The Jester Archetype: 10 Branding Examples

Arek Dvornechcuck
Branding Expert

I'm a strategist and designer based in New York who help brands grow by crafting distinctive brand identities, backed by strategy. Need help with your project?—Get in touch

These 10 examples of Jester Brands is for those who wanted to use the Jester archetype to their brand strategy.

In this article, I’m going to show you 10 examples of using the Jester archetype in branding.

We are going to talk about the Lover archetype and its traits and characteristics.

Then I will give you three concrete examples of the Jester brands in real life, and I will describe what they do in terms of the expression:

What kind of voice, message, colors, fonts and imagery they use to express that persona?

We will also talk about some of the best use case scenarios for using the Jester Archetype.

The Jester Archetype

Additionally, I will show you how the Jester archetype fits into the overall archetypal framework.

What are the levels for this archetype? Yes, there are levels for this game.

We’ve got 12 main archetypes, but there are actually 60 archetypes in total.

So, the Jester archetype family consists of: the Entertainer, the Clown, the Provocateur, and the Shapeshifter.

The Jester Archetype

  1. Jester Archetype Definition
  2. Jester Archetype Examples
  3. Jester Archetype Expression
  4. Jester Archetype Use Case
  5. Jester Archetype Family

1. Jester Archetype Definition

The Jester is one of the primary archetypes, and he is all about having a good time and living in the present moment.

Jester archetype’s motto is: “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution“.

Jesters may also be known as the fool, trickster, joker, punster, entertainer, clown, prankster, or comedian.

Jester Archetype Definition

In film, there is no character that personifies the jester better than Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura.

He is an optimist who is able to see the good in every situation.

Jesters are young at heart, and they seem to never grow up or become serious.

They encourage impulsive and unrestrained actions by bringing out the fun qualities of the inner child.

Jesters like to draw attention to themselves and encourage others to laugh along with them.

They have the capacity to defuse situations with their quick wit and sense of humor.

This archetype lives in the present moment, frequently employing comedy to win the hearts of others.

The Jester’s core desire is to live in the moment and with full enjoyment.

Jester brands are aimed towards promoting good times and making their target audience laugh, and they fear boredom or loneliness.

2. Jester Archetype Examples (10)

Now, let me give you some examples of using the Jester Archetype in branding.

What are some examples of the Jester archetype?

These brands that I will mention are the best examples that you can use if you want to use the Lover archetype in your brand strategy.

Jester Archetype Examples (10)

M&M’s (1)

M & M’s are the perfect example of a Jester brand.

M&M’s

They are the embodiment of a jester brand because their advertisements bring fun, joy, and happiness.

Their characters always make us laugh and brighten our days, which keeps the brand at the top of their category.

M & M’s managed to make light of something unhealthy—candy—by including humor into its candy characters.

Old Spice (2)

The second example is Old Spice, a male grooming product line that includes deodorants, soaps, shampoos, etc.

Old Spice

Through their personalities, Old Spice shifted their focus.

They kept their manly features but added a healthy dose of humor, and now they appeal to younger people.

Their campaign "The Man Your Man Could Smell" has gone down as a masterclass in advertising humor.

GoDaddy (3)

GoDaddy is another, totally different example of a brand adopting the Jester archetype.

GoDaddy

It's an unconventional name for a company that began as a domain registrar.

Their messaging, too, perpetuates the notion that companies exist to make webmasters happy with its slogan, "Make your own way".

They want to show people that even the most tedious backend management tasks can be fun and interesting.

Skittles (4)

Another example is Skittles, which are rainbow fruit-flavored button-shaped candies with firm sugar shells.

If you go to the Skittles website, you will discover that they are the epitome of the Jester.

Skittles' goal is to delight its customers and inspire them to be carefree and have fun in their own world of fun, color, and mischief.

And, their slogan is a natural Jester archetype, which is "Taste The Rainbow".

The Onion (5)

The Onion is a satirical news site that takes current events and presents them through the perspective of the silly.

The Onion

While maintaining an unsettling undercurrent of truth, The Onion shows it is not afraid to remark on any news.

They often breaches the boundary of political correctness with controversial themes or reporting style.

Doritos (6)

Next is Doritos, which is an American brand of flavored tortilla chips.

Doritos

But Doritos didn't just become a household name because of its product.

One of the main reasons people identify the brand with fun and good times is because of its funny advertisements.

Dollar Shave Club (7)

Dollar Shave Club is a brand that mails customers' razors and other personal grooming supplies.

Dollar Shave Club

The company made a big splash in the male grooming sector.

DSC is the perfect illustration of how the Jester archetype can help even the tiniest firms.

They compete with giants like Gillette, by launching a hilarious video — which reached 3 million views in just a few days.

MailChimp (8)

MailChimp is a marketing automation platform and email marketing service that allows businesses to manage their mailing lists.

MailChimp

Instead of developing a straightforward, business-toned marketing campaign software, they believe that:

“Belief in life and in email has always been that approaching things with a sense of humor makes them more fun".

Pepsi (9)

Pepsi is a well-known example of a Jester brand—they are all about fun.

Pepsi

Pepsi’s official brand statement, "almost 100 years of fun and refreshment", is clear that the company lives and breathes the Jester archetype.

The playful nature of their marketing can also be observed on their packaging, which incorporates emoticons and social media references such as hashtags.

Ben & Jerry’s (10)

And last but not least, is Ben & Jerry's, which is a manufacturer of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet.

Ben & Jerry’s

For this brand, life is all about happiness and ice cream, and their tagline is "Peace, love, and ice cream".

And you can't help but smile when you read the titles of their ice cream: Boom Chocolata, Scotchy Scotch Scotch, Coffee Coffee, and BuzzBuzzBuzz.

3. Jester Archetype Expression

Now that you’ve got some examples of Jester brands, let me summarize how the Jester archetype might be expressed in branding.

Jester brands use fun, playful, and optimistic tones of voice.

Jester brands will usually market themselves with enthusiasm, happiness, enlightenment, and optimism.

Jester Archetype Expression

They have a laid-back and fun-loving company culture.

The message is often about connecting with the target audience through happiness and laughter.

Their tone of voice is always enthusiastic, lively, and comical.

And by doing so, they’re leaving their consumers feeling happy and fascinated.

These brands aim to make customers feel playful and entertained while also encouraging them to enjoy life (like The New York Times).

They make people feel like they're having fun and being spontaneous by using bright colors and pictures with a lot of movement (like CNN or BBC, for example).

Common image subjects include things like: people having fun or bright-colored things.

Therefore, the culture within a Jester brand is always about having a good time while also brightening the world.

Jester brands develop their own ways of doing things.

As a result of their out-of-the-box thinking, the culture is very innovative in how they run their businesses or make their products.

4. Jester Archetype Use Case

The Jester archetype in general provides a good identity for brands who help people have a good time.

Jester archetype is best for confectionery, children, beers, and men’s care.

These brands might be associated with qualities like: casual, loud, motivated by fun, or spontaneous.

Jester Archetype Use Case

These brands often promote fun or make boring things more enjoyable to deal with.

The jester brands are usually priced depending on the industry—these are usually low- to high-priced products.

The jester archetype might be a good option for those businesses that encourage people to live in the moment, enjoy life and have a cheerful culture.

In summary, the Jester brand archetype is light-hearted and has a positive outlook on life.

Culture is oriented towards being witty and quirky to help people view things differently.

Jester brands are not scared to break the rules or be politically incorrect, and they are experts at brainstorming, reframing ideas, and presenting new points of view.

The Jester brand would do well in industries that involve entertainment, men’s care, alcohol, confectionery, and beer brands.

5. Jester Archetype Levels / Family

Now, I wanted to let you know that there are 12 main archetypes, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article.

The Jester archetype family is consists of: Entertainer, Clown, Provocateur, and Shapeshifter.

But there are also 4 sub-archetypes for each, so The Jester Archetype is like the representative of this family.

Jester Archetype Levels / Family

You can also go deeper and explore other archetypes within the Jester family.

The difference between the Jester and other archetypes is that the top-level archetypes share more in common with other family members.

That is why they function as a unifying thread among each family member.

It’s like you have your own personality, and you may have a lot in common with your parents.

So here are the other four Jester Archetypes:

  1. Entertainer — brand examples: Nickelodeon and SNL
  2. Clown — brand examples: Ben and Jerry’s and Jack in the Box
  3. Provocateur — brand examples: BareMinerals Cosmetics and The Onion
  4. Shapeshifter — brand examples: Cirque de Soleil and MTV

Even though I will not go deeper into explaining those sub-categories, at least you have some examples so that you can figure it out for yourself.

And if you want to learn more — I recommend these two books:

(1) The Hero and the Outlaw by Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson

(2) Archetypes in Branding by Margaret Hartwell and Joshua C. Chen

Lastly, please check out my Brand Strategy Guide, where I explain how to use archetypes to develop a comprehensive brand strategy.

Jester Archetype
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