As one begins any project involving an audience they start with research. The research builds and inspires the work, from the messaging all the way through to the design. In a strategic writing course, we have discussed how important it is to establish the call to action. In our Guth, Mark and Short text, Strategic Writing: Multimedia Writing for Public Relations, Advertising and More (2009), the authors give detail on strategic message planners. According to the text, “Only careful research can tell you which features can create benefits-and which benefit is so important that it belongs in your strategic message” (Guth, Marsh, Short, p.120).
The only way to figure out key benefits is to truly understand your target audience. Through doing your strategic planning you have identified who your ideal consumer is and their demographics (gender, location, family, stage in life, etc.). Next, and most importantly, you must identify some psychographics about them.
In an article written by a Claremont Graduate student called, Leaders and Heroes: Modern Day Archetypes (2013), we are introduced to Psychologist, Carl Jung. Jung and his study of psychographics and creation of archetypes. He found that archetypes are, “transmitted through culture rather than biology” (Faber & Mayer, 2009). People tend to identify with them because, “Archetypes can provide an operative paradigm or schema in which an individual can experience the world, be compelled to act, and provide a model for behavior” (Schadraconis 2013). All three of these things are the string with which us advertisers and marketers hope to tug on.
As we can see it is imperative that you understand and create an in-depth profile if you want to make ads that sell. It’s not enough to just reach your consumer on the right channel, but you need to compel them to buy. You need to understand their wants and desires, why they get out of bed each day.
Just recently I finished Margret Mark and Carol Pearson book, The Hero and The Outlaw (2001). The book supports the research of Dr. Jung and goes into detail on each archetype. In summation, the book suggested the deeper your understanding of your target is, the more successful your advertising will become. Depending on what archetype you want your product or service to attract, you need to approach the advertising with how they want to be talked to.
Faber, M. A., & Mayer, J. D. (2009). Resonance to archetypes in media: There’s some accounting for taste. Journal of Research in Personality, 43(3), 307-322. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2008.11.003
Shadraconis, Sophon (2013) "Leaders and Heroes: Modern Day Archetypes," LUX: A Journal of Transdisciplinary Writing and Research from Claremont Graduate University: Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 15. Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/lux/vol3/iss1/15
Mark, M., & Pearson, C. S. (2002). The hero and the outlaw: Harnessing the power of archetypes to create a winning brand. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Marsh, C., Guth, D., & Short, B. P. (2009). Strategic writing: Multimedia writing for public relations, advertising and more Guth, Bonnie Poovey Short. Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.