It’s not every day a hair care brand runs a commercial without one mention of, well ... hair care.
In an effort to get women to stop over-apologizing, Pantene did just that. It's viral ad campaign has sparked an active social conversation about women’s issues -- but not about shampoo.
That’s intentional, Cheri McMaster, a communications manager for Procter & Gamble, which owns Pantene. We don’t want to say, 'Use this in your hair: It will help you overcome barriers,' because that’s not true,” McMaster said. “It’s a lot more subtle. We know as a brand, and as women, that when your hair looks amazing you do walk a little taller, you have more confidence. But when you say it aloud and you put it in a piece of copy, it sounds ridiculous.”
Pantene’s “Not Sorry” video shows women apologizing in situations where there’s no need to be sorry -- for asking a question or scooting over in a conference room. There’s no mention of shampoo, but it’s hard not to notice all the women do have great hair.
The clip has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube today, proof it’s going to be as much of a hit as another viral video from the brand, “Labels Against Women,” which juxtaposed words used to describe men such as “boss” and “persuasive,” with words used to describe women in similar positions, such as “bossy” and “pushy.” That video has gotten more than 46 million views on YouTube.
“To be honest, it was a lot more popular than we thought it would be,” McMaster said.
Now it’s the brand’s shtick: supporting women’s issues.
“People will say, ‘I agree with you, Pantene: Women should stop apologizing,’ "Brands like Pantene appear to be thinking about the bigger picture. It’s all about creating a conversation with customers, McMaster said.
“This gets us that priceless, two-way conversation with our target audience,” she said. “They’re spending more time with us. They’re talking to us on our channels -- Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.”
If sparking conversation is the goal, it’s working. Women have been quick to praise the video on social media and Sheryl Sandberg even showed it at a conference in Cannes this week.
“It’s absolutely beneficial when brands are part of a big, buzzy, high-awareness campaign like this because you are on people’s minds,” McMaster said. “You’re talking to your friends about the video and the name Pantene is said aloud, and all of those positives are associated with your brand.”
Read Press Release below:
Pantene Launches "Not Sorry" Video and Announces Global Shine Strong Fund to Celebrate Strong Women and Enable Women to Overcome Biases
Today, Pantene has evolved its global Shine Strong campaign by launching a new thought-provoking video that tackles a common but unconscious behavior many women around the world engage in everyday: over-apologizing. The video is expected to become a thought provoking conversation starter around the region, as women in each market debate whether this is a behavior that resonates with them personally, share their personal experiences and discuss whether they feel it's a behavior that undermines women as a whole.
Pantene's Shine Strong campaign first took shape in December 2013 following the worldwide success of a viral video titled "Labels" originating from the Philippines, depicting gender labels in the workplace (more than 46 million YouTube views to date). Pantene's latest video titled "Not Sorry" is designed to spark a dialogue about how women unknowingly minimize their strength with the subtle, yet powerful behavior of unnecessarily saying 'sorry,' when there is no reason to apologize.
"Pantene is committed to helping women across the globe be strong and shine both inside and out," said Colleen Jay, President, P&G Global Hair Care & Color. "We are certain this evolution of the Shine Strong campaign and roll-out of the global Shine Strong Fund will inspire action and change. We believe the message of the "Not Sorry" video will resonate with women, encouraging them to be more aware of this diminishing behavior and, in turn, prevent any bias they may be unconsciously creating."
The Pantene Shine Strong Fund:
The overwhelmingly positive response to the Shine Strong campaign inspired Pantene to continue the conversation, ignite change and help more women in more ways through the creation of a new global Shine Strong Fund. The mission of the Shine Strong Fund is to educate and enable women to overcome bias and/or societal expectations so they may reach their full potential, as well as celebrate the many strong women in the world who exemplify the essence of Shine Strong.
The U.S will be the first region to activate Pantene's Shine Strong Fund, swiftly followed by regions around the world. North America will collaborate with the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a top-rated charity that has been empowering women on campus and in the workplace since 1881. The U.S fund will underwrite monetary grants and give access to influential leaders to enable women to be strong and shine, whether on college campuses, in the workplace or in the community.
Further details about the Shine Strong campaign can be found at http://www.pantene.com/shinestrong.ph .
ABOUT PANTENE® PRO-V:
The Pantene® Pro-V line includes 6 collections that help provide all women with healthy, strong and beautiful hair. The current Pantene® Pro-V offerings include: Total Damage Care, Hair Fall Control, Nature Care, Glossy Shine, Color & Perm and Aqua Pure. Pantene Pro-V technologies advance with the help of the Pantene Hair Research Institute (PHRI). The Institute, established in 2012 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, is the modern incarnation of Pantene's commitment to partnering with leading hair health experts by joining 12 leading independent hair scientists with 7 senior P&G scientists to further what is possible in healthy hair care.