The Rebel Brand for Transformation
The Rebel Brands: Death, Transformation, and Reality
Brands linked to harmful things are popular with Rebels. In Hard Candy Lipstick ads, a girl wears vampish makeup with a prominent warning label similar to cigarettes, cautioning consumers to use and reapply the lip gloss to avoid addiction. Warning labels on cigarettes may actually add to their appeal to youth. The Captain Morgan Rum brand is promoted in a more lighthearted manner using images of pirates. Tequila often carries an Outlaw label. Patron Tequila depicts a gorgeous and scantily clad woman with the connotations that Women love Rebels. However, the classic dead worm in the bottom of some brands denotes the product's high alcohol content and subtly implies that drinking this product will lead to death.
The young are attracted to all rebellious substances, but this is especially true of cigarettes and alcohol. Perhaps this is why so many young people experiment with illegal drugs, only to learn that their effects are far from glitzy.
As Freud made clear, it is necessary to recognize that the death wish is about as powerful as the life force when trying to understand the appeal of the Rebel Archetype. During life transitions, such as adolescence and midlife, the psyche prepares people to let go of their past and be reborn into a new identity. During such times, images of death can be very appealing.
There is a danger here because symbols of death and destruction reinforce the concrete, literal desire to die. However, unlike other societies, people are not taught to think metaphorically, as the inner yearning for death is channeled into destruction rather than metaphysics. Consequently, people often engage in risky behaviors at critical points in their lives. Yet, a transformation is necessary, a transformation that is real. Obviously, we need products and services that aid in such transitions instead of fostering dangerous behavior.
Rebel imprints can be found in even healthy activities. Running shoes advertise with images of heavily tattooed men running through desolate terrain with flames and angry dragons on the soles. The imagery of this kind meets alienated young people and invites them to participate in a healthy activity. Some ads blatantly address the appeal of death. One of them, aimed at motorcycle safety, warns men that women love scars, but not holes where their eyes used to be. If that doesn't scare a motorcyclist into safe driving, we don't know what will.