Jester Archetype in the Food Category
The Jester archetype represents living in the moment and connecting with the fun inner child. M&M uses humor effectively through its colorful button shaped characters. Ben & Jerry's has a range of unique ice cream flavors with wacky names; some of which are inspired from funny movie characters. Skittles engages audiences with fantasy-world themed humor. Doritos innovates around participatory marketing where consumers become a part of the brand's campaign and have fun while they are at it.
M&M used goofy anthropomorphic characters in their ads as early as the mid-1950s. In 1995, the characters were redeveloped to have human personalities: excitable, sarcastic and even sexual. For example, Ms. Brown (one of M&M’s ad characters) quips in one of her ads: “My shell is brown; it only looks like my milk chocolate is showing”.
Typically, a jester brand is cool, contemporary and innovative. This reflects in the way M&M as a brand has always adapted to changing trends and varied their offering to keep consumers interested. For example, in 2009, the brand released limited edition Strawberry Peanut Butter Chocolate Candies to celebrate the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
In the early years M&M's candies were all colored tan. Later they added more colors for fun, energy and variety. In 1995, they ran a promotion in which they asked consumers to call 1-800-FUN-COLOR to vote for a color that would replace tan; and based on the vote they subsequently replaced it with the color blue.
M&M commercials take the liberty to be politically incorrect, like a jester would. The colorful animated candies in their commercials are all funny characters that engage us with humor and make us forget that candies are actually unhealthy.
BEN & JERRY'S
Ben & Jerry's is famous for its creative and unique flavors. It continuously introduces new flavors into the market. As a playful and spontaneous brand it has names for its ice cream flavors that go with its playful personality: Chunky Monkey, Boom Chocolatta!, Wayne'Swirled. The names make consumers smile when they are placing orders.
Ben & Jerry's tagline is simple: Peace. Love. Ice Cream. On some days if you enter a Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlor you will see the staff wearing tie-dyes; just part of the happy hippie theme. The company believe ice cream and happiness are closely associated.
If there is something funny on TV, chances are that Ben & Jerry's has an ice cream for that. For example, in 2013, inspired by a character from the movie Anchorman, Ben & Jerry's launched Ron Burgundy's Scotchy Scotch Scotch ice creams.
Ben & Jerry's is innovative, wacky, fun-loving and contemporary. This makes the brand a Jester archetype.
Skittles uses a Jester model to create a bizarre world in their commercials, which leaves the consumer with the desire to taste the rainbow (the Skittles tagline). It creates a fantasy world that the audience can escape to and find joy in.
In the Skittles Touch commercial everything the protagonist touches in the make-believe world turns to Skittles. The commercial starts with the protagonist turning a large stapler into Skittles. He then narrates an incident that happened that morning: a man on that bus shook his hand, never to see his family again.
The humor has a dark side to it (much like a jester can have), which brands are usually wary of; but the ad is original, witty and leaves an impact on the audience. Skittles has successfully used the Jester model in several ads.
Doritos has created many amusing ads where playing with their potato chips is a part of the brand experience. All their ads are funny, and consistent with the Jester model.
They have been outsourcing content creation for Super Bowl television commercials to their own consumers for the last decade. By getting Doritos fans to create and submit their own videos, they take the fun element and consumer engagement to another level.
During the 2016 Super Bowl season, Doritos challenged its boldest fans in the world to be a part of 50 world records during 2016. Examples of record that could be broken: farthest Doritos chips tossed in mouth, tallest house of cards built using Doritos, highest location to eat Doritos, etc.
"Doritos fans have a thirst to experience life to the fullest. We recruited the boldest of the bold to make their mark in history," says Jeannie Cho, Vice President, Frito-Lay marketing.
This Jester brand excels at thinking outside the box and having fun while getting work done.
Many brands have adopted the Jester archetype to create brands that entertain. Consumers associate the joy they experience with the brand that creates it. By using humor effectively; catching new trends and staying contemporary; and by constantly innovating; brands can keep consumers engaged and stay on top of their minds. M&M, Doritos, Skittles and Ben & Jerry's have all successfully used the Jester model to great effect.