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Pantene ad on women appeals to global audience December 19, 2013

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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A Philippine ad for Pentene went viral in December. The spot portrays the double-bind that women often face, being labeled negatively for things for which men get praised. Well over 8 million people have viewed the ad on YouTube. It helped that Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg called it “one of the most powerful videos I have seen illustrating how when men and women do the same things they are seen in completely different ways.” Unsurprisingly, Procter & Gamble is taking the ad campaign global now.

While many are calling the new ad campaign uplifting and empowering, some women don’t see it the same way. Comedian and writer Hesseltine wrote for The Huffington Post, “This is playing the victim if I’ve ever witnessed it, and not all women think this way, nor want to. But thanks for the note, Pantene.” Hesseltine sarcastically concluded:

“Yes, women still get paid less than men and it blows; so let’s see an intelligent article/video exploring that with facts, educated opinions, and an inspirational undertone rather than a “woe is women” piece with a song that should be on an ASPCA commercial. How about: “Screw double standards! You can do anything men can do… and even do it better!” instead of “Don’t forget ladies, while men are being persuasive, you may come off as pushy. And don’t show too much confidence or people will think you’re showy.””

To see the Pantene ad yourself, watch the following video:


Discussion Questions:

1.  What is the double-bind for women? How does Pantene tap into common experiences for females to build goodwill for its products?

2.  Is the Pantene ad genuine, or a mere cooptation of feminism?

3.  Is Hesseltine’s criticism over the top? Why, or why not?

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