The Jester Archetype
By: Tanvi Anand, Deepa Soman
“You only live once, so lighten up because life is meant to be enjoyed”. Abiding by this motto, the Jester archetype exhorts life be lived to its fullest. The Jester is present-minded and for them joy is a primary concern. The Jester deals with situations by displaying a masterful use of humour.
Jester is at peace with the paradoxes of the world. They are fun-loving and use humour not only to entertain but also at times to illuminate hypocrisy. They mainly strive to live carefree in the ‘here and now’
- Live in the moment
- Carefree and jovial
- Entertaining and fun
- Absent minded and insensitive i.e., not plan about the future
- Getting into controversies
The Jester Persona
The Motto- “Lighten up, life is meant to be enjoyed”
Gift – Joy
Motivation – Enjoyment
The Promise – If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong
The Setting – Colourful, jovial, creative, comic-relief, playful, clever, happy
Shadow – Self-indulgence, irresponsibility, mean-spirited pranks
Fears – Boredom or being boring to others
- The Jester expressed at level one sees life as a game. The only important thing is to just have fun!
- Jester is expressed by combining fun with resourcefulness/ intelligence (resulting in things like practical jokes, or finding ways to get around rules). This is where cleverness and innovation is developed.
- Jester knows that life is lived in the moment. If all we have is today, we should live each day to the fullest.
Types of Jester Archetype
The Juggler (Superiority) – With an aim to shackle the power of superiority, just like a skilful juggler who can carelessly toss dangerous objects around in the air without risking injury, a Juggler Jester can lower or raise someone’s status according to his whims.
This includes mocking those in a higher power or position. For a juggler jester, status is meaningless and at times they also lower their own status to entertain others around them.
The true mark of a master Jester, though, is the ability to successfully lower status without causing pain or emotional injury.
Examples – Comedians part of the groups like EIC (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlMm3I6B-C0)
Some Amul billboard advertisements
The Balloon Twister (Relief) – The Balloon Twister Jester essentially tries to find relief by releasing nervousness in forms of mockery and entertainment. They are also are able to find out what bothers or unnerves someone. Once that information is known, a Jester can then flip those uncomfortable subjects and use them as fodder for hilarious jokes. Jester may choose to confront people with taboos to purposely frighten or startle them into realizing how silly their fears are.
Examples – The character from PK (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr0znQDQbV0 )
Comedian Kenny Sebastian making fun of the conceptual taboo of “nazar”/ evil eye (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h42lBcS3Y4&t=73s )
The Absurdist (Incongruity) – An Absurdist style Jester is able to use nonsense and witty wordplay to provoke laughs using situations and jokes that usually follow some type of strange, unexpected logic. Through the use of funny, unexpected rhymes and surprising, apparently nonsensical actions a Jester who is skilful in the use of absurdity is able to ingratiate himself to others without affecting the status quo and without having to tap into the often volatile power of cultural taboos.
Examples – Fevicol moustache ad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUc4iKIAPV8 )
Kurkure ads (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCdHbZsdRO8 )
Happy Dent ad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWvxt1IL9Wg)
Gems Panda ad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5TNdoiUCgQ )
The Child (Playfulness) – A Jester might adopt Child techniques at a party to help ensure that everyone is having a good time. The Jester who is skilled in the ways of the Child can switch back and forth between childish and adult mentalities at will. Engaging in meaningless play can help relieve boredom during times when not much is happening, and these are the situations where Child Jesters are especially fun to be around.
Examples – Chingles advertisement ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF-qzvIT9S0 )
Gems “no umar for laalach” ad ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ink9lAkrcxY )
Centrefruit ads ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p580FsZClv0 )
MMT ads with Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30gHa4ipM6I )
Jester as a brand
As a brand, the Jester is capable of instantly grabbing one’s attention using unexpected sounds, vibrant settings, entertaining voices. Jester brands are not afraid to bend rules or be politically incorrect. Their marketing is unconventional, silly , over-the-top, showcasing high energy. The Jester brands create their own ways to do things. Brands use the Jester tonality in communication to break clutter and grab viewer attention in different and unconventional ways, and entertain.
The Jester Archetype are good for brands that:
- Give people the sense of belonging
- Help people have a good time
- Low or moderately priced
- Produced by a fun-loving company
- That need to be differentiated from self-important, over-confident, established brands
Examples of Jester brands – Fanta (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNaXNqez1XM )
Ben and Jerrys ice cream, Gems, 5 star , Chingles, Snickers, Happydent, Centre fruit , M & Ms , Kurkure, Bingo Mad Angles
Brands that use the Jester in communication are Fevicol , Make My trip, Old spice (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wgs-UEgXqQM ), Amul
- Mark, M., Pearson, C. (2001). The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes. New York: McGraw-Hill.