Pantene's "I'm Sorry" Ad

Written by chicceo Published in
Like most hair care products, Pantene regularly releases commercials that feature models who have bouncy, glossy and healthy long locks. In a recent ad however, Pantene took a hard look at an issue deeper than shiny hair, in an impactful way that remained on brand and sent a powerful message to the brand’s target audience, and beyond.
The brand’s latest commercial delves into the concept of "sorry." The ad features various women’s knee-jerk reaction to apologize for every-day occurrences, something that likely resonates with most women who watch it. A young professional woman depicted in the commercial says sorry when she enters a coworker's office to ask a question. A polished professional woman says sorry when she asks a male coworker to clarify something. A busy mother says sorry to her partner when she passes their young son over to him. A wife says sorry to her husband when she takes her side of the blanket when they're both trying to sleep.
The commercial illustrates how women frequently feel the need to say sorry in situations where they should feel 100 percent confident and self-possessed, whether on the job, with their partners or anywhere else. The goal of this Pantene commercial is to both point out this behavior to women, who likely have this habit without being aware of it and show women that there’s a more empowered way of communicating than using the word “sorry” as a filler.
After the commercial shows many women apologizing in different situations, it shifts its approach slightly. It then depicts the same women in the same exact situations as before. This time, however, they're not apologizing. They're calm, cool, composed and totally in control. They don't feel the need to apologize for things that don't call for "sorry." The effect, in turn, is both powerful and inspiring. The commercial shows that women don't have to apologize when they're asking questions at work. It shows that mothers don't have to say sorry when they pass their children over to their loving fathers. The aim of the commercial is not to stop women from being pleasant in appropriate situations, however. It's about helping women understand that the use of the word “sorry” means something more than just “excuse me” and that by eliminating it as a placeholder word, women can easily assert themselves in everyday situations. 
By portraying a common issue in a creative, and inspiring, manner, Pantene has created an ad that raises the brand from a line of hair care products to an organization that can be an vehicle for social change. Well done, Pantene.


Erika Kauffman is the General Manager & Executive Vice President at 5W Public Relations. With over a decade of experience in communications and management at 5W, Erika is an integral part of the firm's leadership team and oversees a number of industry practices at the agency


Do you have any video of that? I'd like to find out more


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