As Shea Moisture has recently come under fire for straying from their roots as a company that produces products catered to maintaining and enhancing black women’s natural hair, it seems Pantene has chosen to capitalize on this moment with their latest campaign.
In this campaign, they feature various black women of different ages and different hair types, including straight hair, curly hair, and natural hair.
This type of campaign celebrates the diversity of the brand’s consumers as well as reaches out to an audience that may be struggling to fill in the gap that abandoning Shea Moisture has left in their beauty routine.
One of my favorite parts of this particular campaign is that, according to a Proctor & Gamble press release, this line is the brand’s “first hair care collection co-created with a team of African American PhD’s, scientists, stylists and dermatologists, specifically designed to deliver Pro-V Nutrient Blends to provide superior strength and moisture for women with relaxed, natural and transitioning hair.”
In having the creator and the target consumer belong to the same demographic, Pantene’s line earns credibility and reaffirms its mission to empower African American women, without asserting that one style is preferred over another. It would have been easy to slip into a narrative that shames black women for using relaxers or straightening their hair, but instead of pointing out differences, Pantene aims to highlight the strength of these women.
With the “Strong is Beautiful” campaign, Pantene seems to join Dove in the effort to redefine beauty standards and diversify the representation of women in advertising.
(Although Pantene seems to be doing a much better job, still looking at you, weird body-bottles.)
I’m in love with the timeliness and tasteful execution of this campaign, with different branches that touch on various definitions of what it means to be a strong woman.