deep meaning is unconsciously embraced by everyone. As we know Joseph Campbell studied myths from around the world in his seminal work The Hero with a Thousand Faces, a book which eventually provided the groundwork for George Lucas’ Star Wars. More recently, Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson have applied archetypal theory to the understanding and shaping of successful brands. They explored the archetypical meaning of brands in their book The Hero and the Outlaw. 6
  8. 8. Their model connects brands with the problem or human desire they are trying to solve; then it maps those universal human desires or motivations into a simple system with two axes with major human drives at each end: Belonging vs. Independence, and Stability vs. Mastery Mark and Pearson suggest that if we analyze product categories according to their original purpose we can map them across this grid of universal human desires. For instance, beer as a category appeals to a desire to belong, anyone can have a beer, it doesn’t matter how big your bank account is or what you do for a living. The beer-drinking spirit is inclusive, it is a sort of unifier, and that is precisely its appeal. What would products like health and insurance appeal to? Those brands appeal to our desire for stability and control. Sporting goods, such as high- end sneakers, are tools to achieve mastery. Airlines and Travel appeal to our desire to explore and conquer. Once a brand is mapped in some point of these axes of human desires the next step is to find the brand archetype to be able to shape memorable stories and enduring characters about the brand archetype. A brand can be the Hero, the Lover or the Joker, once we have a character we can tell the story about it. Once up on a time there was a king…. 7
  9. 9. In essence, if brands somehow satisfy universal human desires we can relate brands to archetypes. Our hypothesis was that we could tell stories about those archetypes, instead of making long product placement videos. These archetypes are portrayed in common stories, tales and legends from all times and cultures. We all know some version of the story of the Hero, or the King, the Outlaw, or Romeo the Lover. These are universal stories that contain powerful archetypical images. That is why they have been repeated thousands and thousands of times in the stories from the Greeks, Romans, the Bible, Hollywood, advertising, and so on. Most stories throughout history and across cultures show a recurring set of characters. Each of these characters has a primal desire, a set of goals, a strategy by which they can achieve these goals, and a gift or special talent. These qualities can also be transferred to brands. In fact, the most successful brands are brands that consistently convey their identi- ty in a way that makes sense. Usually, the “personality” of a successful brand will fit in very neatly in an archetype. BRAND STORYTELLING AND ARCHETYPES 8
  10. 10. “Just Do It” is a message about giving your best to reach your goals. Nike is about achievement, about being the best and about winning. Nike is about mastery. Nike is clearly a hero brand. A hero’s main desire is to prove his worth though courageous actions. His goal is to prove his mastery in a way that improves the world. His gift is his competitiveness and bravery. Does Nike fit into this description? NIKE, THE HERO Just Do It RED BULL, THE EXPLORER Gives you Wings “Gives you wings” is a message about giving you the energy to explore the world and to create your own path. It’s about having the energy to break the norm, to master different skills to get you the moon. We all remember the space diver sponsored by Red Bull, who did the first human skydiving from the stratosphere, breaking the sound barrier on his descent and becoming the first human to do so and thereby taking the meaning of the brand slogan “Red Bull gives you wings” to the ultimate extreme. 9
  11. 11. If we continue matching successful brands to archetypes, we could find something like this: Using these archetypes as guides, we can create characters that correspond to universal human needs and desires. Characters that are compelling and believable, who can live through a story that conveys a message that moves emotions and can be entertaining. 10
  12. 12. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to put these ideas to the test with an innovative client, creating a successful award winning branded entertainment campaign. Snickers, the chocolate bar from Mars, was implementing in Mexico the Snickers Urbania brand strategy. This consisted of organizing massive urban festivals with competitions in various extreme sports, expressions of urban art and live music. In 2009, Mexico City saw the fourth edition of Snickers Urbania, an event and a extreme sports competition that expected 100 thousand people. We were called to work on the content around the brand experience and also implement the digital strategy of the brand and the public relations around the massive event. The idea was to have a coherent history told trough the different windows that the brand was planing to use to touch its consumers. The creative proposition for the content was to work in a genre that is very typical and relevant for this sort of story: the road movie. Shifting focus from the competition to a trip around Mexico where some key competitors would practice in different parks and terrain before the contest. That was the set up of the story. CREATING BRANDED CONTENT WITH BRAND ARCHETYPES ACASE STUDY 11 Creating branded content with brand archety A practical case Snickers, the chocolate bar, is implementing in Mexico the Snickers Urbania stra Urbania began ten years ago in Russia and has been incredibly successful. So brand is exporting the concept throughout the world. The strategy consists of organ multidisciplinary urban festivals, with extreme sports competitions, expressions of live music. In 2009, Mexico City saw the fourth edition of Snickers Urbania. The event expec sand people. We were called, for the second time, to work on the content around th rience. On top of the content, this year we would also implement the digital strateg and the public relations around the massive event, the idea was to have a cohere trough the different windows the brand uses to touch its consumers. Reccomendations • Not to base the content exclusively around the event itself. • Looked for the stories behind the event we would have much more compelling c
  13. 13. So, going back the the elements of the story, we had to define the message, conflict, characters, and the plot. The Message: Our story was a story of belonging. A story of how being part of a group makes you larger than yourself and how having friends and learning from them enables you to achieve things that you alone could never achieve. The Conflict: It was the fear of being lonely. Not belonging is the central conflict in the archetype of the regular guy. There is also another conflict that has to do with the competitions: the fear of not being good enough, of not giving your best. The brand brief was instrumental in helping us shape what stories were coherent with the brands. Snickers is one of the few chocolate bars that has nuts wich have protein and protein gives you energy. Therefore, Snickers sees itself as an antidote for hunger and if hunger can’t stop you, nothing can! The target consumers were male teens between the ages of 18 and 25. Through extensive international consumer research, Snickers had clearly identified three motivators in this target: The need to achieve The need to explore and most of all, the need to belong We selected 4 archetypes to create the brand story: The Outlaw The Explorer The Regular Guy The Jester 12
  14. 14. The Characters: Remember the brand motivators of achieve, explore, and belong? We matched these motivators to the archetype model and found a set of universal characters that could help us sketch the type of stories that could be told around the brand. We came up with the following list: Joker Is positioned in the belong axis. He enjoys life and the company of others. We proved that if you can make people laugh, you can be yourself and also be accepted. Because of his relationship with the desire to belong and the close resemblance that the Joker has with young Mexican's sense of humor, this was an ideal archetype to work with. Outlaw This archetype worked for the story because it supports the brand brief’s motivator of “achieve”. The Outlaw archetype follows a different path than Hero but is positioned in the same mastery axis as him. The Outlaw wants a revolution, to change the world, to shock and to prove himself. The Outlaw is especially relevant because it is the archetype most closely related to our natural characters: young skaters and bmx riders. Explorer Obviously, this archetype works with the brand brief ́s motivator of “explore”. This archetype helped us contrast the desire to belong with the desire for freedom and individuality. The Explorer is closely related to puberty, our target’s stage in life, when they are struggling to find themselves and to draw their own identities. The Explorer fulfills his desire not only through a symbolic journey (as do all archetypes), through a real, concrete journey. Regular Guy This is the quintessential archetype for Snickers. The brand themselves had already identified this. For us, the Regular Guy made sense because he is in the belong axis. This archetype provides unity because he is inclusive and anyone can identify with him. His main desire is to connect with others and he has the gift of common sense, of having an ordinary but solid set of virtues. 13
  15. 15. With these archetypes in mind, we set about to discover the real skaters and riders who would tell the Snickers story. The casting process involved a long interview where we tried to match the kid’s real, genuine stories with these archetypes. Since the Snickers Urbania event was not only about the competitions, we also invited musicians on the trip. We casted two members of Radio Catoche, an up-and-coming ska band. Their role in the story was to bring in some flavor and diversity and especially to show the concept of belonging by seeing the interaction and collaboration between different urban tribes. The content came to life in different formats: Thirteen 30” TV chapters, various clips for the webpage and YouTube, one 20” tune-in television spot, with call-to-action to the television show and a studio recording of Radio Catoche’s song “Mi Vicio es Patinar”, which ended up as a free mp3 download on Snickers’ Mexican website. www.snickers.com.mx Let’s not forget that our ultimate goal was to sell chocolate bars. Therefore besides of creating a long TV branded content format we needed to fulfill a media plan that was carefully designed to meet traditional reach and frequency goals as well as other KPI’s like social media engagement and live event attendance. The last story element we needed was the plot. The route on the road would determine the set of events that shaped the story. We carefully designed a trip that would give us certain scenes and pieces of the plot to be able to tell a story in 13-chapter-TV series and that could also be unfolded in various sub formats. 14
  16. 16. The content was received very enthusiastically. The general response was that the audience related to the stories and the characters. One unexpected response was that even when the audience was clearly off-target, the story generated enough resonance and identification for them to engage. We found that our parents and mother-in-laws enjoyed the story almost as much as the skaters and riders themselves. After the experience, the audience felt that the time and attention they gave us was worthwhile. They got something back from Snickers and they were entertained and moved. This case won multiple international awards; Effectiveness Award at Festival of Media Global for the Snickers Urbania Campaign, Valencia- 2010,, Effie Silver Award for Snicker Urbania Campaign, Mexico-2010 Did they purchased a chocolate bar now, in return for the entertainment? They certainly did! 19% increase of sales. 15
  17. 17. Bibliography Chip Heath and DanHeath, Madeto Stick, New York: Random House, 2008. Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson, The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes,New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001. Richard Maxwell & Robert Dickman, The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business, New York: Harper Collins, 2007. Langwost, Ralf. Idea Management, Havas Media2009 Buy.ology, MartinLindstrom,Doubleday 2008 Marty Neumeier, TheBrand Gap,Berkeley, CA: New Riders,2006. Marty Neumeier, TheDesignful Company, Berkeley, CA:New Riders, 2009. Carol S. Pearson, Awakening the Hero Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World, New York: HarperOne,1991. Annette Simmons, The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling, New York: Basic Books, 2001. Robert Schank, Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence, NorthwesternUniversity Press, 1995. Rob Walker, Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, New York: Random House, 2008. The Power of theMyth, JosephCampbell, Anchor Books 1999 The Hero of a Thousand Faces, JosephCambell, New World Library 2008 Archetypesand the Collective Unconscious,Carl Jung,Princeton1934 The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell, Back Bay Books 2002 How Customers Think, Gerald Zaltman. Deep Metaphors at Work, Gerald Zaltman, Harvard Business2008 This campaign was produced during my tenure as General Manager of Havas Entertainment Mexico, I want to thank the extraordinary team of Havas Entertainment; Alfredo Cottin Creative Director, Juan Pablo Urrutia Production Manager, Denisse Chavez Operations Director, Ana Marin Social Media Coordinator, Gustavo Serrano Community Manager, Mariat Vega Client Director and our courageous client Andrea Aguilar Chocolate Brand Manager for Mars Mexico. Adriana Peña adriana@adrianapena.com 16

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