This Pilipino commercial examines the double standards that women face in the workplace compared to men, but at the same time seems to reinforce these labels about women. While a man may be the ‘boss,’ ‘persuasive,’ ‘dedicated,’ ‘neat,’ and ‘smooth,’ a woman is considered ‘bossy,’ ‘pushy,’ ‘selfish,’ ‘vein,’ and ‘showy.’ These words are both reminding us and reinforcing these ideas back upon women, even though the commercial is trying to stand against these labels. According to this ad, these women can overcome the double-standard by being able to “shine.” But, all the women in this ad are beautiful, physically fit, and have perfect hair, so Pantene is also suggesting that these traits also factor into a person’s (woman’s) success.
The inclusion of the song “Mad World,” also sung by a female, emphasizes the ‘madness’ of the double-standard women face in the workplace. Even though this commercial originally aired in the Philippines in November 2013, it quickly went viral after Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg shared the video on her page and commenting that it “is one of the most powerful videos [she] has ever seen…” link
While some people may think that gender inequality has been fixed, it still is evident in todays society. Today, finding women in the work place is more common, but it is still predominately men. Even though the commercial is seemingly supporting the idea that women can over come the pressure and hardships in the workplace by being strong, like the Dove Beauty Sketches link, the idea remains that physical looks are very important and determine how successful you are and how you think of yourself. Now, as we all know, Pantene sells hair products. So what does this double-standard-workplace-commercial have to do with hair? The idea is that if you use Pantene, you too can “Be strong and shine.”