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Pantene launches its new #freedomhair campaign, inspiring girls to write their own story

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MUMBAI: These are undoubtedly transformative times for young girls around the world, and Indian girls are also fuelling the winds of change. Caught between the ways of a traditional culture - that can get prescriptive on aspects like what they ought to wear, study, whom to marry and even how to wear their hair - and a yearning to live life on their own terms, this generation has a unique opportunity to redefine their way of life.

Pantene spent the last 18 months listening to young girls across the country in countless in-depth interviews and tried to capture this sentiment in their new brand campaign.The insight is that young girls might not have all the answers to the challenges they face, but they seek to lead their lives differently versus the earlier generation. They want to write their own story. 

This had a powerful translation in the world of hair too. While young girls are required to usually wear their hair in tight braids in school, there is a powerful emotion they experience the first time they can wear their hair open when they enter college. “Open hair”, says BinuNinan, Marketing Director for Pantene India, “is much more than a hair style, it is a feeling that women wear, a feeling of freedom and endless possibilities. When one girl told us that her open hair felt like a superhero cape, we knew we were onto something powerful. It is not something that is obvious, but the power of open hair can truly enable her to create her own path. This led to the idea: ‘your life is an open-ended story; it starts with open hair’, and the accompanying hashtag #FreedomHair.”

Pantene wants these young girls to realise, that only they can decide what their story will be. It is not about telling the girls what they should or should not do, but inspiring them by showing the endless possibilities that life presents. The film is a set of questions and avenues that her life could take, none of them right or wrong. To highlight some of these choices, the film features 8 women across various metiers, who are making a mark for themselves in unchartered territories or defying conventions like professional athlete and LGBT activist Dutee Chand. 

Dutee Chand shared, “People used to tell me, there is no future in the sport and that I was wasting my life. My mother and older sister supported me to run, so I kept going. We need to be what we are no matter what people say. If we listen to others, we won’t be able to make our lives into the dreams we see. So do what you want!”
The new campaign is supported by a full product line revamp aimed at fulfilling the brand promise. “We designed the new Pantene Advanced Hair Fall Solution so that Indian girls can have more open hair days” continues Ninan. “We learnt that the biggest obstacle preventing women from leaving their hair open was hair fall, so we created a new formulation aimed at substantially reducing hair fall.”

The campaign brings together impactful lyrics by ace lyricist Javed Akhtar, and the superhit song ‘Freedom’ by international star Pharrell Williams, into a truly inspiring film.  

With the #FreedomHair campaign, Pantene is partnering with Sattva, a mission-driven organisation that creates scalable solutions for social impact. This unique partnership aims to help young girls across India embrace the power of Freedom Hair & become the narrators of their own story. As a part of this association, Pantene with Sattva will inspire action among young girls through engaging workshops & internships across diverse careers and passion areas, giving them the freedom to pursue their dreams.
 

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