Jester Archetype Advertising in the US

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Effectiveness of Jester Archetype in Advertising to Several Audiences


The Jester Archetype is present across many brands and conveys the image of the fun, humor, and sometimes even mischievousness. It appeals to the young and to those young at heart, and it sends the message that life should be enjoyed. This can appeal to all generations — from Baby Boomers, to Generation X, and Millennials — but the means of getting the advertisement across (TV commercial, email, social media) will differ, as well as emphasis on other brand aspects. Below is an analysis of 10 Jester brands, with details about their advertising campaigns and customer demographics.


Brands for Millennials:

1. Ben&Jerry's: For a brand with a tagline “Peace, love & ice cream”, giving a humorous name to each ice cream flavor is a definite Jester Archetype strategy. Their recent commercial has 855,217 views and depicts spoons teasing the ice cream consumer; it sends the message that Ben&Jerry's will "make it all better". In a cheerful and funny tone it jokes about escaping everyday responsibilities, this way speaking to Millennials, a generation characterized by wanting instant gratification. Not surprisingly, Millennials are the largest consumers of Ben & Jerry's, and the company has 754k followers on Instagram. But the Millennial generation like to support a brand that stands for a cause they believe in — and Ben&Jerry's is a company that wants to "Change The World" and make an impact on society while having fun.

2. Old Spice: Consumers of Old Spice are mostly younger men, with 96.9K followers on Instagram speaking to the fact that social media does not seem to be its dominant advertising method. But, its funny commercials are watched by millions on YouTube, with 54 million views of a famous advertisement from 2010. Unlike Ben&Jerry's, Old Spice appeals more to the lower-income Millennials, and seem to rely solely on the Hero turned Jester Archetype to target its customers.

3. The Onion: This satirical news has all the elements of the Jester Archetype, appealing to both Millennials and the Generation X. Its YouTube page has almost one million subscribers, with regular new content. Its cynicism appeals to Generation X, and the concept of sharing ideas and experiences through humor to Millennials.

Brands for Baby Boomers:

4. M&M's: This brand has build an unforgettable image as a Jester. They have been present on the US market for 75 years, and Baby Boomers are their largest consumers. Baby Boomers are also loyal to brands they trust, and M&M's has been doing exactly this with its advertising over the past decades. Its Instagram has 660k followers, highlighting that the younger generations are a portion of its consumers.

5. Pepsi: Pepsi is fun and spontaneous — the typical Jester. So much so that it literally used the character of the Jester in their 2012 SuperBowl commercial with Elton John as the King. Pepsi has 1.2 million followers on Instagram, but its consumers are predominantly Baby Boomers.

6. Snickers: Snickers recently went through a major branding strategy, realizing it needed to send out a universal message that would appeal to a larger audience. It launched with the famous "You're not you when you're hungry" Super Bowl commercial "The Game" featuring Betty White — exceptionally funny, but also simple for everyone to resonate with. Following this, Snickers won many awards for its advertising campaigns. Baby Boomers who buy M&M's will also often buy Snickers as well.

Brands for Generation X and Baby Boomers:

7. Mail Chimp: This innovative brand with a memorable monkey mascot believes that "approaching things with a sense of humor makes them more fun". Its aim was to build a "lovable brand" that makes work and business a fun and creative process. The less conventional members of generation X and the younger Baby Boomers will respond best to its email marketing strategies. Mail Chimp only has 67 K followers on Instagram, as it is not its primary means of advertising, and is experiencing continuous growth.

8. Skittles: Perhaps the best example of a successful Jester brand, Skittles is pure fun and silliness. Although it targets younger audiences, its consumers are mostly Generation X. The number of people following Skittles on Instagram — 27.3 K — is relatively small, but its "Bleachers" TV commercial joking about "skittles pox" has more than 123 million views on YouTube.

9. Budweiser: Known for its funny commercials, Budweiser (and Bud light) was until recently a typical Jester brand that gives the impression of living life to the fullest and having fun. It has 279K followers on Instagram, but its biggest consumers are the Generation X and Baby Boomers.

10. Lastly, Progressive is an insurance company — perhaps an unusual example of a Jester Brand. But its 2013 commercial had almost 1 million views — it's silly, downright funny, and shows that innovative thinking often accompanies the Jester Archetype.


Jester brands have had much success in advertising to generations that differ greatly in their tastes and preferences. The Jester Archetype seems to have something each generation may relate to. It sends a universal message of living life to the fullest in the present moment and not taking it too seriously. Millennials may also seek a societal cause that the brand stands for, Generation X may be more skeptical of aggressive advertising campaigns, while the Baby Boomer generation will look for brands that tell them they can still pursue their youthful dreams.