Pantene signs Liv Tyler for relaunch

Procter & Gamble has signed up actress Liv Tyler as the new face of its flagship haircare brand Pantene.

The brand is undergoing a comprehensive relaunch, backed by a major advertising campaign that will hit the screens in the UK in November, and comprises print, TV and extensive digital activity. Additionally, the brand is launching new products and undergoing a comprehensive redesign.

The relaunch comes at a tough time for mid-market haircare brands, which are facing heavy price promotions and extensive NPD from brands such as Dove, Elvive and Herbal Essences.

In addition, mid-market brands such as Pantene are facing growing competition from salon brands such as John Frieda, which have successfully grown their market share as consumers treat themselves to premium products during the recession.

In the face of this mounting competition, P&G has reformulated the range and focused it around three groups of target shoppers – women with fine hair, those with medium to thick hair, and those with colour.

According to P&G, the brand has adopted NASA technology to study women’s hair and spent seven years formulating the new formula Pantene. A spokesman said that the relaunch was based on the insight that despite the billions pumped into the haircare market annually, women "weren’t satisfied with the products currently available".

It is not the first time that Tyler, who is the face of the Pantene Repair & Protect range, has swished her hair back and forth for the brand. She was previously a face of Pantene 15 years ago, when she was 19 years old.

A spokesman for Pantene confirmed the new range would not impact on the brand’s existing Aqua light range, which is fronted by fellow hair-swisher and TV presenter, Cat Deeley.

Behind the scenes: The Science of New Pantene

So what’s new about Pantene?

P&G employed Micro-Computed Tomography (Micro-CT), normally employed in investigative medical research to measure bone density to help scientists to understand the 3D structure that multiple hair fibres form as they come together and interact. This 3D view of hair helped link the hair structures to how a shampoo could best deposit ingredients.

But what has NASA got to do with shampoo?

P&G used an atomic force microscope (AFM) like the one NASA has used to study the surface of Mars, to study the surface of the hair, to better understand how different hair fibres react with different ingredients, depending on their physical structure.