Pantene Malaysia Marks International Women’s Day Via ‘Braids of Strength / Fitness First’ Free Gym Trial

Pantene Malaysia launched the latest instalment of its WanitaBesi/Iron Lady marketing initiative on International Women’s Day with a new campaign called ‘Braids Of Strength’ which champions sport as a key ingredient for the next generation of strong women.


Developed in harness with creative agency Grey Group, the campaign showcases sport as a key ingredient for the next generation of strong women and argues that through sports girls learn life skills including teamwork, leadership and confidence.


The campaign was built after planning stage research which revealed that globally, by the age of 14, girls drop out of sports participation at twice the rate of boys.


The P&G’s brand’s study also showed that despite 87% of people believing that sport helps build confidence, a perception that the heat and sweat generated by playing sport causes hair damage and that this is a barrier to participation.


So a grouo of Pantene scientists developed a uniquely engineered braiding technique to keep hair both strong and beautiful: this ‘Braid of Strength’ reduces friction by immobilising the hair strands, prevents tangling and reduces sweat.


The initiative launched ahead of International Women’s Day, 8 March through a partnership with Malaysia’s biggest sports and fitness chain – Celebrity Fitness/Fitness First.


Aiming to offer all Malaysia women ‘free access to a new world of sport’, ‘Braids of Strength’ offers all; female customers who purchase any Pantene shampoo in participating retailers (which include Aeon, Giant and Tesco) will receive a free golden ribbon which, when presented at any Celebrity Fitness/Fitness First outlet entitles the holder to redeem a free 14-day pass to the gym.


The participatory, trial initiative was promoted through a campaign spearheaded by a pair of films, linked by a hair braid motif, telling the inspiring stories of two Malaysia sports stars.


These two national athletes – Farah Ann and Nur Suryani – both stayed committed to their sports despite facing extreme challenges.


Farah Ann suffered multiple injuries and cyber-bullying after winning double gold medals, while Nur Suryani competed at the Olympics whilst eight months pregnant.


Both videos feature the act of tying a hair braid to symbolise the strength to stay in sport and to highlighting a brand’s partnership with the fitness chain




“At Pantene, we are rooted in the belief that strong is beautiful. For a woman, her hair is both a personal and a public matter; it is a big part of her confidence,” explained , Haircare Commercial Director of P&G Malaysia Anggia Pulungan.


“Through Braids of Strength, Pantene wants to encourage more women to embrace the #WANITABESI spirit, pursue any sport of their choice and eliminate their worry of self-image. By showcasing the perfect way to braid their hair, women get the confidence boost they need to look good, and it positively helps them to perform in sports.”




Braids of Strength is the third and latest installment of the #WanitaBesi (which translates to ‘Iron Lady’) brand platform which launched back in summer 2018.



It’s not just FMCG brand alliances with health clubs leveraging International Women’s Day (IWD) 2019 through sports initiatives, but also sportswear brands (see Adidas ‘She Break Barriers’ case study), sponsors (see Guinnness Women’s 6 Nations ‘Sisters’ case study) and rights-holders (see FIFA’s Women’s World Cup #LegendsSquad case study) and creatives (see #Jumpwoman case study).




Pantene Malaysia









Grey Malaysia



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