Pantene breaks beauty advertising norms by celebrating grey hair

Ads encourage people to embrace going grey.


Pantene has launched a campaign encouraging men and women to embrace their natural grey hair.

"#PowerofGrey", created by Grey London, features naturally grey-haired women who share their stories and invite people in the UK to question entrenched beliefs and associations about going grey.

Billboards that launched at Westfield London show unbranded images of grey-haired models, along with commonly held negative perceptions, such as "Grey hair says – cover me up" and "Grey hair says – you’re invisible". The day after the campaign debuted, the ads revealed Pantene as the advertiser, with the message: "We say different."

Influencers with grey hair are also sharing their personal hair journeys on social media.

The campaign will run across TV, outdoor, print, social and YouTube. Publicis Media is handling media planning and buying. 

A study commissioned by Pantene revealed that 80% of Brits have grey hair, but two out of five cover it up because they feel less confident with it. Perceptions differ between genders, with 35% of respondents agreeing "society is more accepting of grey-haired men than women".

Pantene said brands and advertising must play a role in normalising grey hair. A quarter of Brits said they felt more confident about their own hair after seeing grey-haired figures in the public eye. 

"We’re committed to continue to drive even greater diversity across our beauty advertising. We believe in the power of grey and believe it should be celebrated," Katharine Newby Grant, northern Europe marketing director at Pantene owner Procter & Gamble, said. "Historically, grey hair hasn’t featured as prominently in beauty advertising, which has left a significant number of women not seeing some ‘like me’. We want to change that."

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