Brand Meaning – Archetypal Mythography

During the last Brand Asset Management Session, we have mapped brands into different practices of brand analysis, called Meaning Management Audit.

The brand Marlboro can be classified into the practice of “Archetypal Mythography”.

In this type, archetypal qualities of the brand shall be imbued with metaphysical presence and primal narrativity. Storytelling and myth building are taking a central role to build experimental universes. Customers should be able to identify the hero in the brand and perceive the transmitted communication as apprehended reality.

In the case of Marlboro, the former advertising efforts have built up a strong myth around the brand. For years, Marlboro has advertised with the Marlboro Man as brand testimonial. The Marlboro Man, representing freedom, independence, genuinity, confidence and adventures, has become that famous that he became a myth for consumers. The Marlboro Man transmitted the brands heritage and identity effectively and became strongly positioned in consumer’s minds. When people think about Marlboro, they directly think about Marlboro Man. Through the simple but very strong stories of Marlboro Country, Marlboro has demonstrated in their campaigns how free, authentic, down to earth and free-spirited consumers could be as Marlboro-smokers. All these are values, that consumers can easily identify with or have an aspiration for.

Marlboro has built an enormous myth around the brand and states a very high recall value. The myth became that high, that Marlboro could even advertise with the Marlboro Man only. On several campaigns, only Marlboro Man without mentioning of the brand, product or slogan, were presented. Even without showing any indications of the brand, consumers directly knew that the advertisement campaign originated from Marlboro – the association of Marlboro Man with the brand was that strong.


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