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Advertising. Fairy Tale Symbols Role. Essay

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Today, advertisers face an exceedingly complex task in seeking to persuade, much less manipulate, the public. Individual perceptions vary widely, and the impact of an ad on one person is generally different from its impact on another. Fairy-tales archetypes become extremely popular today influencing decisions to purchase and creating a unique brand image of the product (Hollensen, 2007). Archetypical myths influence mind of consumers and appeal to their emotions more strongly than any other form of persuasion or promotion based on unique processes of learning and memorizing. In UK (and other European countries) the image of the Little Red Hood is one of the most popular in advertising. Channel No. 5 uses this unique archetype for several years in order to attract women audience and create a unique brand and product image.


It is possible to assume that this symbol and image was selected for women audience influenced by dreams and image of an ideal girl. For most of them, the Little Red Hood is one of the most famous fairy tales they read in childhood. This image causes positive attitudes and similar responses of diverse target audience. This image attracts attention and appeals to women. Channel No 5 uses this archetype as an attention-getting device seeking to increase brand name and product recognition There is a temptation for advertisers to exaggerate the benefits of this product but much less of a temptation to employ outright lies, which tend to be self-defeating (de Mooij, 2003). The goal of this strategy is to entice the consumer to purchase the product and then to satisfy her through experience (Fill, 1999).

Childhood memories motivate women to purchase this product which represents their dreams and ideals. Using archetypes, advertisers introduce the basic features of the product to the consumer. Should more information be desired, interested consumers may thereafter seek out further details from dealers or from people who already own the product. This is far less costly than attempting to transmit every conceivable detail on a mass basis (de Mooij, 2003). To the extent that consumers disagree and find psychic pleasure in a product in addition to “practical” utility, this is not an illegitimate function. If advertising enables purchasers of certain perfume to suppose themselves more attractive, or purchasers of cosmetics to think that they are more beautiful as a result, that attribute of advertising itself seems a good worth paying for. Fairy tale images provide a benefit in that it facilitates competitive behavior (Kotabe & Helsen 2006). Leonardo (1991) admits that racial images are also important for advertising affecting images and perception of the receiver.

The image of the Little Red Hood represents a romantic ideal valued by many women. Critics suppose that the commercials in each of the three “emotionality” categories (humor, dynamic shift, and static) are the most effetive. Both of the emotional response-generating categories (dynamic shift in emotion and simple and sustained mood) tended to generate suppressed recall scores (which require an association of the brand name to the execution), but only the simple mood category is unlikely to generate a high level of persuasion. Apparently there is something about the emotion generation and resolution that creates an environment in which the benefits become more salient or accepted; perhaps the dynamic shift in emotions affects the consumer-respondents in a more involving way. On the other hand, those commercials in which humor predominated achieved above average recall without simultaneously achieving high persuasion scores (Solomon et al 2006). Fairy tales archetypes parallel those of the simple mood-generating commercials, albeit at higher levels. However, within this general class of advertising, creating a dynamic shift in viewers’ emotions can significantly increase scores. The more important finding is that women consumers respond better to advertising, even within standard copy-testing environments, when that advertising signals a product’s or a service’s ability to deliver both rational and psychological benefits an important advance in understanding advertising. One would attempt to understand the benefits why a person would use this kind of product in terms of psychological and rational benefits (de Mooij, 2003).

Also, researchers identify the concept of ‘arousal’ which influences decision to purchase. The advertisement of Channel No. 5 motivates potential buyers to try this product. Viewers’ emotional responses to advertisements have joined “cognitive responses” as important predictors of post-exposure attitudes. This naturally leads to the consideration of how best to assess emotional responses (Matthews 1994). The current approach is to record subjects’ ratings of a relatively long list of emotional adjective scales. Because intended feelings capture a major component of the responses intended by the creator of the ad, their intensity should reveal details of the process of influence. This may be especially important for intended sequences of feelings (Solomon et al 2006). Odean (2002) claims that fairy tales adds emotional uniqueness and can reduce unpleasant feelings in viewers. The product is then presented as a solution to the problem, and an emotionally satisfying resolution is portrayed. In such an ad, achieving positive attitudes may depend on the complete sequence of emotional responses (Kotabe & Helsen 2006).


In sum, because they are directly tied to the responses intended by the advertiser, ad-specific feelings may offer a useful view of the advertising influence process based on unique fairly tale images. To the extent that additional data are ad specific, as are verbal protocols, ad specific feelings may be more easily coordinated with them to generate further insights. An archetype, as another form of persuasive communication, also relies on the portrayal and arousal of emotion. While the preceding figures may readily be categorized as symbolic portrayals of emotion, the occurrence of such symbols in social interaction is less apparent. However, one could argue that such basic expressions as smiling and frowning appear in so many contexts and so often that they have become symbols of emotion. Since basic emotions can readily be recognized and interpreted, the ability to identify an emotion correctly may, in some instances, be less important in advertisements than whether the portrayed emotion was genuinely experienced rather than artificially posed or constructed for the occasion.


Fill, C. 1999. Marketing Communication: Contexts, Contents, and Strategies 2 edn. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Hollensen, S. 2007, Global Marketing: A Decision-Oriented Approach. Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 4 edition.

Kotabe, M., Helsen, K. 2006, Global Marketing Management. Wiley.

Leonardo, M. Racial Fairy Tales. The Nation, 253 (December 9, 1991), 752.

Matthews, J. The Original Giant and the Jack of Games. The Antioch Review, 52 (Spring 1994), 350.

de Mooij, M. 2003, Consumer Behavior and Culture. Sage Publications, Inc.

Odean, K. Having Fun with Fairy Tales. Book (September-October 2002), p. 38.

Solomon, M. R., Bamossy, G. Askegaard. A. 2006, Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective. Financial Times/ Prentice Hall.


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