“Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.”
— Mason Cooley
Altruistic and selfless, the Caregiver’s goal is to provide support, compassion, and to nurture those in need. Historical figures like Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale, and Eleanor Roosevelt are great symbols of this archetype. Often, the Caregiver is portrayed through a female figure and is associated with maternal societal roles. However, with the changing socioeconomic landscape, mastering this archetype is becoming more challenging, as more men are staying home to take care of children than ever before.
While non-profit organizations and charities like the Salvation Army and Red Cross are brands that immediately come to mind, there is an opportunity for commercial businesses to align themselves with this archetype. Brands that provide assistance, protection, restoration, nourishment, or promote health through natural ingredients are also a great fit. Additionally, with the chasm widening between the service consumers are coming to expect, to the service they receive, brands that place a high priority on customer satisfaction can use the Caregiver archetype to show they truly care about their customers.
Before committing your brand or advertising to this archetype, it’s important to first establish the main demographic you will be targeting, and evaluate whether it would be a good fit. The Caregiver archetype has a noble pedigree due to its devotion for others’ well being. However, the fine line between caring and overprotective is different for everyone. Without proper planning and foresight, this archetype can come off as cheesy, annoying, and overbearing.
Campbell’s Soup Company
Drawing from the warm associations of hot soup and its perceived holistic healing powers, it’s only natural that Campbell’s Soup would take on the Caregiver archetype for its brand. From the beginning, their soup commercials promoted how nutritious its products were, along with how it brought the family together.
Souperstitious – Mom Cave
In this popular commercial, Campbell’s Soup juxtaposed the rough and tough nature of the National Football League, with the concern and protectiveness of a mother towards her son. The injection of humor and hyperbole defuses any chance that this mother’s care for her son comes off as overprotective or suffocating.
Infiniti’s current tagline, “Inspired Performance,” communicates the brand message it has successfully established years ago. The aim was to separate itself from the pack of other luxury vehicles through horsepower and speed. However, with its competitors including so many high tech gadgets into their vehicles, Infiniti felt the need to show that they aren’t a “one trick pony.” In recent models they have been introducing modern technology in order to prevent accidents, keeping their customers, and the people they have in the car with them safe.
Distracted Driving / Reverse Worries
Our lives are becoming increasingly busy, hectic, and worrisome. We’re constantly trying to multi-task to feel that we’re using our day as efficiently as we can. Often this leads to us distracted driving. We’re thinking about the work we weren’t able to finish at our jobs, appointments that need to be made, errands that need to be completed, etc. These are far from ideal driving conditions and are dangerous for ourselves, as well as those around us. This first commercial communicates just that, as his Infiniti watches over him and keeps him safe from disaster.
This next Infiniti commercial shows a different safety feature of their vehicles, but maintains the same tone as the first commercial. A busy mother of 2 children is trying to take them to school and while backing into the road is saved from what would have been a terrible accident with a speeding school bus. The focus on the facial expressions of the relieved mother after the fact draws the connection between a guardian angel looking over her family and the new car.
Do you think your brand might have attributes of the Caregiver archetype?
Compare it against the checklist below to find out.
☐ The products, services, or experiences your brand sells are concerned with the well-being, health, or safety of your customers.
☐ Your brand puts substance first, style second.
☐ Your brand prioritizes people, relationships, and health over material things.
☐ Your company appreciates talented individuals and nurtures their development.
☐ Your corporate culture attracts and retains employees who are passionate about their jobs and your brand.
Put it to Use
If you find that your brand does fit this archetype, here are some places to put it to use.
Bonus Content – Blast from the Past:
Take a look at these old vintage Campbell’s Soup commercials from the 1950’s and try and keep a tally on how many times the words “good,” “great,” “nutritious,” and “delicious” were used. My, how marketing and advertising verbiage has changed?
It’s also interesting to go back and view the huge societal shifts in values through the lens of advertising. Commercials like these were commonplace in the past, but would be a PR disaster today.