Everything is lovely. Everything is just positively nice. The birds are singing. The bunny rabbits are dancing. The world is right and bright and sunny. This is the optimist world of 'The Innocent'. The archetypal character who embodies purity and who is always looking to do the right thing with childlike simplicity.
Archetypes are the recognisable patterns of human behaviour which are often amplified in stories. In turn, stories are the way we make sense of the world around us. For those of us involved in the disipline of 'managing meaning' archetypes therefore become a powerful tool which enable brands tell powerful stories. They help teams build extraordinary brands and create remarkable creative work because archetypes help to communicate on a deep psychological level with their audiences. More on the power of archetypes here.
In this post we will review the Innocent archetype building on the work of Margret Mark and Carol S Pearson in their book "The Hero and the Outlaw".
An introduction to the Innocent Archetype
As humans we desire a better world. A utopia of a golden age where everything works out and is just perfect for us to exist in. The Innocent lives for this perfection. Whilst waiting for that beautiful future they seek to live a life of perfection now promising to lift us out of the darkness and chaos of our lives by their positive attitude. They help us dream of perfection.
Desire: to experience paradise
Greatest Fear: doing something wrong
Strategy: to do the right thing
Talent: optimistic faith
Motto: "Free to be"
Always seeking after a future paradise the Innocent will remind and promise us of the virtues of honesty. Their ideas can sometimes lead them into trouble as they do not often expect others to be mean.
Innocent is a good example of a Innocent brand!
Examples of images and brands which embody the Innocent Archetype can be found on my specially curated Pinterest board here. Note: I will be frequently updating this board as I come across new Innocent images so bookmark it!
Brands which embody the Creator: McDonald’s, Innocent Smoothies, Birdseye, Coca-Cola.
According to Mark and Pearson, the Innocent sits in the quadrant of archetypes which serve the customer motivation of 'Self Actualisation'. According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, this archetype therefore serves one of the higher levels of human needs.
The archetypes motivation is that of independence. They want to be free of constraints so they can live without hinderance in paradise. They want to use positivity, faith and optimism to defeat tyranny and oppression.