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Archetype The Innocent: free to be you and me

[stag_intro]Imagine a world where people are free to be who they are, a world where beauty isn’t manipulated, self-expression is limitless, a world where everyone can relax and truly enjoy life as they want to. This would be where The Innocent archetype wants to be. Some brands know exactly how to tap into this yearning. Watch and learn from a brand called Dove.[/stag_intro]
Forrest-Gump-Innocent Archetype
Innocence in essence. It is possible to experience all kind of challenges and remain unscathed if we keep the sweetness and love of a true innocent. This is what the movie Forrest Gump is all about. While none of us wants the limited IQ of Forrest Gump, the incredible success of this movie shows that we do appreciate his purity of spirit and the power to endure.


Yearning for paradise

So when it comes to selling brands and products, who exactly is the innocent archetype? According to The Hero and The Outlaw, a book by Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson, this archetype has a desire for purity, goodness and simplicity. The innocent in each one of us wants to live in a perfect land where we are free to be you and me, even though we are no longer simple or naive. The new innocent is savvy and skeptical, as well as weary. No wonder that in this hectic, stressful society this archetype is extraordinarily attractive. It promises that you can get out of the fast lane, relax and truly enjoy life as it is.

Embrace your natural beauty

This desire to enjoy life as it is, is what brands adopting the innocent archetype are responding to. They promise the experience of returning to innocence – that life can be uncomplicated and good. Like Dove. Being part of the huge Unilever enterprise this brand is all about embracing natural beauty – it’s okay to be you – and commercials are soaked with people coping with vulnerability.

Visual language

Even the visual language of Dove fits the Innocent archetype with the frequent use of the color white and the use of a peace pigeon in their logo. Commercial campaigns for print are simple and their layout provides a refreshing amount of white space that keeps text and message from being overwhelming. Video campaigns are all about women, in a wide array of diversity.


Keeping hope alive

It is not that ‘innocent’ brands tell us to belief in paradise. It is rather that their marketeers understand that people still have the yearning for truth, honesty, purity, beauty and righteousness in this world. Innocence is not so much about reality, it’s about keeping hope alive.
To keep hope alive a brand should set positive affirmations. Responding to the strong desire for perfection mentioned before, Dove came up with this slogan: ‘Imagine a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.’ And here are some examples of the campaigns they used in this content strategy.

Ad Makeover

Even in this materialistic and competitive society the archetype of The Innocent is associated with simple pleasures, basic values and wholesomeness. Dove’s slogan for their firming lotion ‘As tested on real curves’ fits perfectly well in this picture. So does their Ad Makeover. In this case Dove wanted to do something about the feel-bad ads on Facebook, like ads for breast augmentation, datingsites for singles and a diet when you’re posting something about food. ‘They profit from feelings of insecurity’, said Dove, so they developed an App which allowed people to send positive ads to friends. How this worked? Dove just paid twice as much money to get these ads in the right places on Facebook, plus the promise that people would share the ad with their friends. Great deal for Facebook as well.

Beauty is a state of mind

Apart from positive affirmations, Dove is committed to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. Again this appeals to the perfect land The Innocent archetype is longing for. Their ‘Evolution’ commercial shows that our twisted image of beauty arises because of manipulation by the beauty and fashion industry. ‘It’s not real!’, the film seems to scream.

Twitsed self image

Furthermore the brand shows that women also have a twisted picture of their own beauty. Their social experiment ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see. The concept is all about the best police sketch artist around who draws portraits of women described to him. Women get two portraits each. One by their own description, the other by a strangers point of view. Take a guess which portrait looks better.

Experimenting even further

Recently Dove launched another film to make people aware that beauty is a state of mind. The Beauty Patch is another social experiment in which women are told that the patch is helping you to feel more confident, more beautiful. And although most participants are skeptical in the beginning, after 10 days they actually start to feel better. Of course there is no such thing as a patch that makes you feel better. The experiment shows that feeling beautiful can be reached right here and right now, just like The Innocent loves to see the world.

Rescue and redemption

Last but not least Dove understands perfectly well that The Innocent archetype is attracted to the promise of rescue and redemption. That is why Dove invented their ‘Movement for self-esteem‘. This worldwide program is developed to increase the self-esteem of young girls and to inspire them to do whatever makes them happy.