ARCHETYPES are shared, universal patterns that help us understand characters and stories.  We employ archetypes in both our consumption (of stories, movies, music) and our communication – of ourselves, our experiences and our brands. Learn about the stages in the hero’s journey and 12 common archetypes, one of which may describe you and/or your brand. This is episode one of a two-part podcast series on ARCHETYPES.

CONTENTS

  • References & Links
  • SUMMARY: “12 Common Archetypes”
  • SUMMARY: “The Hero Archetype”
  • Transcript

REFERENCES

BOOKS

  •  “Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 9 (Part 1): Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious” – https://amzn.to/3icyIns
  • “The hero and the outlaw: Building extraordinary brands through the power of archetypes” Margaret Mark & & Carol Pearson –  https://amzn.to/38bkU7V
  • “Awakening the Heroes Within” Carol Pearson – https://amzn.to/31sOpkg

Carl Jung archetype book

 

The Hero and the Outlaw archetypes book

 

Awakening the Heroes Aithin Archetypes Book 

ARCHETYPES

Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki


12 COMMON ARCHETYPES

(see also printable one page pdf document at 

https://talkabouttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/ARCHETYPES-Summary.pdf)

 


Caregiver

maternal, comforting, trusted, and generous
  • Dove, Amnesty International, Allstate Insurance, Campbell’s Soup
  • Princess Lady Diana, Denzel Washington

?‍?
Creator 

inventor, artist, designer inventive, unique, maker, and vibrant

  • Pinterest, Lego, YouTube
  • Rihanna, Marc Jacobs

?
Every Person

girl/guy next door, hardworking, friendly, down-to-earth, and loyal

  • Tom’s Shoes, Habitat for Humanity, Craig’s List,
  • Julia Roberts, Matt Damon

?
Explorer

adventurous, innovative, pioneer, investigator, trailblazer, the adventurer

  • NASA, Starbucks, National Geographic, Jeep,
  • Indiana Jones, Amelia Earhart

 

?‍♀️
Hero

disciplined, inspiring, strong/brave, warrior, champion

  • Nike, US Army, Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Nelsen Mandela Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Simba from The Lion King, and Nemo the fish, Ripley from Aliens, Katniss Hunger Games

 

?
Innocent

optimist, kind, simple, pure

  • Coca-Cola, Tumblr, Dove
  • Taylor Swift, Forrest Gump

 

?
Jester

humorous, comedic, an entertainer, playful and light-hearted

  • Geico, Mailchimp, Doritos
  • Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres

 

?
Lover 

focused on sense, relationships, memories, passionate and devoted

  • Häagen-Dazs, Tiffany & Co, Zagat guide,
  • Adam Levine, Sofia Vergara

 

?‍♂️
Magician

transformer, dreamer, visionary, an inventor, or even a spiritual guide

  • Disney, Apple, Dyson, TEDTalks
  • Oprah, Morpheus in The Matrix

 

?‍?
Revolutionary / Rebel

radically distinct, bold, revolutionary, and unapologetic

  • Uber, Greenpeace, e*trade, Virgin (& Richard Branson!)
  • Jac Sparrow, Lady Gaga

 

?
Ruler / Royalty

authoritative, influential, political, connected, sophisticated, ambitious

  • Moody’s, Mercedes Benz, Rolex
  • Beyoncé, Prince Harry 

 

?‍?
Sage

learner, teacher, academic, analytical and wise.

  • Harvard, Smithsonian, Mayo Clinic, Google
  • Einstein, Hermoine from Harry Potter

THE HERO’s JOURNEY

1. The Ordinary World

This is where the Hero exists before the story really begins.  When he or she (usually he) is basically oblivious. Think of the opening scene in Finding Nemo, Nemo is carefree and swimming around, adored and cared for by his parents, oblivious to impending dangers in the vast ocean.

2.Call To Adventure

This could be a call to action, a threat to his safety, or to the people he loves.  Consider the Disney movies where the parents, often the mother, is killed in the first scene. Bambi’s mother is killed by a hunter.  Nemo’s mother and siblings are eaten by a barracuda. In the movie Frozen, Elsa and Anna’s parents were killed in a shipwreck.

3.Refusal Of The Call

This can vary from doubts to fears to refusal.  We bond with the hero when we see the reasons why he might not be keen or able to address the threat. This is where Harry Potter doesn’t believe he’s a real wizard.

4.Meeting The Mentor

The mentor can provide wise advice, training or even a positive mindset.  Think Obi-Wan Kenobi or Yoda.

5.Crossing The Threshold

This could be the hero leaving home for the first time or maybe doing something he has always been scared to do.  Consider the Spiderman movies and the first time Peter Parker strings his nets. 

6.Tests, Allies, Enemies

We’re halfway through and the hero is learning who to trust and who not to trust. A great example here is from the Matrix movie, where Morpheus encourages Neo to trust him and take the red pill (as opposed to the blue pill).  Neo wakes up and learns to trust Morpheus.

7.Approach To The Inmost Cave

This could be a physical location with horrific danger or perhaps an inner conflict. Think invading the Death Star to save Princess Leia.  How’s that for an “inmost cave”? The Death Star!

8.Ordeal

As in the Supreme Ordeal.  It could be physical danger, a competition or a deep inner crisis that the Hero must conquer in order to survive.  Basically, the hero’s life is on the line. Do you remember the movie “The Lion King”?  Simba’s ordeal is choosing to battle and save the kingdom.

9.Reward

The reward can be status, knowledge, a relationship, or a tangible object. In Henry Potter the reward is the Philosophers’ Stone. 

10.The Road Back

The Hero returns home with his reward.  Remember the Ordinary World he started in?  There’s typically one last challenge to get back there. Do you remember the movie E.T. The Extra Terrestrial?  The “Road Back” in that movie would be when Elliott and his friends are biking as fast as they can with ET to get him to his spaceship.

11.Resurrection

The final test. The climax.  This is when Luke Skywalker and the Rebels finally defeat the Death Star. This is when Simba in The Lion King throws Scar off Pride Rock.

12.Return With The Elixir

This is when the Hero returns with his prize, be it lessons learned or tangible. Dorothy goes home to Kansas.  Anakin goes home. Peter Parker goes home.


TRANSCRIPT – ARCHETYPES

I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki. Please call me Andrea.  Thanks for listening. Talk About Talk is where we improve our communication skills, so we can advance our careers and improve our relationships – whether we are a girl-next door, a temptress, a wizard, a sage, a magician or – a pop-star.

Welcome to episode #54.  This is part one of a two part series on archetypes. This first episode, is your primer on archetypes. Sit back and learn all about archetypes:  What they are, why they matter, 12 archetypes you should be familiar with, and how you can apply this knowledge of archetypes both professionally and personally. 

Then, in the next episode, #55, we’ll apply this knowledge of archetypes to a real-world phenomenon, female pop stars.  In that episode, you’ll hear my interview with Professor Kristin Lieb, whose research focuses on the production and consumption of popular music, including how pop stars are created, branded, popularized, credited, and received. Spoiler alert: archetypes play a key role!

You probably have some vague idea about archetypes. Well, once you’ve listened to these two episodes, you’ll feel confident talking with others about archetypes, you’ll understand why  they’re so powerful, you’ll know how a Swiss psychiatrist, an American literature professor and an Austrian psychologist all contributed to the definition and application of archetypes to the stories we create and consume in literature, theatre, and brand marketing. Most importantly, you’ll know how you can effectively apply archetypes to the stories you tell, and even to yourself as a personal or professional brand.

Welcome to your lecture on archetypes.  Kind of like a university lecture, only there’s no exam.  And you don’t have to take notes, because I created them for you in the shownotes on the website.  Just go to talkabouttalk.com, click on podcasts, and shownotes.  For every one of the 54 episodes to date, you’ll see a brief printable summary, a succinct list of all the links and refences, and then the full transcript.  So as I said, you don’t have to take notes.  You’re welcome.  Just sit back, listen and learn.

If I was lecturing to you in a university lecture hall, I’d wrote three things on the board that we’re going to cover:

  • The Definition
  • The Hero Archetype (one of the most common archetypes)
  • 12 common archetypes (here I’ll share celebrities and brands that personify each of the 12 archetypes. And once we’re done here, you’ll have some idea of which of these 12 archetypes corresponds with your personality!)

Alright, let’s get into this. 

DEFINITION – ARCHETYPES

Let’s start with the definition. What exactly is an archetype?  As with many constructs, we can get into nuance.  But I’m here to help you simplify. In simple terms, you can define archetypes in two words.  

 

ARCHETYPES are UNIVERSAL PATTERNS. Got that? Universal patterns. Universal as in broadly understood – by many or most – as well as universal as in over time.

 

HISTORY

Many archetype researchers highlight that archetypes, these universal patterns, have been around since stories were told. Think Athenian philosopher Plato, way back in 400 B.C.  Think mythology.

 

If you consider the etymology of the term archetype, there’s ἀρχή archḗ, which means “beginning or origin”,[4] as in the word archaic.  And then there’s type or τύπος týpos, as in pattern or model.

 

More recently, just 100 or so years ago, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung talked about how archetypes relate to our collective unconscious.  (An aside. Carl Jung also developed several other important psychological concepts such as the persona and such as extraversion and introversion. You know, at the end of every Talk About Talk podcast interview, when you hear me ask the guest expert “are you an introvert or an extravert?” Well, that’s Carl Jung too. Anyway, I digress.  But hat tip to Carl Jung.) 

 

So Carl Jung is the scholar who established that archetypes are innate representations that universally exist in our minds. These archetypes, or universal patterns, typically come in the form of two things: characters and/or stories. And these universal patterns are commonly adopted by fiction writers, as a means to help us as readers or audiences members to make sense of the story.

 

 

THE HERO & THE HERO’s JOURNEY

Let me illustrate with an example.  A common archetype.  It’s the one that many people think of when they think archetype. It’s the HERO.  The character is the hero. You know – Luke Skywalker, Ridley from the Aliens movie, Superman, Finding Nemo, Jack Ryan.

 

The story is “the hero’s journey.” You’ve probably heard of movie production studios re-using the same “hero’s journey” archetype over and over again, with great success in their story telling.  You know how it goes.  It’s formulaic: Likeable character faces insurmountable obstacles. After much doubt, then effort, he – or she (but, usually he) is victorious.

 

The hero’s journey was elaborated on – or really established by, I would say, by an American literature professor named Joseph Campbell.  Joseph Campbell was influenced by Carl Jung, amongst others and in 1949 he published “the Hero With A Thousand Faces,

 

He deconstructed the hero’s journey into 12 steps. This, I’m guessing is what movie houses actually use.  Here’s how the 12 stages go:

 

1. the Ordinary World

This is where the Hero exists before the story really begins.  When he or she (again – usually he) is basically oblivious. I keep thinking of the opening scene in Finding Nemo, when the baby fish Nemo is carefree and swimming around, adored and cared for by his parents.  Oblivious to impending dangers in the vast ocean.

 

2.Call To Adventure

This could be a call to action, a threat to his safety, or to the people he loves.  Consider all the Disney movies where parents, often the mother, is killed in the first scene. Bambi’s mother is killed by a hunter.  Nemo’s mother and siblings are eaten by a barracuda. In the movie Frozen, Elsa and Anna’s parents were killed in a shipwreck

 

3.Refusal Of The Call

This can vary from doubts to fears to refusal.  We bond with the hero when we see the reasons why he might not be keen or able to address the threat. This is where Harry Potter doesn’t believe he’s a real wizard.

 

4.Meeting The Mentor

In stage 4, the hero Meets his mentor. The mentor can provide wise advice, training or even a positive mindset.  I’m thinking Obi-Wan Kenobi or YODA from Star Wars. Luke Skywalker is the hero, right?

 

5.Crossing The Threshold

This could be the hero leaving home for the first time or maybe doing something he has always been scared to do.  I’m thinking of the Spiderman movies and the first time Peter Parker strings his nets. 

 

6.Tests, Allies, Enemies

We’re halfway through and the hero is learning who to trust and who not to trust. A great example here is from the Matrix movie.  Where Morpheus encouraged Neo to trust him and take the red pill (as opposed to the blue pill).  Neo wakes up and learns to trust Morpheus.

 

7.Approach To The Inmost Cave

The inmost cave could be an actual location with horrific danger or perhaps an inner conflict. Think invading the death star to save Princess Lia.  How’s that for an “inmost cave”? The Death Star!

 

8.Ordeal

As in the Supreme Ordeal .  It could be physical danger, a competition or a deep inner crisis that the Hero must conquer in order to survive.  Basically, the hero’s life is on the line. Do you remember the movie “The Lion King”?  Simba’s ordeal is choosing to battle and save the kingdom.

 

9.Reward

So the hero overcomes his challenge, defeats the enemy, and survives. The reward can be status, knowledge, a relationship, or a tangible object. In Henry Potter the reward is the Philosophers’ Stone.  In Spider Man, Peter Parker save Mary Jane and learns the identity of the Green Goblin.

 

10.The Road Back

In this stage of the Hero’s journey, he returns home with his reward.  Remember the Ordinary World he started in?  There’s typically with one last challenge to get back there. Do you remember the movie E.T. The Extra Terrestrial?  This “Road Back” in that movie would be when Elliott and his friends are biking as fast as they can with ET to get him to his spaceship.

 

11.Resurrection

Stage 11 is the Resurrection, the final test. The climax.  This is when Luke Skywalker and the Rebels finally defeat the Death Star. This is when Simba in The Lion King throws Scar off Pride Rock.

 

12.Return With The Elixir

This is when Dorothy goes home to Kansas.  Anakin goes home. Peter Parker goes home.

 

I found several articles online that summarize these heroes’ journeys step by step.  You can check them out in the shownotes.

 

You might be cursing me for ruining every novel you read and every movie you watch. That wasn’t my intention!  Honestly, I hope this insight into the 12 stages of the hero’s journey will make these stories MORE enjoyable for you! You’ll be able to dissect and anticipate the plot of any hero’s journey.

 

But while the HERO is one of the most common archetypes, it is certainly not the only one.

 

 

OTHER ARCHETYPES

As you’ll hear in the next upcoming podcast with Professor Kristin Lieb, there are particular archetypes that apply to the female pop stars that she studies.  There’s the girl-next door, the temptress or seductress, the whore, the hot mess, and the survivor.  Huh.  NO heroes here! Can you think of a female pop star who embodies the hero archetype?  Me neither.

 

In my conversation with Jerry Zaltman,  he talks about typical female archetypes being a NURTURER, a WITCH or a PROSTITUTE. In that podcast interview, (which, by the way is one of the most downloaded Talk About Talk podcast episodes), I asked Jerry whether these three most typical archetypes for females, the nurturer (or maternal figure), the witch and the prostitute, might change, given our societal changes, advances in the status of women, and particularly with the #METOO movement.  Jerry told me that those archetypes themselves won’t change, but that other, new archetypes may become available for women characters. 

 

Despite their universality and timelessness, there is something to this notion of archetypes becoming more or less available and relevant for particular contexts over time. In the next podcast episode, as I said, you’ll hear my interview with Professor Kristin Lieb.  Kristin first published her book, entitled “Gender, Branding. And the Modern Music Industry” in 2013

Five years later, she made the significant decision of releasing a new edition of the book, since so much changed,.  Not just the pop stars.  Not just the humans.  But amongst other things, the common archetypes have changed.  A completely new archetype emerged in those five years between 2013 and 2018: the female pop star as SURVIVOR.

 

Again, my Q is: when will we have a female pop star who’s a HERO?

 

OK – so these archetypes apply to fiction books, to movie plots, and to pop stars and other musicians.  Where else does this concept of an archetype apply?

 

This is the good stuff.  No that you understand the power of archetypes, you can apply that power – that unconscious, innate, common understanding, that universal pattern that we all understand, to other contexts.

 

Let me tell you about Dr. Ernest Dichter, a Viennese psychologist. He was one of the first, if not the first, to apply Carl Jung’s archetypes to marketing. (BTW, I have to tell you this. I cited Dichter in my formal dissertation, which focused on motivations for word-of-mouth, or why people talk.

So this same Dichter also had a paper on WOM that was published in the HBR. I checked out his bio and he also apparently pioneered what we call “motivational research,” AND he also coined the term “focus group.”  

Another amazing thinker with an impressive intellectual legacy, just like Carl Jung.)  Anyway, in the year 1939 Ernest Dichter moved to New York and sent every advertising agency on Madison Avenue a letter explaining how they could improve brands’ awareness and loyalty by positioning these brands in terms of archetypes.

 

So we’ve got fiction books, movies, musicians, and now brands.

 

If you’re a brand manager, you can apply the concept of archetypes to the brands you manage. You can choose an archetype for your brand just like you might choose a brand personality or brand values, and then use that archetype in your brand strategy.  Why would you do this?  Well, remember that archetypes are universal patterns.  Universal patterns are recognized by consumers. They feel familiar. They RESONATE. And isn’t that exactly what you want for your brand?

 

If you’re not managing brands in the marketing department,  you might be a senior manager of a firm. If that’s the case, you might position the firm itself as an archetype. Maybe a heroic firm that overcomes obstacles to become a hero to its employees, clients and shareholders.

 

As an individual, you can also position yourself in terms of an archetype.  Particularly if you’re an entrepreneur, with your own business, but even in your office with colleagues or at home with your friends and family.  Your ambitions, your possessions, your hobbies, your relationships, the stories you tell, these things may all be part of your identity and your archetype.  This is your personal and professional brand.

 

Which archetype are you? We’re not all Heroes, are we?  I know I’m certainly not a hero.  But I do know which archetype fits me and which archetype fits Talk About Talk.  Do you know yours?

 

I’m going to briefly take you through 12 of the most common archetypes right now.  And I have a challenge for you.  Two, actually.  Listen to the descriptions and think about whether each archetype (first) applies to you personally and (Second) to your brand or your firm.  Got it? 

 

To make this easier for you, I created a one-pager in the shownotes that describes each of the 12 archetypes with examples, so you can easily reference this one-pager and confirm which archetype applies to you personally and which one applies to the firm you work at or the brand you manage.

 

Are you ready?  OK- here’s the list – in alphabetical order:

 

  1. Caregiver – maternal, comforting, trusted, and generous
    • Dove, Amnesty International, Allstate Insurance, Campbell’s Soup
    • Princess Lady Diana, Denzel Washington
  2. Creator – inventor, artist, designer inventive, unique, maker, and vibrant
    • Pinterest, Lego, YouTube
    • Rihanna, Marc Jacobs, creative types.
  3. Every person – girl/guy next door, hardworking, friendly, down-to-earth, and loyal
    • Toms Shoes, Habitat for Humanity, Craig’s List,
    • Julia Roberts and Matt Damon
  4. Explorer – adventurous, innovative, pioneer, investigator, trailblazer, the adventurer
    • NASA, Starbucks, National Geographic, Jeep,
    • Indiana Jones and Amelia Earhart
  5. Hero – disciplined, inspiring, strong/brave, warrior, champion
    • Nike, US Army, Medicines san frontiers
    • Nelsen Mandela is a famous hero. We talked about other hero characters, such as Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Simba from The Lion King, and Nemo the fish.
    • By the way, I thought of a few female heroes for us: there’s my favourite of all time – Ripley from Aliens, but also Katniss Hunger Games, and of course there’s also Wonder Woman.
  6. Innocent – optimist, kind, simple, pure
    • Coca-Cola, Tumblr, Dove
    • Taylor Swift, Forrest Gump
  7. Jester – humorous, comedic, an entertainer, playful and light-hearted
    • Geico, Mailchimp, Doritos
    • Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres
  8. Lover – focused on sense, relationships, memories, passionate and devoted
    • Haggen Dasz, Tiffany & Co, Zagat guide,
    • Adam Levine, Sofia Vergara, we’re talking sultry
  9. Magician – transformer, dreamer, visionary, an inventor, or even a spiritual guide.
    • Disney, Apple, Dyson, TEDTalks
    • Oprah, Morpheus in The Matrix
  10. Revolutionary/Rebel – radically distinct, bold, revolutionary, and unapologetic
    • Uber, Greenpeace, e*trade, Virgin (& Richard Branson!)
    • Jac Sparrow, Lady Gaga
  11. Ruler/Royalty – authoritative, influential, political, connected, sophisticated, ambitious
    • Moody’s, Mercedes Benz, Rolex
    • Beyoncé, Prince Harry (of course Beyonce and Prince Harry are royalty, right?)
  12. Sage – learner, teacher, academic, analytical and wise.
    • Harvard, Smithsonian, Mayo Clinic, Google
    • Einstein, Hermoine from Harry Potter.

 

That’s it! That’s 12.  I know it’s a lot. That’s why I created the one-pager for you in the shownotes.

 

Can you guess which archetype I am?  And which archetype Talk About Talk is?  Well, I’m the Sage. As in the learner, the teacher, the academic.  Yep. That’s me.  Also known as a nerd.

 

And Talk About Talk?  Well, the Talk About Talk archetype is the Magician.  As in the transformer.  The spiritual guide.  Talk About Talk wants to transform you into a confident and exceptional communicator.

 

So I hope you’ll take this new-found knowledge of archetypes and apply it to your own life. To the books you read, the movies you watch, the musicians you listen to. 

 

Thinking about archetypes can make the consumption of these books, movies & musicians more enjoyable on a whole new level.

 

You can also use the power of archetypes to help you communicate more effectively. Take a look at the one-pager in the shownotes that summarizes 12 common archetypes.  For the firm or the brand you manage, use the appropriate archetype to help you tell a story. Symbolism from this archetype can show up in the logo and other imagery, in the words or the copy, and even in your strategic decision-making. 

 

For your personal and professional brand, you can leverage the archetype’s story and personality. Your career choice, the car you drive, the way you decorate your office or your house, the books you read, the shows you watch, what you do for fun, the people you choose to hang out with. All these things are part of your identity and your archetype.  Suddenly, everything makes sense, right? It’s a universal pattern.

 

Please email me and let me know which archetype fits you.  And also what you thought about this podcast. I’d love to hear from you! Let me know if this podcast is fulfilling it’s mandate as a magician archetype – helping to transform and guide you in your quest to improve your communication skills. You can connect with me through the TalkAboutTalk.com website, or you can email me directly at [email protected]

 

And if you’re not signed up already, I strongly encourage you to sign up for the Talk About Talk email blog, where you’ll get free weekly communication skills coaching from me, the sage. Just go to the talkabouttalk.com website or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list.

 

Thanks for listening.  And TALK SOON!

 

THANKS for listening – and READING!

Stay safe. And TALK SOON!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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