September 8, 2016

Exploring Brand Archetypes: The Hero

September 8, 2016

Exploring Brand Archetypes: The Hero

Branding, Brand Archetypes

This blog post features the 3rd brand archetype in the series, which explores how brands use literary archetypes to stand out and be remembered.


The Warrior. The Saviour. The Winner. The Team Player

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than themselves.

— Joseph Campbell

What drives Heroes to get up in the morning is their desire to prove their worth through acts of bravery.

Their fear? To be seen as weak and a failure.

At best, Heroes are courageous, determined, and skilled. But at their worst, they are prideful and arrogant and too aggressive — the primary suspects to their downfall.

Hero customers want to be seen as good, moral citizens. They want to feel inspired and empowered. They are fulfilled when they rise to meet and overcome challenges. They uphold products that are efficient and of quality.


How Heroes Bring their Brand to Life

The Hero brands help people achieve their ambitions or help people solve a social, environmental, or other major issues. The Hero archetype effectively works for brands that are often the underdogs in the industry, especially if they have a definite competitor to beat.


Categories that Have the Hero at the Foundation

Promising triumph, Hero brands claim that they are superior in their industry and they produce quality products or services that improve or have an impact on the world. Here are some of the categories with the Hero archetype at the foundation:

  • Plumbing
  • Military recruitment
  • Pet rescue centres
  • Sports gear and apparel
  • Outdoor gear


Examples of Hero Brands

hero-plumbing-industry.jpgThe plumbing industry fittingly describes the Hero archetype — plumbers typically do what the rest couldn’t and wouldn’t do. Ad from Aabra-cadabra Plumbing.



Nike taps into the story of hero pitted against a great foe. In this ad, the foe is the old self, the ego, the desire to quit.


Apple ad: “Why 1984 Won’t Be Like 1984”. This disruptive ad promises a new technology that the innovative, creative youth can use with freedom to make the world a better place.


hero-australian-army-reserve.jpgThe Australian Army Reserve. This ad clearly summons the Hero in viewers, as it invites people of all walks of life to join the army.

hero-marine-ad.jpgUnited States Marine Corps. Their heroic motto, Semper Fidelis (always faithful), spells out heroism: no matter what, these men remain faithful to the mission and to the nation.



This comic 1970s FedEx ad assures its viewers that FedEx understands and is keeping pace with your business’s urgent demands.





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