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After Sandberg Leans In on Pantene Ad, P&G Will Give It Global Push

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Procter & Gamble Co. has launched a global online media campaign behind its feminist-themed Philippine video for Pantene after getting a big viral boost from Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg last week.

"Given the huge positive response to this video, and in anticipation of positive national media coverage," Pantene has launched its global "Be Strong & Shine" campaign, a spokeswoman for the brand said in an e-mail, adding a #ShineStrong hashtag to the existing #WhipIt hashtag originally used in social media.

P&G is buying ads in the U.S. and globally to back the effort, including search, YouTube, promoted Tweets, Facebook and other interactive media, in addition to prominently featuring the video and campaign on Pantene's websites worldwide.

The video, which portrays how the same behavior can be labeled positively for men and negatively for women, has gotten more than 7.5 million views on YouTube alone. It was originally posted online in the Philippines Nov. 9 and ran twice on TV there, according to P&G. But the vast majority of views came after Ms. Sandberg in a Dec. 7 Facebook post called it "one of the most powerful videos I have seen illustrating how when men and women do the same things they are seen in completely different ways."

Ms. Sandberg congratulated P&G Global Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard and BBDO CEO Andrew Robertson for the ad. BBDO Guerrero, Manila, created it, though Grey Worldwide handles the brand in the U.S. and much of the rest of the world. The attention is a welcome coup for Omnicom's BBDO, particularly after losing the global Gillette men's grooming business to WPP's Grey earlier this year.

It's also welcome news for Pantene, which has been steadily losing share in the U.S. in recent years, down 1.2 points to 11.8% of the $2.6 billion market for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 28, according to Nielsen data from Deutsche Bank, though it's done better globally, where it remains the leading global hair-care brand with $3 billion in sales.

P&G launched the ad after conducting a gender-bias survey in the Philippines to "drive the message that Pantene understands" a woman's "fears and insecurities and is her partner to drive her true potential," the spokeswoman said.

P&G Group President-Global Beauty Deb Henretta said in a statement: "Pantene and P&G brands reach billions of women around the world, and we want to use this scale and influence to be an agent of change."

The response hasn't been all positive. Some blogs and commenters object to the premise or the commercial message linked to it or believe Pantene overplayed it.

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