Brand Archetypes: The Jester
On the surface, the jester archetype seems synonymous with comedy. While apparent humor is a key aspect of a jester brand, the major difference between this archetype and the other 11 is their ability to see things differently. Perspective is their true skill. The jester is entertaining to be sure, but what they really bring to the table is ideas, innovation, and the ability to reframe concepts as no one else can.
Not one to withstand an awkward silence, this archetype lives to lighten up too serious of situations. The jester wants to live in the moment and invites you to do it as well. The jester lives without restraint and shines with unrelenting confidence. This archetype is not afraid to stand out and is even known to bend the rules if it will help them prove their point.
CORE DESIRE: To live joyfully in the present
GOAL: To have fun and bring light
GIFT: The ability to see things differently
MOTIVATION: To fit in
The Jester Archetype at a Glance
Though the jester archetype can most frequently be identified in the entertainment industry, you can also find it in some unassuming places. The candy, restaurant, and even the insurance industry has been known to house the most successful of jesters. If you’re clever and relatable enough, companies with the most mundane of products can shift their image and make themselves so exciting that consumers will dress like their spokesperson for Halloween — Flo from Progressive, we’re looking at you! The successful jester can take a serious subject and make light of it in a way that’s comfortable for the consumer.
The Jester Archetype in Business
The culture of a jester organization is characterized by a loose structure and bounds of creativity. You probably won’t find the stringency of traditional corporate hierarchy here. There is plenty of space to make your own rules, think outside of the box, and have a little bit of fun along the way!
Jester brands tend to have the most memorable marketing campaigns as they are typically untypical. Think unconventional, silly, yet relatable. You may see outrageous situations, quick humor, and clever takes on common scenarios. It is common for jester brands to use colors and images that stand out when compared to those of other archetypes.
Levels of the Jester Archetype
Each of the 12 different archetypes can be expressed in scaled rankings of intensity represented by three levels. Level one is less mature where level three is the furthest developed.
Level 1: The jester archetype is expressed by living purely for joy and entertainment.
Level 2: The jester is more evolved and able to combine the nuances of having fun with intelligence. The idea of being clever is represented here.
Level 3: The jester is confident that life is purely for having fun and should be lived to the fullest with each moment.
Examples of Jester Brands
They may have started with the humble “It melts in your mouth, not in your hand” slogan in the 1930s, but now the M&M’s brand is a pillar of the jester community. For years, consumers have come to recognize the entertaining red and yellow m&m’s as the iconic faces of the brand. Constantly enthralled in situational humor and comical exchanges that evolve with the times, M&M’s is the perfect example of the successful jester.
Through the most clever shift in perspective, Geico has managed to take the uninspiring insurance business and subtly turn it into an entertaining one. By taking ordinary situations and shifting them to portray a little bit of humor, Geico has created a memorable experience for the consumer that they can relate to and enjoy — even though they are selling insurance!
If you have seen an Old Spice commercial in the last 10 years, you know that they made a bold shift from a tired men’s skincare company to one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Their strategy? Absurdity. Centaurs, shifting realities, and cameos by famous comedians — Old Spice has revived itself into an undeniable jester masterpiece.
Funny sauce packets and a party pack? Hello! — Taco Bell exhibits the components of a jester brand even down to the finest details. This company has developed into fast food royalty by honing in on humor and keeping it consistent across each touchpoint.
Where Does Your Brand Fit In?
If you’re thinking your company might not be a caregiver brand, check out the remaining 11 archetypes to see where you fit in! You may be surprised to see what archetype your brand resonates with.
–written by Caitlin Rostampour