Pantene puts the spotlight on African-American women with new Pantene Gold Collection

On March 22,2017 Pantene’s new diversity campaign used the brand’s existing hashtag #StrongIsBeautiful to spotlight African American hair and its specific needs in its debut commercial, launched during Empire’s mid-season premiere. The advert and campaign celebrate African American women of all ages, and their heritage.

Behind the scenes at the Pantene Gold Series commerical shoot - Photo courtesy of Pantene

The new campaign, with Jillian Hervey, singer, actress and Pantene Brand Ambassador as its face, revolves around the brand’s new Pantene Gold Series products. Pantene Gold is made up of eight hair care and styling products, designed to work specifically with relaxed, natural and transitioning hair.

“We recognize the importance for African American women to feel confident wearing their hair in any style they choose, and we’re celebrating their strength in doing so,” said Jodi Allen, Vice President of Hair Care for North America at Procter & Gamble in a press release.

The brand is hoping that by spotlighting the variety of African American hairstyles and textures, it will start to alter racial bias. There is a school of thought that the only “good hair” is straightened, relaxed hair. Demi Grace, an artist and artist from Nigeria, is wearing locs in the ad. All hairstyles for the spot were created by Pantene Celebrity hairstylist Chuck Amos, and heading the research team was a team of African American PhD’s, stylists and dermatologists.

“Learning to embrace my natural curls has been a hard process for me and I know that many other African American women relate,” stated Hervey in a press release. “I’m thrilled Pantene is taking a step in the right direction to celebrate all strong, beautiful textures and styles.”

Pantene joins L’Oreal, another mass beauty brand that is utilizing diversity campaigns to reach out and inform consumers. As previously reported when L’Oreal launched a new campaign in January, highlighting their 33 shades of True Match foundation, they included a range of ambassadors including trans activist and model Hari Neff, plus-sized model Sabina Karlsson, a young Caribbean male model, existing ambassador Blake Lively, and more.

While Dior and Chanel have used women of color - Rihanna and Willow Smith - as faces of their campaigns, and MAC Cosmetics and RuPaul have been working together on and off since 1994, L’Oreal, Covergirl, Maybelline and now Pantene are mass brands that are using diversity campaigns for more than just selling cosmetics or hair care.

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