Last fall, Pantene launched a commercial entitled “Labels Against Women | #ShineStrong Pantene”. The ad featured beautiful, powerful women in the same environments as men, yet making the point that successful women can often be seen negatively or without recognition, even when they’re accomplishing the same things that men are. This commercial was compelling, and made an obvious stand against bias against women. After only 3 months on YouTube, the video accumulated over 43 million views.
Despite the video being produced in the Philippines and created as a result of statistics taken from the Philippines, Pantene created a message that women around the world could probably relate to. Additionally, the commercial was done using words in English. It’s probably not a coincidence that two of the countries Pantene sells to the most are the United States and UK, both English speaking countries.
On the description for the video, Pantene states:
“Pantene, a brand that stands for empowering women to shine boldly, highlighted the issue of double standards and the culture of inequality that people have come to accept as the norm. Although initially approached from a local standpoint, the campaign resonated to the global market, recognizing an idea that was inspired by a hard-hitting reality that every woman faces.”
While it is nice that a major corporation is standing up for women, this ad was made to sell hair products. By taking a positive stand for their targeted market, and instilling the idea that Pantene supports strong women all around the world, Pantene is attracting women everywhere. What woman wouldn’t want to buy from a company that is so supportive of them as a subordinate group of society? Additionally, what woman wouldn’t want to look like one of the powerful, stylish, and driven business women in the commercial (who also happen to have great hair)?
Two hashtags were created in accordance with this commercial. #WhipIt and #ShineStrong are both phrases have double meanings that refer to having beautiful hair while relating to a bold, upbeat personality. The hashtags only drive the message harder, getting women to think things like “If I buy Pantene, I can look beautiful AND be a confident woman”. It’s interesting that Pantene is making a message about double meanings between men and women in society, while getting the customer to buy their products with a more positive side of that double meaning.
Here is the video for reference: