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Is Pantene strong enough to shine?

18-December-2013
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Is Pantene strong enough to shine?

A man is a boss while a woman is seen as bossy; men are persuasive while women are pushy. A man who works late is dedicated, but a woman is selfish, and a man who walks down the street in style is smooth, but a woman is showy. It’s certainly a man’s world! However, don’t let labels hold you back, be strong and shine! This is the new campaign from Pantene Philippines, which aims at breaking down the gender stereotypes at work. It highlights how identical behaviour of men and women at workplace earns different labels. It’s spreading like wild fire online and what’s better than Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook calling it as ‘one of the most powerful videos’ she has ever seen.

Three cheers for Pantene Philippines for bringing up the female empowerment issue to light. It has joined the brigade with dozens of brands adopting the human side by highlighting the power of women and criticising gender stereotypes. But it’s not necessary to use gorgeous and light-skinned models to reflect a female’s strength and share the message of gender bias.

The video ends with a woman with shiny and bouncy hair walking across the street, which clearly gives the message that Pantene can make your hair shiny with the tagline ‘Be strong and Shine’ clearly reinforcing that shiny hair is of utmost importance. Isn’t beauty all about inner-self? Don’t you think it is important to have a beautiful heart than a beautiful face? Well, for Pantene it’s quite the opposite and here comes the confusion. Is the brand trying to say that beauty is all about your outward appearance and a female is always judged by her looks? The whole message of female empowerment goes in vain. They should have learnt some lessons from United Colors of Benetton that has defined a new era of fearless and provocative ads pushing sensitive subjects and challenging realities with not-so-beautiful faces.

Watch the Pantene ad here…

Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ is a great example of enhancing self-esteem among women. It showed that women are insecure of their physical attributes and they are their own worst beauty critics but in reality they are much more beautiful than they think. It was a realistic campaign that showed non-model looking women who every woman could relate to. There are some who might not agree to the Pantene’s theory as the society has become much more evolved.
 

Watch the Dove Real beauty ad here…

Even Body Shop ran a similar campaign that had hoardings in buses plastered with nude women who were not necessarily supermodels with the tagline that there are only four supermodels in the world and the rest of them are like you and me.

No advertising is good advertising if it doesn’t sell the product. There is a transactional motive behind every ad, but the smartness of a brand comes out when that motive gets garbed by a human angle. Pantene has tried to put that forward, but the tagline ‘Be strong and shine’ is forced and looks like the only solution as opposed to Dove’s ‘You are more beautiful than you think’, which subtly incorporates feminism. So, will you buy Pantene to become strong and shine?
 

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