Stories, Heroes and Commercials. Spreading the Message across with a New Type of Responsibility

Ana ADI, Camelia CRIȘAN, Răzvan Constantin DINCĂ

Abstract


Stories have always been a form of communication, the first form of narrative we have encountered in early childhood. And although we have grown up they continue to fascinate us. They maintain and recreate bonds with old traditions, legends, archetypes, myths and symbols. In analyzing stories, Joseph Campbell (2008) proposed the monomyth or the Hero's Journey, a basic pattern, which comprises fundamental stages and structures identifiable in all narratives from different cultures and ages. Although the pattern was further refined and enriched according to the specifics of the narrative (myth, fairy tale, dream, movie etc.) the common structural elements of the Hero's Journey from the ordinary world to a challenging and unfamiliar world include: the departure, the initiation and the return. Picking up on Campbell’s model, Sachs (2012) proposes a circular representation of the hero and his/her journey. In this model, a new character, the mentor, plays a pivotal role in the shaping of the hero and his/her transformation. It is the mentor that supports the hero in her/his taking the call to adventure as well as in providing the needed support for crossing the thresholds to the supernatural world and back. Based on what Sachs (2012) suggests that brands could use storytelling as a means to engage with consumers. In doing so he argues that brands should reflect and adopt the role of mentors in their consumers’ journeys, guiding them through the challenges on their own world and contributing to their personal fulfillment. This paper aims to evaluate four stories, all focused on women and empowerment and as a result our discussion focuses mainly on the position of the brand within the story and its role. This, we believe, may contribute to a new trend focused on the adoption and applications of empowerment storytelling.

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