Brand Strategies

One Of the Greatest Examples Of The Jester Brand Archetype

Jester laying down thumbs up

Archetypes: An Important Tool In Marketing

Archetypes are recognizable patterns of human behavior which are often amplified in stories. Using archetypes enables audiences to engage and interact with a brand, or a product. This powerful tool connects audiences to brands and products.

Why is Storytelling Important?

Storytelling connects us to our humanity. As a result, storytelling is how people make sense of the world. Using this concept, marketers are able to emotionally connect consumers to their brand and or product.

What comes to mind when you think of a brand that uses the jester archetype; helping people enjoy life or live in the moment, having a fun loving culture, being clever and quirky?

m&m's personified


Above all, the legendary M&M’s brand immediately comes to mind. The Mars company uses the jester archetype for the M&M brand to help audiences connect their product with fun and enjoyment.

The M&M Jester Archetype Brand

The Jester archetype is humorous, which is how the M&M’s brand is portrayed, with colorful M&M’s portraying humanistic over-the-top personalities. Red (the sarcastic one,) Yellow (the simple one,) Blue (the cool one,) Green (the sexy one) — and later, Brown (the smart, sophisticated one) and Orange (the anxious, nervous one).

Meet The M&M Characters

jester hat

The M&M characters are silly, sarcastic, and humorous, presenting their brand as the jester archetype making the M&M brand the “ultimate entertainer, able to make people feel good — a feeling that any brand would like to have associated with it.” (Smith, 2016).

m&m personalities

Jester Brands Tend To Grab The Audience’s Attention

The M&M brand certainly captures the attention of their audience through humorous advertisements using personable M&M characters.The M&M brand is entertaining, comedic, lively, playful, and in the moment. “The marketing of Jester brands may be unconventional, silly, or over-the-top. Often bright colors are used and the action is high-energy.”(Smith, 2016). All of these qualities make it evident that the jester archetype is used for the brand.

Finding The Right Brand Archetype

Jester archetype

Jester Archetype Strategy

Using the jester archetype for the M&M branding was one of the best moves for the Mars Company with “recognizing that their product is pretty unhealthy and definitely not at risk of being recommended by anyone in the health profession, leading them to try a different angle: humour” (“The Jester: Your Brand and the Holy Grail”, 2018).

Jesters Are Some Of The Most Beloved Brands

Everyone loves to laugh, that’s why Jesters are some of the most beloved brands or at least have the most memorable ads being an important factor into why they felt this was the right direction to go for their brand. Their audience transcends all boundaries being universally relevant, “because virtually everyone wants to have more fun in their life. The Jester archetype is reflected in its brand through tone, graphic visuals, social media, and many other marketing strategy aspects. This archetype relates well to most people.

A Hero’s Journey & The Jester Archetype Demonstrated In M&M’s Advertisement Starring Danny Devito.

Danny Devito stars as RED in this comedic advertisement for the M&M’s brand; which perfectly exemplifies the Jester Archetype.

Hero’s Journey Story Structure

This brand story follows the hero’s journey story structure starting out with being in the ordinary world where red is walking on the street with ms. brown complaining how everyone wants to eat him as he picks up a penny from the sidewalk. Call to adventure occurs when red wishes to be human. The supernatural aid in the commercial would be the lucky penny which transforms red from a piece of candy into a human (Danny Devito).

Danny Devito as red m&m jester archetype

The Challenge

At this point he sees his reflection, “Look at me I’m human”. His challenge is adapting to being human, in human form he stands out as being strange/silly, and clumsy taking to the streets to ask passersby if they want to “eat” him. This new found freedom and excitement causes him to not pay attention, and clumsily get hit by a garbage truck. He lands safely in a produce cart and sees his reflection admiring himself. This would be the abyss part of the journey with the near death.

Revelation Occurs

The revelation occurs in the 2nd commercial when Devito realizes he wants to be a piece of candy again. He uses the lucky penny and makes his wish where he turns back into a piece of candy. This would fall under transformation and return to ordinary world categories of the hero’s journey story structure.

Hero Of The Story

Red is the hero in the story, or so he likes to thinks. Danny Devito, who’s personality perfectly exemplifies Red in human form and Ms. Brown who makes fun of him in a very sarcastic tone, representing the jester in this storyline.

M&M Brand Success

red m&m waving

The company is very successful with the M&M brand being a worldwide leading candy brand that makes audiences connect with their message. Much of this success is do to their usage of the jester archetype. “Archetypes are crucial in establishing a congruency between your company, your message, and the consumer.”(Lanyon, 2017).

M&M Brand Message

The M&M brand message is all about having fun, no matter the situation, entertaining consumers so they relate enjoyment and humor, all aspects of a jester archetype with their brand. This has helps consumers when deciding on a candy to purchase.

Global Leading Candy

red m&m (jester archetype) posed

The Mars company’s message is very successful with M&M’s being a global leading candy brand. In other words, their message is fun and entertaining leaving a strong impression on consumer minds who relate enjoyment and humor with M&M’s candies.

peanut butter m&m


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Jess Gold|Digital Marketing Professional | Twitter: @jessgold_

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