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Fist-bump me if you’ve ever been in a sales and marketing meeting competing for an account that went to the other guy?

You spent time, money and energy putting together a killer campaign only to have the client pick someone else and then to add insult to injury their campaign fails, or worse it succeeds and becomes as iconic as Wendy’s 1980s campaign “Where’s the Beef?”

Well I’ve got great news for you! I’m going to share a secret that will help you win the next time you’re competing for that marketing account. I’m going to discuss two ad campaigns that directly relate to the Player and Lighter Proclivity audience and tomorrow, I’ll share two for the Artist and Y’er audience.

It’s customary and wise to know your audience before you ever begin. Who is your customer? How old are they? Where do they live? Are they male or female? Married or Single? All of those demographic questions are important and shouldn’t be ignored, but have you asked what Proclivity your prospective customer is? Your customer’s Proclivity has everything to do with the product you’re marketing and the market you hope to capture.  Since you can’t get everyone in your prospective audience to take the proclivities assessment, ask yourself the question, what Proclivity type am I trying to attract and build your campaign around that.


Let’s address Nike’s iconic message of “Just Do It!” this message is written in Player Proclivity language, which makes sense since Nike is an athletic brand. They want to appeal to physically active athletes or people who want to be physically active athletes. Their later campaign of “Find Your Greatness” is also written in Player Proclivity Language with the added twist of the word “greatness” which is not only motivational but now because of word choice, attracts a segment of Y’er Proclivity audience. Had Nike’s ads been in any other Proclivity language, they wouldn’t have had the impact. Would you have felt motivated to buy athletic shoes if the campaign had been “Just Say It!” or “See Your Greatness”? I don’t think so.

Let’s also look at Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty and their Sketches Campaign from Dove’s website:

Do you see the beauty in yourself? If someone asked you to describe yourself, what would you say? Our body image takes such a battering that feeling beautiful can be hard – in fact, sometimes we just can’t see beauty in ourselves at all.”

 Dove could have structured this campaign around Player Proclivities if they wanted to. They could have chosen a myriad of feelings to describe and market their soap. Lucky for them, they didn’t. The real reason for the success of this campaign is because Dove knew the audience they wanted to appeal to was women and the language and imagery in the campaign was clearly designed to attract Lighter Proclivity women. Traits of Lighters include a love of luxury, appearances and beauty.   Dove is not the most expensive soap on the market, but it gives an impression of luxury, combine that with the very emotive word “Beautiful”. For the Lighter Proclivity the word beautiful is an emotion, not a description. I’ve had the honor of interviewing hundreds of Lighter people, and one woman said it best when she said , “Beautiful is like happy-plus”.

Women wanting to look beautiful fueled Dove’s success in this campaign. Just like Nike, the campaign wouldn’t have been as impactful if they had targeted the wrong Proclivity demographic. If Dove’s website had said “If someone asked you to describe how Dove lathers in the shower, what would you say?” or “Our bodies take such a battering that feeling clean can be hard” Do you see how important it is to take the prospective client’s Proclivity into consideration when creating an ad campaign?

Tomorrow, I will share two more successful campaigns for the Artist and Y’er Proclivity and how you can use those to make your campaigns more successful too.

Not sure what your Proclivity is? Check out my website and take the free online assessment.

Seanlai is CEO of The Retention Experts and is an internationally known speaker, author, coach and consultant. She is the founder of Proclivities:Science of Connection and Seanlai helps companies and individuals connect and strengthen leadership, retain talent and increase their profitability. Her new book, The Mysterious Power will be available in stores 2nd Quarter 2016. Connect directly with Seanlai at or  via twitter

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