The Inspirational Advertisement
Not sure how I stumbled upon the video below, but I’m happy that I did. If you’ve seen it on YouTube (and chances are you have, since its received almost 2 million views), you were probably surprised when, at the end of video, it became clear it was an ad for Pantene hair products. They ended the video with their logo and the phrase, “You can shine.” Some people left comments about the video stating that while it was great, it had nothing to do with the product because the product itself never actually appeared in the piece. I disagree–it had everything to do with the product.
Pantene wants to tell you about their shampoo by talking “around” it and not “about it,” thereby capturing your attention with an authentic message rather than a standard sales pitch or some other regurgitated advertising tactic. Is this just another way to tug at people’s heartstrings and make them head straight for Pantene bottles in the shampoo aisle? Well, of course, but the ad also does something that I think is quite clever–it makes you feel inspired by showing you a person overcoming hardship.
The interesting thing about spots like this one for Pantene is that they possess a duality that could be characterized as a blend ofadvertising and also art. Pantene is getting you to think about larger, over-arching themes (overcoming obstacles, victory), much like a film, and draws a connection between those themes and their product.
But the folks at Pantene haven’t forgotten to give hair a major role in the piece. The violin player’s hair is referenced visually several times throughout the spot, as the young woman is passionately playing the violin, and then again at the end, when she plays for a large crowd with a mane of gleaming, sleek, straight hair.
The bottom line? If every time you see a Pantene bottle you think of overcoming obstacles and believing in yourself, isn’t that a victory often more glorious than an ad that has the actual product in it for 10 seconds? I think so.
Check out the video for yourself below and let us know what you think.