Pantene earns social capital sponsoring grants to colleges

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pantene earns social capital sponsoring grants to colleges

Related tags: Advertising, Brand

The brand’s Shine Strong program continues this year with funding recently awarded to 11 US campus action projects in partnership with the American Association of University Women.

“Pantene believes that women are stronger when they work together, and we are thrilled to have collaborated with AAUW and been able to provide these grant recipients with the opportunity to work as a team to fight the stereotypes and biases on their college campuses across the country,”​ said Jodi Allen, vice president of P&G hair care & color for North America.

“We are certain these CAP grants will inspire action and change among these young leaders and those that their programs will reach,” ​she added.  ​See a complete list of the campuses receiving grants this year and what projects are being funded here on the AAUW site​.

Paying attention to consumers
Consumer response to the brand’s 2013 Labels video led to the Shine Strong funding campaign. That video raised the issue of how language sets limits on people’s potential.  “Because of the positive response Pantene received for raising awareness about the unconscious behaviors that are holding women back, the brand decided to broaden the reach of this message.”

How brands approach gender is among the most relevant consumer trends that market research firm Mintel identified for 2015. “Marketers need to show that they understand consumers’ modern perceptions of gender, namely that consumers are much more complex than the social constraints built around them,” ​according to the firm’s analysis. (Cosmetics Design reported on all four top consumer trends here​.)

Fiscal, social, responsible
Personal care advertising reaches consumers on conscious and subconscious levels as a matter of course.  “Understanding how [conscious and unconscious processes] impact behavior can help companies successfully market their brands and products,” ​explains Joel Weinberger, psychologist and founding partner of market research firm Implicit Strategies in an article for​.

The Labels video was an advertisement for hair care products. And the Shine Strong grants are building brand recognition among young women that P&G no doubt hopes will become life-long Pantene users and vocal brand ambassadors.

“We see thousands of ads per day, and whether we like it or not, they shape our perceptions of society and each other. Many ads perpetuate societal norms,” ​wrote Marie Lindberg in her AAUW article about the advertisement. Could it be possible for savvy, conscientious brands to simultaneously inspire shoppers to buy, turn a profit, and respect consumers’ individuality?

Affecting the bottom line
“P&G’s global business has seen some of the most difficult challenges in recent years, with margins squeezed by the intense competition and tough trading conditions,” ​pointed out Simon Pitman, senior editor of Cosmetics Design, in his recent article exploring executive changes​ at the manufacturer.

When the company announced plans to cut its brand portfolio by more than half, CEO A.G. Lafley tweeted “Everything needs to begin with consumer value creation – and end with consumer satisfaction & loyalty.”

Related topics: Market Trends, Financial focus, Hair Care

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