Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homer, Virgil and us.

One of the things that strong brands do is they create for themselves a "creation myth," a story that captures their foundation, their beliefs, their over-coming of the odds, their strength.

Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" were creation myths that unified the people of ancient Hellas, just as Virgil's "Aeneid" glued together the Roman Empire, just as stories about the Revolutionary War and Washington crossing the Delaware helped define the American character.

These are (or were) important brands in their time.

Today, brands like Apple, Mercedes-Benz, IBM and a few others have creation myths--strong stories that define them.

At its most elemental and its best, advertising finds or creates creation myths. It finds a way to make a brand understandable, important, likeable and true.

I know such lofty thoughts can get in the way of writing another "This Fall, Rake in the Savings" ad, but sometimes it's nice to dream.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

no, no, no, don't you know that now when the consumer since long is empowered through all things social the consumer creates the myth. not the brand itself. isn't that just great. everything has changed. tiny banners on messy, crowded sites don't entice clicks but work just as hard as television advertising, billboards and full page print ads together. they say. and everybody loves ads on facebook. that twitters biggest brands are banal gossip channels and justin bieber is irrelevant. somehow that will eventually sell washing powder and computers. apple is just an aberration. steve jobs doesn't get it either. humankind has definitely changed for ever. that my teenage kids are pretty much like i was as a teenager, aside from all video games, iphones, ipads, nooks and kindles, and youtube and hulu is beyond the point. I recently found out they are also reading books, magazines, drawing by hand with real pens on real paper, watching real long movies, going to the movie theaters, playing live music, playing soccer, even watching commercials on tv. i don't know what to do. i have failed as a modern parent. i can't seem to get through to them with the message that everything has changed. that they are not supposed to act and react like normal humans have for a million years. oh, man.