Case Study

Brand: Proactiv

Continuity Advertising Campaign

Guthy Renker had a new acne product and wanted to see if they could successfully market this to the masses.


  • Proactiv was a “one size fits all” solution yet consumers saw their acne problems as unique.
  • It wasn’t known if the demographic would be teens, parents of teens, lifetime sufferers, or those with adult on-set acne.
  • Since the success of this product was contingent on a continuity of sale, we had to find the right balance of upfront spend that would pay out on the back end.


DRTV Campaign

  • Test: After product evaluation, a test was designed using our database history of various demographics to learn which target was most responsive
  • Rollout: With successful test results and demographical analysis in hand , Proactiv was first rolled out in target regions and eventually onto all broadcast and national cable stations.
  • One Product, Multiple Creatives: Through the use of different spokespeople, a “one size fits all” product was marketed across age, gender, and race demographics (Judith Light, Vanessa Williams, Alyssa Milano, Jessica Simpson, Puff Daddy, etc)


  • Take a Loss on the Front End: It was important to understand the lifetime value of each Proactiv customer. By gaining this knowledge early in the campaign, doors were opened to re-invest media dollars back into the campaign in order to acquire customers at an initial loss.

Multimedia Marketplace

  • TV commercials educated the consumer and made Proactiv a household name.  With an established brand, Guthy-Renker was also able to take advantage of other sales channels to reach the customer: Online sales, home shopping, print, catalog, direct mail, kiosks, vending machines.


Proactiv has been heralded as the most successful DRTV campaign in history and over 15 years later, is still going strong. Guthy Renker achieved a flagship product that marketers chase after as the industry leader.

Selling Direct to Consumer on television proved to be the backbone for other strategies, providing a foundation to expand the brand to many different types of sales channels.

Direct-to-Consumer Media Agency:

TV – CTV – Digital – Radio