As you read through these descriptions, youre no doubt rolling your eyes thinking, Oh brother, these are so stereotypical! While its true that they are very stereotypical, you would have no problem whatsoever in picking them out visually without any verbal or dialogue or even story prompting. They would be instantly recognizable. In the context of a story line in an animated cartoon, your focus would be on the action taking place on the screen and the story line being presented. The introduction of one of these characters would be appropriate and even welcome to the viewer as something that their subconscious was expecting. If it were otherwise, wed mentally balk at what we were seeing and find it odd to see a character that doesnt fit our perception of who that character should be.
Casting for live action works exactly the same way. There are thousands of character actors that fit a specific stereotype. Casting directors come with a predetermined list of features and general looks that they are specifically looking for to meet the needs of their production. This is especially true for commercials. Watch for the commercials the next time youre watching TV and see how many beer commercials or any other product commercial have stereotypes (youll find a lot of them).
While we dont do this (or try not to) within our everyday real life existence, it is helpful within the context of our profession and medium.
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