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Proactiv Shows How a Brand Can Get Vulnerable
By: Cindy Wendland
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Many times a brand projects an image of being macho, tough, and strong, as in the Marlboro Man. Other times the brand can be exquisite and feminine, as in Tiffanys. Proactiv has a different approach. Proactiv gets vulnerable.

Marketers want the consumer to identify with the spokesperson. Proactiv is selling a solution to an awkward problem — acne. No one likes acne. No one wants acne. Yet many people are confronted with the situation. What’s a good way to build a connection with the consumer to allow them to accept a solution for the problem? Help the consumer feel the spokesperson is just like them. Help the consumer feel the spokesperson completely understands their situation.

Proactiv has successfully used celebrity endorsements in their commercials. The latest celebrity to admit to acne problems is Adam Levine, the singer in Maroon 5, and a judge on The Voice. Adam Levine is a successful, good-looking man. Most people wouldn’t think he had acne problems and self-image problems as a teenager. Yet the commercials show a vulnerable side of Adam Levine when they show pictures of him with acne. Immediately barriers are broken down, and the consumer feels he is just like me!

This consumer connection allows Adam Levine to recommend a solution as if he were a trusted friend. Here is what solved my problem, so therefore, here is what can solve your problem, too. The vulnerability turns the commercial from a sales pitch into a conversation with an understanding friend wanting to help. We usually accept advice from good friends. Proactiv has become a good friend for many.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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