Cruel yet effective ad by Proactiv

When Proactiv Solution first enter the market in the 90’s, they had a no strong competitors. Proactiv was a new, soothing acne treatment that promised clear and beautiful skin. Proactiv is not cheap, it cost a hefty $70 for 3 small bottles; cleaner, toner and moisture. I remember purchasing Proactiv when I was in high school. Back in the 90’s, Praoctiv had no strong competitors which allowed it to advertise using product features within the product-oriented strategies category. Today, Proactiv has mastered its brand positioning and made its acne system practically embedded in its consumers mind. They combine product feature and positioning to establish a strong competitive advantage in the market.

The ad above is one of their older ads and the strategy of this ad is cruel yet effective. It points out to customers “If you have acne, you dont have a boyfriend”. This is a very strong strategy because acne usually occurs during your teenage years and when teenagers go through emotional and physical changes. While teenage boys do experience acne, we can see that the word “boyfriend” is written in pink lettering signals that the ad is likely targeted at teenage girls. Teenagers being Proactiv’s largest market would be more sensitive to this issue and believe that Proactiv is brought for a rational reason as it “solves” consumers problem.


If we consider the 4P’s in terms of Proactiv’s acne solution:

Promotion: many A list celebrities, to name a few, Katy Perry, Justin Beiber and Lindsey Lohan has endorsed Proactiv’s product. By using reference power, many youths look up to these celebrities and if Katy Perry used Praoctiv, then they would use it as well.

Price: It’s price for 3 bottles of solutions (toner, cleanser and moisturizer  ) is on the more expensive side of the spectrum. For a set of 3 bottles, it ranges from $60-$70 dollars depending on destination country.

People: It targets youths, primarily from age 16-20 or those going through their growth spurt!

Place: Proactiv is only on speciality kiosko’s around in malls all over North America. There are now Proactiv vending machines located at specific malls in America. It’s convient for people who just wants to stock up.

Is it possible to change an established University name?

Last Year, the University of Western Ontario finally decided to drop the “University of, Ontario” to just Western. This was an attempt to become a more global recognized education institution. When referring to University’s, people like to give them acronyms or short cuts such as University of British Columbia to just UBC, University of Toronto to UT, University of Ottawa to Ottawa U. Rarely do people now refer to University’s as their full name.  There’s always people who love the change and people who strongly detest the name.  UWO received negative comments about their rebranding. A individual tweeted

” @RyanAI87: “I went to the University of Western Ontario, NOT Western University. Please don’t ever call me for a donation. Won’t ever give to you now.”

“The admin is in love with it, the board of governors is in love with it, the board of alumni is in love with it, so I kind of forgot about what the general student would think once they were smacked on the face with this entire upheaval of their brand.”

A question to consider is that, should BOG’s take the student’s consideration when changing the name? I mean, schools’s are essentially businesses and they have their marketing strategies, target customers and implementations. The change of the name as stated is for marketing and promotion and this might be a smart idea because since people already colloquially refer to UWO as “Western”, why not just tailor it to their interest and essentially playing back to what people already call it. Although the legal name of the University , “The University of Western Ontario” has not changed from diplmoas and legal documents, for marketing and promotion purposes they will call themselves “Western”.

Western published a youtube video (shown below) about their change and it recieved as many dislikes as Rebecca Black’s video (Knowlton, 2012). The cost of rebranding the University cost $200,000 according to the school’s media release. Over the past several years, people refer to the school as “Western” and the school thought that the change will permeate that.

In my opinion, I think that Western University is trying to establish themselves alike “Queen’s University” and since Queen’s and Western are the biggest rival University’s in this country, the change of name puts Queen’s and Western on the same front page now.  I might be a bit bias since I went to Queen’s but the change of name might be fitting for establishing new segmentation base such as Geographic, tailoring to more international grounds and demographic to students in Grade 10 to consider Western. Students know Western as “Western” and when asked , What school are you from? , 99% will reply “I go to Western”.


Spam prevention powered by Akismet