Insight on: Influence (Part One)

Insight on… is an LMPR blog series that examines marketing principles in practice with successful industry examples and explores what makes them effective.

LMPR recently had the opportunity to hear leading market research expert Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of Influence and president of Influence at Work, speak on his famed Six Principles of Ethical Influence. The Six Principles were compiled from the results of more than thirty-five years of research to uncover how people can be persuaded to change their behaviour and say, “yes”.

Here we share two examples of this powerful marketing intelligence at work.


According to the ‘Liking’ principle, individuals are more inclined to work with someone when they feel amicable towards them. How do you get someone to like you? One way is to offer things in common or similarities, as people first look to relate in order to trust.

The UK’s Orchestra for the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) is a highly progressive ensemble that seeks to shift society’s perceptions of orchestras. In a clever campaign to move away from audience stereotypes, the OAE inversed their tagline, “Not all orchestras are the same” to “Not all audiences are the same”. The ads pair each musician with an audience member representing a unique demographic, not commonly considered an orchestral music fan.

Designed by Harrison & Co and photographed by Eric Richmond

Designed by Harrison & Co and photographed by Eric Richmond

The OAE become likeable because they’re appealing to a diverse group of individuals who may see themselves in the ads. The campaign is also a compliment to the people it represents, acknowledging them as special patrons.


The consensus principle says word of mouth and evidence can impact behaviour. It makes sense – if you’re not sure about course of action, it’s natural to seek advice or look to successful examples. One key way marketers can harness the consensus rule is through testimonials. Cavalia is the awe-inspiring show that combines equestrian stunts with acrobatics, dance and multimedia. The premise of the show is enough to excite curiosity, however when the company arrived in Vancouver in 2011 they were a new spectacle with little familiarity.

Cavalia Billboard

To instill audience confidence, Cavalia leveraged their most outstanding praise from celebrities and well-known critics, the most striking of which they let simply sit on its own, “The greatest show I’ve ever seen!” from famed CNN Host Larry King. The quote is so persuasive, it doesn’t leave much to question. Needless to say, Cavalia was a huge hit in the city.


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