Pantene brings “Be Strong and Shine” gender inequality campaign to the UK

Procter and Gamble shampoo brand Pantene is launching an online push for its “Be Strong and Shine” gender inequality marketing campaign in the UK after it went viral in the US following an endorsement from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

The campaign, originally created for the Philippine market, aims to show how the same behaviour can be labelled positively for men and negatively for women.

The YouTube video outlines various workplace scenarios, including a father working late being described as “dedicated”, while a mother doing the same is “pushy”, and a male speaker giving a speech being labelled as “persuasive”, while a female counterpart is ‘pushy’.

The video was originally online in early December and shown on TV twice in the Philippines. P&G is now also showing the ad on TV in the US and promoting it globally via the hashtag #ShineStrong.

The video went viral after Sandberg wrote about it on her public account on Facebook and linked to the video on YouTube. She also congratulated Marc Pritchard, P&G’s global brand building officer, and BBDO CEO Andrew Robertson on the ad.

She said: “This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen illustrating how when women and men do the same things, they are seen in completely different ways. Really worth watching. Lean In prize of the day for sure!”

Sandberg – who authored the bestseller book on women at work “Lean In” – said last month at a conference in San Fransisco  companies that address gender issues within their organisations have a “competitive advantage” over rivals.

The ad has now been watched almost 9.64 million times on YouTube alone and is currently 10th on viral video company Unruly’s list of viral campaigns with 3,102 shares in the last 24 hours. The ad was created by BBDO Guerrero, Manila.

Pantene says it launched the campaign after its own research showed that healthy, strong, beautiful hair helps women feel confident and empowered. However, it says that “labels and double standards” are holding women back from embracing and showcasing this confidence.

Deb Henretta, group president at P&G global beauty, says: “Pantene and P&G brands reach billions of women around the world and we want to use this scale and influence to be an agent of change. We are excited about this global #ShineStrong campaign to help women embrace their strength and shine.”

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