Hair care brand Pantene is currently running an ad in the Philippines that has both men and women talking, turning typical female-targeted advertising on its head.
Bridget Brennan, CEO of the consulting firm Female Factor and "Why She Buys" author, joined Sun-Times Splash editor Susanna Negovan to weigh in on the new commercial as a women's marketing expert.
The ad has recently gone viral, with more than 5 million views and counting. It plays with the idea of perception, specifically relating how the public and employees view successful businessmen versus successful businesswomen.
For example, while an accomplished man may be seen as a boss, persuasive, dedicated and smooth, an equally accomplished woman may be seen as bossy, pushy, selfish and a show-off, respectively.
The ad concludes with the phrase, "Don't let labels hold you back. Be strong and shine," as a woman with beautiful hair walk down the street. Pantene is also encouraging the use of #WhipIt and #ShineStrong on social media.
Brennan made the point that the ad is making such an impression on viewers because woman are recognizing themselves in the commercial – not the labels, but how people have treated them in the past and how it made them feel. Pantene's commercial inspires them to effect change.
The ladies also weighed in on whether they thought female stereotypes are reinforced in the media, and in this commercial specifically, or whether they thought the ad was sending a new message.
By the way, a new Pew Research Center report found millennial women are closing the wage gap – but they are still facing discrimination and are expressing as much pessimism as the women before them.