The adaptation of anthropomorphism and archetypes for marketing artificial intelligence

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Journal of Consumer Marketing


© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: This paper aims to present an exploration of possible associations between the Jungian archetypes frequently used in marketing and three well-known products based on artificial intelligence (AI), namely, Sophia, Alexa and Articoolo. Design/methodology/approach: The study conducted emotionalist interviews to gather thick data from 11 participants on how they conceptualize these AI-based products. In the absence of any existing relevant hypotheses, this paper attempts to build theory using a case study approach and qualitative analysis of interview narratives. Findings: Despite the human attributes ascribed to these products, participants were principally concerned with their purpose, efficiency and the degree of trust which they felt could be accorded to the product. Anthropomorphism emerged as significant with participants making some associations with common archetypes traditionally exploited in marketing and this suggests a possible means of enhancing consumer trust in AI products. Originality/value: Little research has been conducted on the marketing of AI and this study presents a timely identification of some potentially significant issues. As AI is intended to mimic some aspects of human intelligence, the role of the archetype in creating a personality to enhance trust may prove crucial in securing consumer confidence.

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