top of page

The Battle of the Archetypes: The Magician vs. The Caregiver

This week’s match-up features two distinct archetypes:

The Magician vs. The Caregiver.

The first contender will get you comfortable in the ring with a warm handshake, and the runner-up will land a decisive punch using innovation and mastery. It’s going to be a fascinating battle!

Caregiver archetypes appeal to that need inside of us that seeks out nurturing and comfort, something we’re all craving a little more lately.

The archetype of the magician uses creativity in a whimsical way to solve our problems and leave us spellbound (and hopefully reaching for our credit card to submit payment).

Let’s jump in and see how they captivate their customers.

Opponent #1- The Magician

Examples: Disney, Dyson, Apple, Perrier

Main focus: Transforming the client’s world, inspire positive change.

The Magician archetype shows us a world where their product or service makes life much easier. They set themselves apart from other archetypes by encouraging viewers to expand their consciousness and think differently. Combining imagination and innovation, the marketing campaigns of magician brands can be some of the most captivating for audiences.

Let’s embark on this magical carpet ride, shall we?

We’ll skip the most obvious magician brand (but here’s a little peek) and highlight the magic behind Perrier’s campaigns. The concepts in their commercials delight our senses with intriguing visuals and crisp sounds.

As you watch, you can almost taste the lightly carbonated bubbles dance on your tongue. This Perrier ad (embed into blog) is a few years old but the message resonates more than ever. They weave social commentary about climate change into the storyline and still champion the refreshing taste of sparkling water.

It’s tricky to accomplish, and exactly the sleight of hand you’d expect from a magician.

Dyson and Apple are great examples of the magician archetype as well. Accomplished visionaries James Dyson and Steve Jobs took common problems (inefficient vacuums and daunting technology) and created tools that are not only ultra user-friendly, but transformed the way we perceive basic household products.

Sometimes the eccentric concepts featured in magician personas might appear too trendy, but it’s clear from the examples above that if executed correctly, they can remain timeless and even iconic.

Opponent #2- The Caregiver

Examples: Volvo, Johnson & Johnson, Heinz, Pampers, Kleenex

Main focus: Serving the community while emphasizing safety and wellness.

The caregiver archetype looks out for you and your family.

If you’ve ever had a moment on the couch where you’re watching a touching commercial and quickly glance up to hold back a tear, the culprit was likely a caregiver brand. They position themselves as the compassionate ally for their consumers.

Caregiver brands display empathy and that builds trust, one of the key components of building a successful brand. Marketing expert and author Donald Miller emphasizes it’s “more than just sentimental slogans”. Miller explains, “real empathy means letting customers know we see them as we see ourselves”.

This recently released Volvo commercial does just that. There’s no drone footage or fast paced music pulsating as cars speed down impossibly empty freeways. Volvo wants you to know their only priority is the safety of you and your loved ones on the road.

They’re even willing to put their name on the line and risk controversy in the name of protecting their clients. Who would call this altruistic motive into question?

They’ve forced the viewer into reflecting on their values. If you’re yearning for a sleeker, faster vehicle, you may begin to question whether it’s a responsible choice you’re making.

Household products that have ties to raising a family lend themselves to the caregiver archetype, like Johnson & Johnson. This self-proclaimed ‘family of companies’

reported earnings of over $20 billion US in 2019, but despite this behemoth market share it still manages to present itself as a generous, nurturing provider of household consumer goods.

Their advertisement below encourages viewers to see them as a supportive caregiver through the ever-evolving chapters of life:

“From the day you’re born, Johnson & Johnson never stops taking care of you.” Indeed, and building a strong foundation on this premise ensures brand loyalty through generations- a key to being an industry leader.

Who captured your attention this week?

Did the magician win you over with mastery, or were you comforted by the caregiver?

Next week’s archetype match up is The Innocent vs The Everyman/Everywoman.

670 views0 comments


bottom of page