Pantene, the hair-care line that promises women impossibly glossy hair, may not seem a likely supporter of female empowerment, but its recent #WhipIt campaign defines—and criticizes—the double standards that women face at work.
Pantene Philippines was responsible for launching the spot, which has so far received more than 1.7 million YouTube hits.
The #WhipIt marketing campaign includes a series of complementary print ads meant to encourage discussions about gender perceptions. Pantene Philippines also hosted a forum on the subject last month in Manila. Results from a recent survey on gender stereotypes were discussed by those in attendance, who included female professionals from a variety of industries.
The survey, conducted by Laylo Research Strategies, polled 300 people and found that despite that the Philippines is home to more jobless men than jobless women, old thought patterns about gender roles in the workforce
continue to exist.
Laylo's survey found that 70 percent of all respondents polled said they believed that men were more deserving of employment than women. Sixty-five percent said that it was more important for men to finish a university education. Seventy percent of the men polled said they believed that women needed to downplay their personalities to be accepted in the workplace.
#WhipIt's YouTube video has received mostly positive comments, though some were critical of a beauty company adopting a women's social cause in a bid to sell more shampoo. The ad spot isn't perfect either. It shows only traditionally thin and light-skinned models—not a move that in itself exemplifies inclusivity and empowerment.
But in an effort to break down antiquated gender roles, is the commercial at least a step in the right direction? Yes. Hopefully it's just the first.