In Archetypes, Branding

An Archetypal Brand Analysis

Google Chrome vs. Apple

google-chrome-logo-711569_fullGoogle Chrome

Why is it that after every Google Chrome commercial I see, I feel like I need a group hug with my parents and shih tzu? In Google Chrome’s newest TV ad, Jess and her Dad maintain a tear-jerkingly adorable and close relationship via Google Chat, Video, and Hang Out. He asks her for fashion advice, he coaxes her through bouts of homesickness, and they comfort each other by sweetly reminiscing about Jess’ late mother. The ad demonstrates that Google Chrome’s technology provides a space that serves as a sanctuary from the trials of daily of life, and equips users with resources that allow them to form more meaningful connections with loved ones.

Chat, Video, and picture sharing make for a richer and more personal interaction than just, say, a phone call or a text message. And Google Chrome knows exactly how to convince us of this by engaging us on a deeply emotional and personal level. Google Chrome effectively leverages two brand archetypes: the Innocent and the Lover. Chrome refutes the belief that technology discourages human interaction, and instead proves that it facilitates familial love. Not only that, but its technology allows families to stay closer than they otherwise would when separated geographically.  Chrome provides a refuge from difficulty and the chance to enjoy the simple goodness of a loving connection.

Is Google Chrome offering a direct counter to the other technology giant’s brand messaging and advertisements? In the wake of the ever-dramatic and epic rivalry that is Apple vs. Google, it’s easy to assume that one’s actions are often in defiance to the other’s. Whether or not Chrome’s obviously contrasting ads were intentional, it’s important to note that Apple steers clear from almost all sentimentality in its TV ads.


Take the iconic iPod commercials, in which the silhouettes of a diverse group of individuals are apple-logo1dancing to new, modern-sounding music in front of the backdrop of vibrant colors. The iPod has given them more control over their listening choices, and they celebrate their individuality by dancing to the beat of their own rhythms. The iPod empowers them as individuals, allowing them to be daring and different. While the message is not sentimental, it is still quite emotionally engaging; it’s inspiring, and empowers the consumer to express his/her individuality in a way never before possible. These characteristics can be summed up by two brand archetypes: the Revolutionary and the Explorer. Apple establishes its revolutionary attributes by encouraging creative risks and innovation, and through this encouragement helps their customer become an explorer. By using Apple products, one can achieve a freedom and individuality that is personal and unique.

For me, there’s no clear winner in this battle, as there is in say, the Maps battle (anyone else suffering without Google Maps on their iPhone?). That is to say, one archetype doesn’t trounce the other; both brands are extremely successful at leveraging different values and philosophies to connect with their consumers in a meaningful and engaging way.

What archetypes — universal stories and characters — does you brand express?

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