Any video that begins with a pair of red-bottomed power pumps walking down a hallway automatically has our attention. But the remaining minute of the Pantene Philippines commercial kept us captivated – and left us thinking.
It may not appear to have much to do with shampoo, but the message of this ad is profound and applicable across all industries. The advertisement assesses how men and women are each received when they’re placed in the same business situations. It highlights these sexist stereotypes and then totally shuts them down. In the CEO’s office, a man is a “boss,” but a woman is “bossy”; at the lectern, men are “persuasive” and women are “pushy”; in the office late at night, men are “dedicated” but women are “selfish”; caught looking in the mirror, men are “neat” while women are “vain”; strutting down the street in beautiful clothes, men are “smooth” yet women are “showy.”
These comparisons highlight the intense double standards that are still present not only in the workplace, but in everyday life. With this ad and corresponding hashtag, #WhipIt, Pantene compels people to whip away the double standards that hold women back. We’re definitely compelled to “be strong and shine” after watching this video – and we’ll do both while strutting down the street and into the office, wearing red-bottomed stilettos. Because let’s be honest here, women just do it better.