Think everything will be fantastic? Always believe the best in people? Think dreams DO come true…?
Wake up! You’re an Innocent!
The Innocent archetype deals exclusively with the bright side of life. Those aligned to this archetype are fundamentally concerned with spreading goodwill and cheer. Their core motivation is to create universal happiness and optimism.
They are the living embodiment of a Snow White in a Disney movie. The sun shines, the birds sing, flowers are everywhere…
The characters aligned with this archetype are simple, likeable, winsome and trip through life generally unaffected by its complexities and darker side.
Dory in Finding Nemo good-naturedly drifts from impending danger to disaster without a scratch. The Father character Guido in the film Life is Beautiful shields his son from the horror of war by creating and acting out an optimistic fantasy world. And of course, there is Snow White.
These characters are wholesome and virtuous — all hallmarks of The Innocent archetype.
All Innocents aim to do what is right and proper. They generally have an uncomplicated or simplistic view of the world (perceived as a weakness by many).
Their biggest fear is to see their perception of their ‘dream world’ corrupted. Innocents instinctively recoil from injustice, malice or any wrongdoing.
Innocent customers seek optimistic brands that make living life feel simple and good. They will not respond positively to guilt-tripping or gimmicks.
Branding and The Innocent
Innocent brands cultivate values of purity and idealism. They can also inspire creativity with their simple, wide-eyed sense of wonder. There are three slightly different aspects of The Innocent which is worth considering: The Purist Innocent, The Idealist Innocent, and The Muse Innocent.
The Innocent: Purist
Kleenex tissues are as pure as duckling down, right?
Kleenex tissues ran a long-running campaign espousing the ‘softness’ of their tissues. It involved lots of soft focus shots of ducklings, kittens, doe-eyed rabbits and cherub-like children. It ran for years in various incarnations
The campaign resulted in a collective ‘awwww… their so cute’ response from their grocery buyer target audience.
The combination of cuddly baby animals and sweet children created a powerful and evocative association with The Innocent values.
Still today Kleenex is leveraging The Innocent imagery in point-of-sale, and online introduced in the 1970’s when the campaign launched.
The Innocent: Idealist
Whole Foods Market brand positioning is in a happy place.
When people have strong views or committed opinions they rarely tolerate competition (or even grey areas). The same goes for brands.
Idealist brands take the wholesome, happy, purity values and align them to a cause or a movement. This is very much the case with this advertising execution from America’s largest organic/wholefoods chain.
The Innocent: Muse
The Muse is slightly different. The Muse’s value lies not in what it is – it is significant in what it inspires from others.
Historically, muses inspire creativity. They become this inspiration for great art or defining pieces of music. They weren’t just side pieces. They weren’t just a flash in the pan. They were people who helped artists and musicians craft some of the best painting or songs to ever be produced, and without them, the world would be missing out on some true magic.
Patti Smith (an artist in her own right) is the well-documented subject and inspiration behind Robert Mapplethorpe’s early photographic work.
There is something inspiring in Rosanne’s eyes…
Rosanne Arquette was the inspiration behind the Toto song “Rosanna,” and, even better, the monumental Peter Gabriel song “In Your Eyes” is was written about Arquette as well! In all of these cases, The Muse provided encouragement and the inspiration for the creative work to flourish.
Lego advert provides the building blocks of the Innocent Muse.
Lego is a classic example of an Innocent brand channelling naive inspiration to create! It is simple; it has the child-like naivety and talks to its purpose of inspiring creativity.
The Essential Ingredients
The Innocent brand ultimate aim is to be free to love life at face value.
In every channel, the brand tone-of-voice is joyful and straightforward, and almost overbearingly optimistic. The simple and direct language used and natural and honest images create the message. It is not complicated stuff.
A brand is aligned with The Innocent archetype if it provides simple solutions and exudes cleanliness, health, and good ‘ol fashioned virtue.
But be warned. The Innocent brand positioning in pristine. The brand and reputation must always be protected. It would be challenging for an Innocent brand to recover its position if its image is defiled.