Pantene Ad Highlighting Double Standards For Men & Women Professionals Makes Way Around The World

Pantene ad screen shotA video ad for Pantene in the Philippines is picking up steam, gaining more than five million views on YouTube and over 105,000 shares according to Unruly’s Viral Video Chart.

A commentary on the role of women in the workplace and how they are perceived, the Pantene “Labels Against Women” ad even received a call-out on today’s MSNBC Morning Joe Show from Donnie  Deutsch while discussing the role of female CEOs with Martha Stewart.

Illustrating how the same professional behaviors are interpreted differently depending on whether it is a man or woman exhibiting the behavior, the ad is set to a cover of the Tears for Fears song “Mad World” and its title includes the hashtags #WhipIt and #ShineStrong.

At the start of the ad, a man is seen giving a presentation with the label “Boss” behind  him. The ad then switches to the same scenario, only with a female giving the presentation with the label “Bossy” behind her. A series of other professional situations are spotlighted, highlighting the double standard that often occurs, with male actions being seen in a positive light, while women performing the same actions are viewed negatively: dedicated versus selfish, persuasive versus pushy, neat versus vain, and smooth versus show-off.

The ad ends with the words, “Don’t let labels hold you back…Be strong and shine.”

According to a write-up on the ad from Adweek, the video was created by BBDO Guerrero in Manila and was posted by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on her Facebook page. Sandberg wrote, “This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen illustrating how when women and men do the same things, they are seen in completely different ways.”

The author of the recently bestselling business book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, Sandberg said the ad won the Lean In prize for the day, congratulating the Pantene and BBDO teams associated with the ad.

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Related Topics: Channel: Video | Creative Of The Day | Google: YouTube | Top News | Video


About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.


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  • Rick Noel, eBiz ROI, Inc.

    Very powerful ad and a great example of how to create a viral video. This video has clearly struck a nerve and will no doubt continue to spread. Nicely done BBDO/Pantene!

  • The Classical Liberal

    Fantastic ad. For all those who think Tea Party people are misogynistic, racists – I love it. Great ad. The message is perfectly stated.


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