The launch of the new Pirates of the Caribbean and this new ad for Morgan Rum directed by Tom Hooper who won an Oscar for The King’s Speech, got us thinking. Is the figure of the Rebel now simply a ‘vintage’ character? And is the Pirate image much more in keeping with the values of the moment. Maybe we have been watching too much Mad Men, but the image of the Rebel currently seems to be running against the cultural grain. The Rebel is too troubled, too neurotic, too needy. It’s time for the Rebel to walk the plank.
The image of the Pirate combines something of the outsider, with an eye for the entrepreneurial, the bottom-line. Plus a talent for quick-witted nimble creative – Simon Cowell, Don Draper, Captain Morgan. Someone who would rather have fun than fight. The image of heroes in advertising have revolved around the clean-cut and the beautiful, but there’s now a public taste for an image of the heroic with a few rough edges. James Dean or Johnny Depp? The Motorcycle Boy or Don Draper?