Most helpful critical review
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Great theme, mediocre delivery
on 3 October 2006
The central thought of the book is very strong: that it is easier and more effective to tell stories about brands if those stories are already, in some way, familiar. Using twelve archetypes, the authors discuss how exploiting certain archetypal behaviours and traits strengthen a brand's grip on the "collective unconscious" and makes for a clearer positioning and more "appropriate" advertising. This is good stuff: it makes sense that in an attention economy, marketers use whatever anchors they can to secure a place for a brand in their targets' minds. Unfortunately, the examples and illustrations used are often muddled, or just plain wrong, which has the effect of making the central argument seem less impressive. There's also a bit of laziness in some of the examples: is it really helpful to describe Harvard as "A Sage Brand"? That's its role, not its identity, surely... So: a good theme and central idea, that's weakened somewhat by lazy execution. Read it for the summaries and main outline, but I would suggest that you find your own examples and case studies, especially if you are working outside the USA.