– Anjali Shankar, Attorney –

Pantene Philippines has recently launched a new ad identifying gender stereotypes in the workplace.

The ad is part of Pantene’s #WhipIt campaign. The ad has been trending on social media and has been noticed by Sheryl Sandberg, author of the book “Lean In,” who stated “This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen illustrating how when women and men do the same things, they are seen in completely different ways. Really worth watching. Lean In prize of the day for sure!”

The ad begins by identifying various labels used to describe men and women in business and ends with the phrase: “Don’t let labels hold you back.”

Whether you believe the ad over-simplifies complex issues or nails them, it appears to have had an impact on many viewers. It is a smart branding tactic, because the viewer almost forgets that it is a shampoo commercial. Dove has done a similar campaign targeting perceptions of beauty and body image.  There are other brands that have attempted to appeal to people’s emotions and values through effective storytelling, like this Google India ad.

Do you find these commercials to be effective?