Pantene is riding a wave of interest around a Japanese baby with unusually big hair. The P&G brand has launched a campaign featuring the girl, named Chanco, that celebrates being different.
Developed by Grey Tokyo, ‘The Hairy Tale’ tells the story of Chanco’s rise to fame based on her abundant hair. Born in December 2017, she made her Instagram debut at four months, and has since accrued 377,000 followers.
At just over a year old, Chanco is not known to be a Pantene user, but the brand is holding her up as a symbol of individualism under the banner ‘#HairWeGo: My Hair Moves Me Forward’. Unlikely as it sounds, her luxuriant locks have proved controversial. While most people have reacted positively to her photos, some apparently saw her as too different and called for her hair to be cut so as to fall in line with more ‘normal’ babies.
Pantene’s message is that it’s “OK to be different”. In the film, a voiceover by the actress Sato Kondo makes the point that learning to love individual differences can help make the world a better place. Kondo herself has challenged norms by opting not to dye her grey hair.
Last year, Pantene made an appeal to student jobseekers to ditch their boring black suits and hairstyles, which have become standard in Japan without anyone really knowing why.
Campaign’s view: It’s difficult to imagine anyone who wouldn’t be at least somewhat touched by this baby’s cuteness. Whether or not a brand should be taking advantage of it is up for debate, but the message Pantene is putting across is positive and difficult to argue with. We just hope that becoming a celebrity at such a tender age doesn't go too much to Chanco’s, er, head.