Dutee Chand
Dutee Chand

Pantene ad with Dutee Chand for inspiring girls to make their own life choices

  • The campaign brings together lyrics Javed Akhtar, and ‘Freedom’ song by Pharrell Williams, which is used as a background score
  • The campaign features young girls acing varied career options such as film direction, surfing and fashion designing while choosing their own lifestyle as well as partners

Moving away from functional advertising, P&G owned hair care brand Pantene has taken a higher order approach to speak to young girls in India through its new campaign. Titled ‘Freedom Hair’ the film created by advertising agency Grey India, highlights how girls are fuelling the winds of change by charting their own course when it comes to career and life choices.

The campaign features young girls acing varied career options such as film direction, surfing and fashion designing while choosing their own lifestyle as well as partners. The film highlights how caught between the ways of a traditional culture - that can get prescriptive on aspects like what they ought to wear, study, whom to marry and even how to wear their hair - and a yearning to live life on their own terms, this generation has a unique opportunity to redefine their way of life.

Pantene said that it has spent the last 18 months listening to young girls across the country through in-depth interviews and tried to capture this sentiment in their new brand campaign. The insight is that young girls might not have all the answers to the challenges they face, but they seek to lead their lives differently versus the earlier generation.

“Open hair is much more than a hair style, it is a feeling that women wear, a feeling of freedom and endless possibilities. When one girl told us that her open hair felt like a superhero cape, we knew we were onto something powerful. It is not something that is obvious, but the power of open hair can truly enable her to create her own path. This led to the idea: ‘your life is an open-ended story; it starts with open hair’, and the accompanying hashtag #FreedomHair," said Binu Ninan, marketing director for Pantene India.

The film features eight women who are making a mark for themselves in unchartered territories or defying conventions such as professional athlete and LGBT activist Dutee Chand. The new campaign is supported by a full product line revamp aimed at fulfilling the brand promise.

“We designed the new Pantene Advanced Hair Fall Solution so that Indian girls can have more open hair days" added Ninan. “We learnt that the biggest obstacle preventing women from leaving their hair open was hair fall, so we created a new formulation aimed at substantially reducing hair fall."

The campaign brings together lyrics by lyricist Javed Akhtar, and ‘Freedom’ song by international star Pharrell Williams, which is used as a background score. Pantene said that it has also partnered grass root organization Sattva to inspire action among young girls through engaging workshops and internships across diverse careers and passion areas.

Yashaswini Samat, chairman and managing director, Grey Group India said, “During school these girls are required to keep their hair braided. But in college, they finally get the freedom to wear their hair open. This open hair almost feels like a super hero cape to them, nudging them to go after what they want. When it came to the creative transformation of this insight, we knew we had to talk to her in a language and a context that she understands. This led to the idea: ‘your life is an open-ended story; it starts with open hair’."

The campaign is being heavily promoted across digital and social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Hotstar along with reality TV shows.

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