After Pantene’s “Labels Against Women” ad spotlighting the gender bias and double standards women face in the workplace went viral with over 46 million views, Pantene is following up with a new message: don’t be sorry.
Their new ad opens by asking, “Why are women always apologizing?” and goes on to show women in different scenarios aplogizing simply for stating a point or expressing themselves in meetings, at home or even in the waiting room.
While we can likely relate to these scenarios in one way or another, or recall a moment where we unconsdciously blurted out “sorry” as an opening phrase, watching it unfold in front of us in this commercial makes it hard to watch. By saying sorry before asking a question, or making a point, it makes it look like these women are apologizing for their existence, for being there, or for having something to say in the first place.
The ad then goes on to show these women being bold, simply by not saying sorry. It’s something so simple, yet so powerful. Words matter, you matter, don’t apologize for having your own thoughts.
“We’ve struck a chord in terms of changing gender norms for women,” Kevin Crociata, marketing director of North American Hair Care business said.
“We used market research to look at what gender norms were holding women back and tried to tap into the most relevant and insightful areas. This problem of saying sorry, it wasn’t just something women in the U.S. were facing but globally. After the success of the first campaign, Shine Strong is something we’re committed to as a brand.”
And now, it seems the Shine Strong ads are just the beginning of something bigger. Similar to what Covergirl just announced with their #GirlsCan fund, after the successful roll out of their #GirlsCan ad campaign, Pantene is also launching a fund. They’re calling it the Shine Strong Fund, and it’s goal is to “educate and enable women to overcome bias and societal expectations as well as celebrate strong women.”
“The response to the video inspired us to do more, so as a brand that speaks to millions of women around the world, Pantene wants to use its reach to ignite change,” Wendy Rokosem, a spokesperson for the brand, said earlier this month at the 2014 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.
“We created the global Pantene #ShineStrong campaign in an effort to help people recognize and adjust unconscious behaviors.”
The fund’s first partnership is with the American Association of University Women to bring the resources and programming to universities across the country. To start, the fund will underwrite monetary grants and give college women access to influential leaders.