Ads We Like: Pantene encourages people to celebrate their grey hair

P&G haircare brand Pantene has launched a campaign asking people to embrace their grey hairs, turning to celebrities and micro-influencers to spread the message.

The work was developed by Grey London, Publicis Media and Ketchum London and falls under the brand’s new ‘Power of Hair’ ethos.

A billboard ad at Westfield London kicked off the activity. It featured unbranded imagery of grey-haired models of varying ages, coupled with commonly held negative perceptions of grey hair including: ‘grey hair says – cover me up’, ‘grey hair says – you’ve let yourself go’ and ‘grey hair says – you’re invisible’.

The next day, the billboard revealed Pantene as the brand behind the message, with the declaration ‘we say different’, sparking public conversation across social media channels, led by celebrities Lisa Snowdon, Alison Hammond and Andrea Mclean and a group of micro-influencers.

Katharine Newby Grant, northern Europe marketing director for P&G commented: “We’re committed to continue to drive even greater diversity across our beauty advertising. We believe in the power of grey and believe it should be celebrated, just like all other hair colours and types. Historically grey hair hasn’t featured as prominently in beauty advertising which has left a significant number of women not seeing some “like me”. We want to change that.

“It’s part of a broader commitment at P&G on the everyday stances we take through our reach and voice in advertising to promote and encourage diversity. People prefer what’s familiar, so deliberately including people of various races, backgrounds, sexual preferences in advertising creates greater familiarity. Over time, it makes images of diversity the norm, not the exception. This latest campaign is just one example of how we’re taking these everyday stances across our brands, every day.”

The work will also run across print, social and YouTube videos. It’s been backed by a study by Pantene which found that 80% of Brits have grey hair, but two out of five cover them (40%), reporting that they do so as they feel less confident with grey hair (40%). The study also uncovered a marked difference in how greys are perceived between genders, with 35% agreeing that ‘society is more accepting of grey-haired men than women’.

However, the tide seems to be turning as a quarter of British women have noticed a positive shift surrounding perceptions of growing grey and Brits that allow their natural greys to show report a positive impact, feeling natural (30%) and authentic (11%) and unabashedly declare that ‘grey hair is nothing to be ashamed of’.

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