Just like everybody loves a good underdog story, we love to see impossible odds overcome when a hero—someone ordinary with an everyday life—slays the monster. In Hollywood, monsters take all forms, from actual monsters like the Jabberwocky and zombie clowns to monstrous circumstances, like war or corporate greed steamrolling innocent bystanders. In marketing, perhaps the monster is a car accident or tornado, and a friendly insurance company can give you peace of mind knowing you’re covered in such circumstances. Maybe it’s a monster pimple, and a company’s beauty product is just the thing to defeat it.
Overcoming the monster archetypes need a hero to battle an antagonistic force, save innocents, and thwart disaster. Of all the storytelling archetypes, this may be one of the easiest to adapt to your marketing message.
Your product or service serves a purpose.
Whether the purpose of your company is to save consumers time, make their lives easier in some way, or enhance their surroundings, there’s a situation about your consumers’ lives you’re trying to improve. That situation can be linked to a metaphorical monster.
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Consumers have a myriad of monsters in their lives, and they take all forms and foster varying degrees of apathy. Your marketing strategy with the overcoming the monster archetype can give your target audience the tools to better their situation using your products and services. However, while the archetype may be the easiest concept to relate your message, its execution could be anything but.
Your product must live up to your message and the expectations you foster
The last thing consumers want is to get their hopes up for a product or service that may not work. We’re a skeptical society, and there’ve been too many products that haven’t lived up to expectations in all our pasts. Remember Crystal Pepsi? Beta video tapes? For your company to truly reach your audience, your message has to be confident enough to get their attention so they set aside their initial skepticism and ask themselves, “Could this really solve my problem?”
Piquing their curiosity about your product or service significantly enough that they stop and listen is also only the first step. The overall purpose of your strategy is to empower them in some way. If you successfully make them feel they are the hero in their own story, that they can slay whatever monster they’re battling in their lives using your product or service, you can inspire in them a sense of accomplishment that’s almost guaranteed to lead to a satisfying experience with your brand. Then the next time they must battle the monster, they won’t think twice about repeating their business with you, and will even recommend your company to their friends and family so they can defeat their own monsters.
The overcoming the monster archetype is a very satisfying story both for the teller and the listener. By inserting the listener to your story into the protagonist’s position, you’re relating what you can do for them directly to their lives, so your message isn’t simply droning on about why your services are so great; it’s empowering them to see for themselves how your products, your services can actually help they themselves be great.