Monday, December 23

Pantene - #ShineStrong

I don't think I've ever gotten more requests to comment on a campaign than I have this one from Pantene.  I wish my grad class at NYU was still in session, because I'd love to get the students' take on it.

As anyone who reads my posts know, I'm a big proponent of a brand rising above its functional benefits to find an emotional connection with its consumers.

Pantene certainly does that in its newest campaign, seeking to align with women who are tired of the labels put against them, when in fact those same labels work to elevate men.

Take a look here:

I will say one thing:  I love how the hashtag relates both to the emotional connection and to the product benefits, quite clever.  The integrated aspect of the campaign is impressive.

Do I think the campaign works?  Probably.  I guess I just wish it was stated on the positive side as it feels too negative IMHO.

I'm not denying that those labels still exist, and I know some women (personally) who still fight against them.  But I guess I just wish we could put them behind us, and I worry that by putting them back out there in mass consumption we are simply just keeping them alive. 

I can speak personally in the case of my children, they don't recognize these old stereotypes, so by reminding them I worry that we are by default keeping them alive.

I think in the end, though, this is a well-designed campaign that seeks to connect with professional women, specifically professional women who can relate to the messaging.  And as a result, the brand is doing an effective job of targeting by not just targeting all women but by specifying a particular kind of woman and reaching out to her psychographically, in an emotionally specific way.  A very specific way, albeit maybe too specfic.  Exactly as I teach in my class at NYU ... find a deep emotional connection in a very specific kind of way in order to engage your target market.

It's hard to argue that this isn't smart marketing.  Whether or not you relate to it depends on if you are in the target market and if you feel those emotions. 

What do you think ... what's your experience?  Jim.

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