Pantene ad: Women, stop saying you're sorry!

"Why are women always apologizing?" the ad asks. Hmm, good point!

By Prachi Gupta
Published June 19, 2014 12:20AM (UTC)
main article image

Take note, Dove: Pantene has successfully created an ad that pushes a product while simultaneously empowering women to stop being so damn sorry all the time. The ad features a lot of overly apologetic women with great hair:

"Sorry, can I ask a stupid question?

"Sorry, do you have a minute?"

"Sorry -- you go first."

Most women watching will be able to relate the these ladies, who've been conditioned (sorry?) to be polite and demure, especially in contrast to members of the opposite sex, who grow up knowing it's okay to be aggressive. "Why are women always apologizing?" the ad asks. "Don't be sorry. Be strong and shine."


Okay, so, real talk: Pantene's fruity-smelling conditioners are probably not going to solve your "sorry" problem, but it's nice to have the issue highlighted regardless. Last year, Pantene called attention to the double standards women face in the workplace -- male counterparts are seen as dedicated to work, while women are seen as selfish, for example. The spot was celebrated by Facebook COO and "Lean In" author Sheryl Sandberg, who has even gone so far as calling for a ban on the term "bossy."

Kevin Crociata, marketing director of Procter & Gamble's North American hair care business, told AdWeek, "We used market research to look at what gender norms were holding women back and tried to tap into the most relevant and insightful areas. This problem of saying sorry, it wasn't just something women in the U.S. were facing but globally. After the success of the first campaign, 'Shine Strong' is something we're committed to as a brand."

Sorry, not sor--err, alright, you're winning us over, Pantene. At least for now.


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

MORE FROM Prachi GuptaFOLLOW prachiguLIKE Prachi Gupta

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Ads Apologizing Commercials Feminism Pantene Sorry Video Women