As brands move away from promotional messaging in favour of more engaging content, it has become necessary to create visual stories that deeply resonate with consumers. Archetypes are an interesting starting point for branding and advertising campaigns and have been used in various forms over the past decades. Brands today are aspiring to become even stronger storytellers, particularly as costs increase for creative content marketing and native advertising.

Archetypes are in many ways enduring, but their visual representation evolves over time. Consider three of the most common archetypes: the Caregiver, the Creator and the Explorer. Brands and advertisers wanting to connect with their audiences must follow how these visual forms change in order to use the power of archetypal imagery to its fullest.

The Madonna, for example, is one of the most prominent visual representations of the Caregiver archetype. Stereotypically, this archetype is female, but as gender roles change, modern mothers are no longer visualized as saint-like and innocent, and fathers are playing a more nurturing part in family life.

 The Creator archetype is becoming more important as creativity and entrepreneurial spirit develop into highly-valued character traits... We appreciate those who create products of unique and lasting value, especially as digital technology continues to transform how we connect with the world.

Spirit, curiosity and opportunity are concepts connected to the idea of exploration. The Explorer archetype seeks out new and authentic experiences, from fascinating discoveries in our universe, to the everyday adventures available in one’s own backyard.

In this feature, Getty Images provides examples of imagery that portrays a new take on these archetypal characters. 

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