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Advertising between Archetype and Brand Personality

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The aim of the paper is the alignment of C.G. Jung’s (1954) archetypes and Aaker’s (1997) brand personality framework in the context of advertising. C.G. Jung’s theories had a tremendous impact on psychology. David Aaker and his daughter Jennifer are seen by many as the branding gurus. Despite the fact that both frameworks refer to persons/personalities there is no publication linking the two frameworks. Our research tried to fill this gap by developing a joint framework combining Jung’s and Aaker’s attributes and apply it by analyzing two distinctively different TV commercials from Asian hotel chains. A total of 102 Executive MBA students had to watch both TV commercials and then conduct an Archetype (C.G. Jung) Indicator test and rate Brand Personality (Aaker) traits of the two commercials. Results show that there is common ground. This has implications for advertisers who may want to specify an archetype and related personality attributes for their promotional campaigns. Game changers in the hospitality sector may want to be seen as Outlaw whereas established hotel chains may position themselves as Lover with personality attributes such as welcoming, charming, and embraced.
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administrative
sciences
Article
Advertising between Archetype and
Brand Personality
Clemens Bechter 1, *, Giorgio Farinelli 2, Rolf-Dieter Daniel 3and Michael Frey 4
1Thammasat Business School, Thammasat University, Tha Prachan, 10200 Bangkok, Thailand
2EuroMBA, Tongersestraat 49, 6211 LM Maastricht, the Netherlands; Giorgio.Farinelli@euromba.org
3European Association for Business and Commerce, 1 Empire Tower, Sathorn Road, 10120 Bangkok,
Thailand; rolf-dieter.daniel@eabc-thailand.eu
4
Faculty of Humanities, University of Freiburg, Friedrichstr 39, 79098 Freiburg, Germany; Michael@bagan.net
*Correspondence: clemensbechter@tbs.tu.ac.th; Tel.: +66-2-623-5742
Academic Editor: Noel Siu
Received: 19 April 2016; Accepted: 17 June 2016; Published: 21 June 2016
Abstract:
The aim of the paper is the alignment of C.G. Jung’s (1954) archetypes and Aaker’s (1997)
brand personality framework in the context of advertising. C.G. Jung’s theories had a tremendous
impact on psychology. David Aaker and his daughter Jennifer are seen by many as the branding gurus.
Despite the fact that both frameworks refer to persons/personalities there is no publication linking the
two frameworks. Our research tried to fill this gap by developing a joint framework combining Jung’s
and Aaker’s attributes and apply it by analyzing two distinctively different TV commercials from
Asian hotel chains. A total of 102 Executive MBA students had to watch both TV commercials and then
conduct an Archetype (C.G. Jung) Indicator test and rate Brand Personality (Aaker) traits of the two
commercials. Results show that there is common ground. This has implications for advertisers who
may want to specify an archetype and related personality attributes for their promotional campaigns.
Game changers in the hospitality sector may want to be seen as Outlaw whereas established hotel
chains may position themselves as Lover with personality attributes such as welcoming, charming,
and embraced.
Keywords: archetypes; promotion; branding; brand personality traits; positioning of hotels
1. Introduction
Established brands face the challenge of maintaining consumer’s interest; one solution is the
built-up of a specific brand personality [
1
]. Brand Personality consists of a number of human
characteristics associated with the brand; it is a personification of the brand [
2
]. Matzler et al. [
3
] used a
sample of 662 car enthusiasts and proved that personality traits extraversion and agreeableness predict
identification with the brand community, which in turn, and along with product attachment, is related
to trust and brand loyalty. Product attachment itself was a function of person-brand congruity, the
perceived fit between the person and the brand. Allen and Olson [
4
] consider that brand personality
is the set of meanings that best describe fundamental brand characteristics. These meanings are
constructed by consumers based on behaviors seen in brands when they are personified or based on
their attributes, in our case the two hotel chains. Brand personality and human personality share
similarities: both are durable and might help predict the actions of buyers [5].
The concept of brand personality has been criticized on a conceptual level (what exactly is a brand
personality?) as well as on a methodological and substantive level (how should it be defined and
how does it differ from brand/user imagery?) [
6
]. Allen and Olson [
4
] addressed these three issues
by viewing brand personality from a narrative perspective which helps understanding the processes
Adm. Sci. 2016,6, 5; doi:10.3390/admsci6020005 www.mdpi.com/journal/admsci
Adm. Sci. 2016,6, 5 2 of 11
by which consumers form personality impressions e.g., brand characters. Research by Padgett and
Allen [7] suggests that narratives are highly effective in communicating service experiences.
Consumers tend to express their own personality either actual or idealistic with the products they
buy [
8
]. It is essential to understand what kind of personality traits are associated with a brand and
what kind of self-projection occurs when consumers buy a brand. Mulvey and Medina [
9
] found that a
considerable portion of the meaning of an ad is derived from the characters (which can be human or
animated) in the ad.
Brand Personality can play an important role in the consumer choice linked to self-expression in
the sense of ‘this is me’ [
10
] as well as a strategic brand positioning tool [
11
]. The brand personality
concept can be applied to anything from a product or service to a whole country [
12
] or tourism
destination [13].
Aaker [
2
] linked the five dimensions of human personality [
14
] to Brand Personality Traits, see
Table 1.
Table 1. Human Dimensions and Brand Traits (adapted from [2]).
Human Dimension Brand Personality Traits
Sincerity
Down to Earth
Honest
Genuine
Cheerful
Excitement
Daring/Adventure
Spirited
Imaginative
Up-to-date
Competence
Reliable
Responsible
Dependable
Efficient
Sophistication
Glamorous/Upper Class
Pretentious
Charming
Ruggedness
Romantic
Tough
Strong
Outdoorsy
Rugged
The five dimensions correspond with the Big 5 of personality structure [
14
]. As such it is not
a novel approach. It has been criticized for confusing user profiles (e.g., upper class) with brand
characteristics. It has also been criticized for its weak discriminatory power [15,16].
A meta-analysis of tourism related academic journal publications showed that brand personality
is one of the most cited personality concepts [
17
]. Jin-Soo and Back [
18
] found that competence
and sophistication were strongest pillars of upmarket hotel brand personalities. Critics of the brand
personality model highlight the aspect that personality is only one part of the overall brand equity.
More holistic models are: Brand Asset Valuator [19], BrandZ [20] and Brand Resonance mode [21].
Brand Asset Valuator (BAV) compares the brand equity of thousands of brands across hundreds
of different categories. There are four key components of brand equity, according to BAV [
19
]: Firstly,
Energized Differentiation measures the degree to which a brand is seen as different from others, and its
perceived momentum and leadership. Secondly, Relevance measures the appropriateness and breadth
of a brand’s appeal. Thirdly, Esteem measures perceptions of quality and loyalty, or how well the
brand is regarded and respected. Fourthly, Knowledge measures how aware and familiar consumers
are with the brand.
Adm. Sci. 2016,6, 5 3 of 11
At the heart of BrandZ model of brand strength is the Brand Dynamics pyramid [
20
]. According
to this model, brand building follows a series of steps. For any one brand, each person interviewed is
assigned to one level of the pyramid depending on their responses to a set of questions. The Brand
Dynamics Pyramid shows the number of consumers who have reached each level; the highest level
being Bonding.
The Brand Resonance model views brand building as an ascending series of steps, from bottom to
top by ensuring customers identify the brand and associate it with a specific product class or need
firmly establishing the brand meaning in customers’ minds by strategically linking a host of tangible
and intangible brand associations [21].
Above models are variants of well-known hierarchy of effects models. Aaker’s approach [
2
] is
nested within these—it specifies a way brands can establish relevance in the eyes of consumers (via
establishing a human identity or character).
Carl Gustav Jung’s theory [
22
] escribed archetypes as the psychic counterpart to physical instincts.
Archetypes can be viewed as components of the “collective unconscious, deeply embedded personality
patterns that resonate within us and serve to organize and give direction to human thought and
action.” [
22
] (p. 77). Initially, CG Jung was a supporter of Freud’s theory of the unconscious but later
distanced himself from it; the probably most significant difference between Jung and Freud was Jung’s
concept of archetypes. Richards [
23
] has traced back the archetype concept from Kant’s ‘intellectus
archetypus’ (the purposeful design of all living beings) to Goethe’s notion of the ‘Urbild’ (the original
plan of all vertebrate animals).
Jung’s work has contributed to contemporary psychology at least one significant aspect:
distinguishing between the two major orientations of personality—extroversion and introversion—which
is one dimension of the so-called Big 5 [
24
]. The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is the best-known
personality test and based on Jung’s work.
A content analysis of promotions on TV and print media revealed that many brands use archetypal
Hero images like the iconic Marlboro Man or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role in Terminator or the
figure of Bruce Wayne as Batman [
25
]. Similar attention got David Beckham’s appearance in ads for
Adidas, which can be understood to represent viewer’s interpretation and unconscious assignment of
archetypes. The work of Aaker [
2
] may also be interpreted to represent images of Freedom, Social,
Order and Ego (see Figure 1). There clearly is a psychological component to the effectiveness an ad
may have—although, in some cases the appeal of the media selected and the surprising creative are
other major variables in terms of attention and engagement.
Adm.Sci.2016,6,53of11
AttheheartofBrandZmodelofbrandstrengthistheBrandDynamicspyramid[20].According
tothismodel,brandbuildingfollowsaseriesofsteps.Foranyonebrand,eachpersoninterviewed
isassignedtoonelevelofthepyramiddependingontheirresponsestoasetofquestions.TheBrand
DynamicsPyramidshowsthenumberofconsumerswhohavereachedeachlevel;thehighestlevel
beingBonding.
TheBrandResonancemodelviewsbrandbuildingasanascendingseriesofsteps,frombottom
totopbyensuringcustomersidentifythebrandandassociateitwithaspecificproductclassorneed
firmlyestablishingthebrandmeaningincustomers’mindsbystrategicallylinkingahostoftangible
andintangiblebrandassociations[21].
Abovemodelsarevariantsofwellknownhierarchyofeffectsmodels.Aaker’sapproach[2]is
nestedwithinthese—itspecifiesawaybrandscanestablishrelevanceintheeyesofconsumers(via
establishingahumanidentityorcharacter).
CarlGustavJung’stheory[22]escribedarchetypesasthepsychiccounterparttophysical
instincts.Archetypescanbeviewedascomponentsofthe“collectiveunconscious,deeplyembedded
personalitypatternsthatresonatewithinusandservetoorganizeandgivedirectiontohuman
thoughtandaction.”[22](p.77).Initially,CGJungwasasupporterofFreud’stheoryofthe
unconsciousbutlaterdistancedhimselffromit;theprobablymostsignificantdifferencebetween
JungandFreudwasJung’sconceptofarchetypes.Richards[23]hastracedbackthearchetypeconcept
fromKant’s‘intellectusarchetypus’(thepurposefuldesignofalllivingbeings)toGoethe’snotionof
the‘Urbild’(theoriginalplanofallvertebrateanimals).
Jung’sworkhascontributedtocontemporarypsychologyatleastonesignificantaspect:
distinguishingbetweenthetwomajororientationsofpersonality—extroversionandintroversion—
whichisonedimensionofthesocalledBig5[24].TheMyers–BriggsTypeIndicatoristhebestknown
personalitytestandbasedonJung’swork.
AcontentanalysisofpromotionsonTVandprintmediarevealedthatmanybrandsusearchetypal
HeroimagesliketheiconicMarlboroManorArnoldSchwarzenegger’sroleinTerminatororthefigure
ofBruceWayneasBatman[25].SimilarattentiongotDavidBeckham’sappearanceinadsforAdidas,
whichcanbeunderstoodtorepresentviewer’sinterpretationandunconsciousassignmentofarchetypes.
TheworkofAaker[2]mayalsobeinterpretedtorepresentimagesofFreedom,Social,OrderandEgo(see
Figure1).Thereclearlyisapsychologicalcomponenttotheeffectivenessanadmayhave—although,in
somecasestheappealofthemediaselectedandthesurprisingcreativeareothermajorvariablesinterms
ofattentionandengagement.
Figure1.Archetypes[26].
Cinderellaisanotherfrequentlycitedexamplefeaturingseveralarchetypes[27].Bygiving
humanthoughtsandactionadirection,archetypesmaybebuildingblocksofasuccessfulbrand.If
Figure 1. Archetypes [26].
Adm. Sci. 2016,6, 5 4 of 11
Cinderella is another frequently cited example featuring several archetypes [
27
]. By giving human
thoughts and action a direction, archetypes may be building blocks of a successful brand. If this holds
true then the use of archetypes can connect deeper and quicker with the psyche of consumers and
ultimately lead to purchases of a certain brand [28]. Figure 1lists the 12 archetypes [22].
Veen [
29
] and Mark and Pearson [
30
] showed that the archetype Hero is often used in advertising
e.g., for cigarettes and cars. Tsai [
31
] analysed Nike’s Air Jordan in the context of archetypal marketing.
He found that the positioning as hero give it a “universal symbolism that all humans may be able to
identify” [
31
] (p. 649). Walle [
32
] suggested the general use of heroes as archetypes in advertising
campaigns. Roberts [
33
] found different leading archetypes depending on the product category: sports
drinks (hero), sports (hero), automobiles (explorer), athletic shoes (explorer), video game consoles
(jester), beauty products (lover), soft drink (everyman), beer (everyman) insurance (caregiver), energy
drinks (outlaw), apparel (ruler), and political parties (ruler). Faber and Mayer [
34
] linked different
archetypes to individual personalities and their consumer behavior.
Lloyd and Woodside [
35
] recommend the integration of animals as symbols to activate and
connect archetypal associations automatically in consumers’ minds, thereby enabling them to activate
the cultural schema that the brand represents.
Jung [
22
] insisted that archetypes stem from a biological and not cultural background.
An archetype works in a human being in a similar way as an instinct, as, for example, birds build
their nests. However, recent research has shown that archetypes are transmitted more by culture than
biology i.e., they are culture specific [
36
]. To put archetypes into perspective, one has to look at the
whole cultural complexity [
37
]. The symbol of an apple may trigger different associations depending
on whether one is a Christian or a Buddhist. Some brands may even change their archetype/brand
personality over time.
Cultural differences have been well researched [
38
42
]. However, not much research has been
done on archtypes in an intercultural context. One of the few studies comparing Western and Asian
(Indian) perceptions was carried out by Siraj and Kumari [
43
]. The findings contradict Jung’s [
22
]
notion that archetypes are universal. In contrast, Richter et al. [
44
] analyzed individual-level data from
10 countries and identified six common archetypes that are present in all these countries.
Using archetypes in advertising has affinities to mythology, literature and communications.
An alternative approach to studying the archetypal aspects of brand image is the literary or cultural
view of archetypes, such as the one advanced by Northrop Frye [
45
], whereby archetypes are seen
as a symbol, usually an image, which reoccurs as a pattern to be recognizable as an element of one’s
literary experience.
Work on narrative theory and characterization in advertising also aligns with the archetype
approach [
7
,
9
]. Literature text-based analysis can be in form of a semiotic approach (structure
seen as inherent in the text) or formalist method (text in the context of images, metaphors, irony,
personae etc. [46]
. The formalist approach has been further developed in the form of a reader-response
method within literary criticism, which shows how a text works with the probable knowledge,
expectations, or motives of the reader [47].
Stern [
46
] sees the roots of advertising in medieval allegory. It is very difficult to distinguish
between allegory and symbol [
48
]. For example, the archetype Caregiver could be seen as the symbol
or allegory of mother, neighbor, or service provider such as banks or insurances. Most copy platforms
of insurances are based on mild fear. The corresponding brand personality dimension is Sincerity.
Aghazadeh et al. [
49
] analysed 267 insurance policy holders and found that sincerity affects perceived
value and brand loyalty positively.
Similarly, the archetype Hero has been used frequently in medieval allegory [
50
] with personality
dimensions of excitement, sincerity and ruggedness. Personifications such as Lancelot and King Arthur
and the Holy Grail come to mind.
Adm. Sci. 2016,6, 5 5 of 11
2. Research Objectives, Framework and Methodology
Our research questions were:
- Is it possible to link Jung’s archetypes and Aaker’s brand personality framework?
- Are advertising audiences in a position to recognise archetypes?
The objectives of this research were:
(a) to link Aaker’s brand personality traits to Jung’s archetypes
(b) to analyse personality traits and dimensions that people associate with archetypes
(c) to test these associations on two TV commercials. See Figure 2.
Adm.Sci.2016,6,55of11
- Areadvertisingaudiencesinapositiontorecognisearchetypes?
Theobjectivesofthisresearchwere:
(a) tolinkAaker’sbrandpersonalitytraitstoJung’sarchetypes
(b) toanalysepersonalitytraitsanddimensionsthatpeopleassociatewitharchetypes
(c) totesttheseassociationsontwoTVcommercials.SeeFigure2.
Figure2.Researchframework.
TotestperceptionsontwoTVcommercials,bothusingarchetypes,anexperimentwith47
Europeanand55AsianEMBAstudentswascarriedout.Thefacilitatoraskedtowatchtwodifferent
TVcommercials,onefromShangrila(SL)andonefromBanyanTree(BT)andfillintwosurveys.
Theobjectiveofthefirstsurveywasthedeterminationofthearchetypeused.Thesecondsurvey
lookedatbrandpersonalitytraitsofthesetwoTVcommercials.
Both,SLandBTarefivestarhotelchainsinAsia.Europeanstudentsdidnotknowthesetwo
hotelchainsandthereforewerenotpreconditionedinanyway.Incontrastthe55Asianstudents
knewthechainswhichwasevaluatedbysimplyaskingthemintheclassroom.Thesurveywas
administeredusingpaperandpencil,seeTable2.
Table2.Companydemographics(takenfromcorporatewebsites).
NameHotelsEmployees Guest Room Nights
SL7841,0007.5Million
BL3115,0003Million
Bothcommercialsarewithoutasinglewordofdialogue.TheSLcommercialdidnotfeatureany
SLproductorserviceandonlylinkedthelogotothemessageattheveryend.BTusedanother
approach.Throughoutthewholecommercial,productsandservicesofBTwereshownandlinkedto
onemessage:BTstandsforcharmingandwelcomingservice.Themainthemewasthehospitalityin
theformofanupmarketspaandrelaxationataprivateswimmingpool.Bedsweredecoratedwith
redrosesandaharmonicyoungAsiancoupleenjoyingtheirromantictime.Incontrast,SLfeatured
wolvesinits“It’sinournature”campaign.IntheTVcommercial,astrangerwandersthroughsnow
coveredmountainsandgetslost.Thewolvessurroundthetiredtravelerandwarmhimwiththeir
bodyheat.Theyaretherealheroesofthestory.TheSLadwasslightlyoutoftheboxbecauseitdid
notfittraditionalhoteladvertisingshowingfacilitiesandservice.Insteaditfeaturedwolvesthatare
notgenerallyknowntobehospitableandamicabletohumans.SeeFigures3and4.
Figure 2. Research framework.
To test perceptions on two TV commercials, both using archetypes, an experiment with
47 European and 55 Asian EMBA students was carried out. The facilitator asked to watch two
different TV commercials, one from Shangri-la (SL) and one from Banyan Tree (BT) and fill in two
surveys. The objective of the first survey was the determination of the archetype used. The second
survey looked at brand personality traits of these two TV commercials.
Both, SL and BT are five-star hotel chains in Asia. European students did not know these two
hotel chains and therefore were not pre-conditioned in any way. In contrast the 55 Asian students knew
the chains which was evaluated by simply asking them in the classroom. The survey was administered
using paper and pencil, see Table 2.
Table 2. Company demographics (taken from corporate websites).
Name Hotels Employees Guest Room Nights
SL 78 41,000 7.5 Million
BL 31 15,000 3 Million
Both commercials are without a single word of dialogue. The SL commercial did not feature
any SL product or service and only linked the logo to the message at the very end. BT used another
approach. Throughout the whole commercial, products and services of BT were shown and linked to
one message: BT stands for charming and welcoming service. The main theme was the hospitality in
the form of an upmarket spa and relaxation at a private swimming pool. Beds were decorated with
red roses and a harmonic young Asian couple enjoying their romantic time. In contrast, SL featured
wolves in its “It’s in our nature” campaign. In the TV commercial, a stranger wanders through snow
covered mountains and gets lost. The wolves surround the tired traveler and warm him with their
body heat. They are the real heroes of the story. The SL ad was slightly out-of-the-box because it did
not fit traditional hotel advertising showing facilities and service. Instead it featured wolves that are
not generally known to be hospitable and amicable to humans. See Figures 3and 4.
Adm. Sci. 2016,6, 5 6 of 11
Adm.Sci.2016,6,56of11
Figure3.ScreenshotTVcommercialSL.
Figure4.ScreenshotTVcommercialBT.
ToevaluatewhicharchetypepeoplesawintheadsatestsimilartoCharacterlab.com’stestwas
designedwhichinturnisbasedonthePearsonMarrArchetypeIndicator[51].Afterviewingtheads
theparticipantshadtorankattributesthatdescribedtheads.Thesurveywasadministeredinthe
classroomusingpaperandpencil.Insteadofaskingdirectlywhatkindofarchetypetheparticipants
saw,viewershadtorateattributesalongthreedimensions:Look,FeelandTalk.Forexample,fantasy
landscape/creaturesstoodforMagician,pleasurablesensationsforLoverontheLookdimension.On
theFeeldimensiontheattributesenigmatic,transformational,mysteriousandamazingstoodfor
Magicianwhereaspassionate,elegantetc.stoodforLover.Speakingaboutsensoryexperiencestood
forLoverontheTalkdimension.Allinallfiveattributesper(12)archetypetimesthreedimensions
(look,feel,talk)wereanalyzed.ThequestiontheparticipantswereaskedontheLookdimension:
“Thinkingaboutwhatyousawinthecommercial,pleasereviewtheadandgiveyouroverall
impressionoftheSL/BL”12cardswerehandedoutwitheachcardhavingsomeexplanatorytext,
e.g.,forCaregiver“Caringstaff,warm,comfortingenvironment,loving,embraced,homemadefood,
Figure 3. Screenshot TV commercial SL.
Figure 4. Screenshot TV commercial BT.
To evaluate which archetype people saw in the ads a test similar to Characterlab.com’s test was
designed which in turn is based on the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator [
51
]. After viewing the ads
the participants had to rank attributes that described the ads. The survey was administered in the
classroom using paper and pencil. Instead of asking directly what kind of archetype the participants
saw, viewers had to rate attributes along three dimensions: Look, Feel and Talk. For example, fantasy
landscape/creatures stood for Magician, pleasurable sensations for Lover on the Look dimension.
On the Feel dimension the attributes enigmatic, transformational, mysterious and amazing stood for
Magician whereas passionate, elegant etc. stood for Lover. Speaking about sensory experience stood for
Lover on the Talk dimension. All in all five attributes per (12) archetype times three dimensions (look,
feel, talk) were analyzed. The question the participants were asked on the Look dimension: “Thinking
about what you saw in the commercial, please review the ad and give your overall impression of the
SL/BL” 12 cards were handed out with each card having some explanatory text, e.g., for Caregiver
“Caring staff, warm, comforting environment, loving, embraced, home-made food, and comfort.”
On the feel dimension the question was: “Thinking about how the BL/SL commercial makes you
Adm. Sci. 2016,6, 5 7 of 11
feel and the emotions it evokes.” With choices e.g., for Caregiver “caring, supportive, protective,
compassionate, selfless, comforting, and nurturing.” On the Talk dimension: “Thinking about how
SL/BL would speak to you if it were a person,” e.g., for Caregiver “protect, care, help, safe, look after,
and reliable.”
The result showed that the predominant archetype for SL was Hero and for BT Lover. As next
step we tried to link archetypes to brand personalities by using Aaker’s personality traits as attributes
of archetypes, see Table 3. The authors picked the top three traits that best fit Jung’s [
22
] description of
each of the 12 archetypes. Whereas the first two columns of Table 3are based on Jung’s terminology,
the third and fourth column use Aaker’s [
2
] brand personality terminology. The matching between
Jung’s and Aaker’s categories were done by the authors, as such they are subjective.
Table 3. Archetypes and brand personality.
Archetype Archetype Manifestation Personality Trait Brand Personality Dimension
Ruler
Stability Reliable Competence
Tough Ruggedness
Upper Class Sophistication
Creator
Stability Imaginative Excitement
Independence Unique Excitement
Upper Class Sophistication
Caregiver
Stability Embraced Sincerity
Belonging Welcoming Sincerity
Genuine Sincerity
Jester
Belonging Genuine Sincerity
Mastery Charming Sophistication
Imaginative Excitement
Lover
Belonging Welcoming Sincerity
Stability Charming Sophistication
Embraced Sincerity
Regular Guy
Belonging Welcoming Sincerity
Reliable Competence
Genuine Sincerity
Outlaw
Mastery Adventure Excitement
Independence Tough Ruggedness
Charming Sophistication
Magician
Mastery Embraced Sincerity
Belonging Reliable Competence
Imaginative Excitement
Hero
Mastery Adventure Excitement
Genuine Sincerity
Tough Ruggedness
Sage
Independence Unique Excitement
Stability Reliable Competence
Imaginative Excitement
Explorer
Independence Adventure Excitement
Unique Excitement
Tough Ruggedness
Innocent
Independence Genuine Sincerity
Mastery Unique Excitement
Reliable Competence
3. Findings
Equal weight was given to the three personality traits and averages calculated on a 1–5 Likert
scale, see Table 4.
Adm. Sci. 2016,6, 5 8 of 11
Table 4. Perceived personality traits averages.
Archetype Personality Traits SL Mean BL Mean
Ruler Reliable Tough Upper Class 3.56 3.45
Creator Imaginative Unique Upper Class 3.77 3.52
Caregiver Embraced Welcoming Genuine 3.79 3.60
Jester Genuine Charming Imaginative 3.85 3.48
Lover Welcoming Charming Embraced 3.77 3.81
Regular Guy Welcoming Reliable Genuine 3.70 3.65
Outlaw Adventure Tough Charming 3.72 3.08
Magician Embraced Reliable Imaginative 3.92 3.50
Hero Adventure Genuine Tough 3.74 2.87
Sage Unique Reliable Imaginative 3.81 3.44
Explorer Adventure Unique Tough 3.70 2.90
Innocent Genuine Unique Reliable 3.70 3.43
The result confirmed the positioning that the BT commercial stood for Lover. In SL’s case this
was not the case. However, Hero and Magician are not far apart, see Figure 1. Both share ‘Ego’ as
common driving force, so-called cardinal orientations [
22
]. One reason for not recognizing the Hero
may be that most people would not associate wolves with heroic behavior. On the other hand, looking
at the personality traits of Hero (daring/adventure, genuine, tough) it may well go with wolves.
To analyze this aspect further we analysed the rated (1–5 Likert scale) personality traits in form of a
Factor Analysis (Principal Component with Varimax Rotation), see Table 5.
Table 5. SL Personality traits.
Traits Component (Rotated)
Hero Hero 3 4
SL Genuine 0.859 0.192 ´0.031 0.223
SL Adventure 0.823 ´0.166 0.058 0.038
SL Tough 0.268 0.809 ´0.049 ´0.014
SL Reliable 0.437 0.632 ´0.069 0.378
SL Welcoming 0.478 0.623 0.309 ´0.014
SL Imaginative ´0.057 ´0.113 0.851 0.162
SL Charming 0.036 0.369 0.628 0.365
SL Embraced 0.374 0.414 0.603 ´0.284
SL Unique 0.243 0.012 -0.004 0.821
SL Upper Class ´0.035 0.098 0.396 0.708
Factor 1, explaining 32.13% of variance, showed high loadings of genuine and adventure. Factor 2,
explaining 16.49% of variance, had tough as high loading trait. Taking these three together they
constitute the personality traits of Hero. In essence, the perceived archetype of the SL commercial,
using an Archetype Indicator, is Hero but when using Aaker’s personality traits [
2
] it comes up as
Magician which is not too different from Hero. In the factor analysis, the three Hero traits explained
most of the variance.
4. Implications
Using the Brand Personality approach we were able to link personality traits to archetypes and can
confirm the positioning in one case. Archetype positioning was measured by using three dimensions
(look, feel, talk) with several attributes describing each archetype. To arrive at reliable results the
cultural factors have to be introduced into the equation. The charming Thai lady featured in the BT
commercial is seen as rugged by some Asian viewers but utterly charming by almost all Europeans.
Since advertising should use Hero as an archetype [
30
] the intended positioning may not arrive
at the consumer level because of ambiguous symbols such as the wolf pack in the SL commercial.
Adm. Sci. 2016,6, 5 9 of 11
Aaker’s [
2
] brand personality model can help to clarify the traits of Hero brands. The horse used in the
iconic Marlboro ads may have been a more suitable animal for a Hero than wolves.
Veen [
29
] demonstrated that Hero can be a powerful archetype in certain product categories such
as cigarettes and cars. Whether Hero is the preferable archetype in the hospitality sector remains to be
seen. BT’s Lover positioning may be more appealing to hotel guests despite its very common theme.
One could imagine that Outlaw, breaking the rules, is another suitable archetype candidate for hotel
advertising besides Lover and Hero. Because of the confidentiality of data we could not measure and
compare the effectiveness of both campaigns.
Our aim was to revitalize the concept of archetypes by combining it with the more contemporary
concept of brand personality. The implication for advertisers is that Jung’s archetypes should be an
essential part of an advertising agency briefing. Game changer sites such as Airbnb may want to be
seen as Outlaws and established hotels maybe Lovers. The polarization that Outlaw is high on the
freedom dimension and Lover on the social dimension in Jung’s framework is somewhat too vague
for an advertising agency. Attributing archetypes with personality traits represents a more hands-on
approach. A genuine, adventurous, tough brand personality is more specific than just defining Hero
as brand personality. On the other hand, a simple character may summarize a brand more concise
than many words e.g., the Marlboro man as Hero. Archetypes can come in blended form i.e., being a
Hero does not exclude being an Outlaw at the same time [30].
Our research has shown that both frameworks can be combined. Further research should look into
deeper psychological and cultural understanding of archetypes and move beyond brand personality
traits by linking it to a host of tangible and intangible intercultural brand traits and associations.
Measuring archetypes by neurophysiological methods to better understand the impact of promotion
on attention, affect, memory, and desirability could be another interesting research area. Advertising
effectiveness could be measured by: self-reporting, implicit measures, eye tracking, biometrics,
electroencephalography, and functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Instead of asking participants what personality traits they saw, one could think of a content
analysis of the commercials. With the help of open source systems such as Solr and Lucene the
actual content can be analyzed. However, it will still need a human to classify terms. For example:
“Jung influenced Page.” Does Jung stand for CG Jung and Page for Google’s Larry Page or Jimmy
Page, guitarist from Led Zeppelin? Does Jung stand for Sungha Jung, a Korean musician? So far,
only humans can assess the meaning when looking at the context. The times when a system can
analyze a TV commercial and extract brand personality traits and archetypes automatically are still
a few years off. There are limitations to our research such as the small sample size. We consider
our findings as preliminary and encourage other researchers to conduct own experiments. Further
research should look into the impact of ad campaigns (sets of related ads) in delivering a consistent
(reliable) impression.
5. Conclusions
Although 43 years separate Jung’s and Aaker’s framework we feel that by aligning archetypes
and brand personalities the body of management knowledge will be broadened by helping advertisers
to define their campaign objectives in another deeper dimension.
Author Contributions:
All authors contributed equally to this article. All authors collected and analysed data
and contributed to preparing the manuscript.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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©
2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access
article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution
(CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
... Brand personas are alternatively characterized as brand archetypes in Bechter's work (Bechter et al., 2016). Brand archetypes are widely used as effective branding and marketing strategy. ...
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... We choose 40 affect attributes listed as a part of 'Brand Image' in (Lovett et al., 2014). We also manually map (see Table 8 in supplementary material and Bechter et al. (2016)) these attributes to one of the five Aaker's dimensions of brand personality. We restrict our analysis only to positive affect attributes since 'Arrogant' and 'Unapproachable' were the only two negative affect attributes observed in Y&R surveys. ...
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