I really enjoyed the Hobbit film, mostly because the book means so much to me. I read the book when I was eight and it was magical, I still adore it and look forward to reading it to my kids.
I have to admit I'm a slight geek about Tolkien stuff, but not so much is a Dungeons and Dragons manner.
It's more to do with the way the books make me feel something, they manage to blend hope, joy extreme darkness and a beatiful sense of bravery in the face of much sorrow for paradise lost.
It's a lot to do with how the books make me feel like a child again.
But it's mostly do with the way the Hobbit's, especially Bilbo, are US. Decent, normal people forced to do frightnening, extraordinary things. They show there is greatness in everyone.
As Philip French mentioned, Bilbo and the other Hobbits are low mimetic heroes - normal people plucked out of their lives, who will go back to it afterwards. People we can identify with, who we can 'live' the story with, they are our eyes in the world we are shown.
As opposed to the 'high memetic' Thorin or Gandalf in the Hobbit, or Aragorn in LOTR- people who are better than ordinary people, they remain extraordinary whatever happens to them.
When it comes to the people you portray in advertising and stuff, it's really worth considering if you're characters and overall narrative are about the high or low mimetic.
For example, I'd say that most of the women in beaty ads are high mimetic which means that many women might not identify with them, whereas the Dove women are low mimetic rebelling against the impossibility of high mimetic.
The real idea behind the Lynx effect plays with it: low mimetic, ordinary blokes, enabled to live a high mimetic life as long as they use Lynx. While, in the same category, the Old Spice guy is high mimetic- but laced with irony.
Most fashion is all about the fantasy of high mimetic- maybe too much so.
Look at the crass high memetic of most travel advertising compared with visit Wales.
Now,coming back to Lynx, it feels really interesting territory to play with the low mimetic more.
Because the mistake many brands make is to just replay back the humdrum of everyday life to show we 'get you'. I don't really like the Asda Xmas ads because of this, although I could be wrong, I'd love to know if Mum's respond to being portrayed as ordinary people performing extraordinary things. Or just go, oh, another brand who thinks my life is all toil.
As opposed to this lovely Lurpak stuff, which manages to not do the 'Mums' cliche.
Look at Indiana Jones- he works because of his very human ordinaryness, he gets hurt and makes mistakes, despite existing in a fantasy world.
Threepio and Artoo are droids in Star Wars,but really, they are us, ordinary jobsworths thrust into chaos.
The rejuvenation of Batman and Spiderman were all about making them normal, confused people who happen to be superheroes. Superman works because of the low mimetic Clark Kent.
All examples of well loved 'magical' stuff we utterly identify with because of the humanity and recognition of our own lives. The hope that can be us, and is, but not in such a grandiose way.
Worth thinking about.
One final thing. Maybe one way to cut through all that brand onion/pyramid/wheel rubbish is to ask yourself, is this brand itself a high mimetic character we all look up to? Or is a plucky everyday hero? Is one of us?