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Case Study: Pantene Shines with African American Influencer Marketing Campaign

The haircare brand teamed up with African American beauty influencers for a successful marketing campaign.

In the last few years, Pantene has embraced influencer marketing as the main tactic for introducing new products and advocating their benefits. The Procter & Gamble haircare company has several successful pre-launch, launch and sustenance campaigns on its belt.

Furthermore, Pantene has made efforts to create brand buzz on social media through both influencer-led and user-generated content, running campaigns like #PowerofGrey” and “#BadHairDay”. And while they can both serve as examples of influencer marketing done right, we will now study Pantene’s collaboration with African American influencers promoting the brand’s specialized Gold Series Collection.

Introduced in early 2017, the Gold Series line was designed “to provide strength and moisture for women with relaxed, natural, or transitioning hair”. As Pantene highlights in the collection’s description, the Gold Series products have been created by “Black PhD’s and scientists who understand the unique needs of textured hair”. This message played a prominent role in the captions of many of the posts in Pantene’s dedicated influencer marketing campaign two years after the line’s launch. The reminder advertising push aimed to drive awareness of the products among the African American audience.

25 influencers promote Pantene’s Gold Series across platforms

Pantene teamed up with 25 female influencers in the beauty, hair and lifestyle categories. They were exclusively women of African ancestry with relatively small, but loyal following. Each influencer made at least one sponsored post on Instagram, while four of them were also mid-tier YouTube creators who also made sponsored videos.

The campaign-specific hashtag #SoulBehindTheScience was featured in a total of of 35 posts, while #PanteneGoldSeries, #GoldSeries and #PanteneHair were also commonly used. Instead of the typical  #ad or #sponsored tags, most influencers disclosed they were working with the brand mentioning #PantenePartner in their content descriptions.

As mentioned before, captions often pointed out the products had been created by a team of black scientists who had leveraged their understanding of Afro-textured hair. And while varied largely, all posts included a call-to-action that either encouraged users to share their own experience with the Gold Series or suggested where products could be bought.

From hair care tutorials to comedy skit

With a 130,000-strong audience on Instagram and almost 390,000 YouTube channel subscribers, Chizi Duru is the biggest influencer in Pantene’s Gold Series advertising campaign. In addition to a picture featuring a product from the line, she recorded her hair care routine using the brand’s products and posted a short montage on Instagram and a more extensive tutorial on YouTube.

According to Mediakix’s analysis, the short video generated an engagement rate of 10.21%.  Meanwhile, the YouTube video, whose description informed users that the collections could be found in Target stores, has garnered over 103,500 views — above average for the channel.

Similarly, natural hair influencer Harris Janae showed her 92,500 followers on Instagram her hair care routine in a video with a caption describing the steps. The post has been viewed almost 59,000 times, while engagement rate has been estimated at 10.98%.

View this post on Instagram

#pantenepartner Have you ever tried out the Gold Series Collection form @pantene? Their line is so amazing! ?? The collection is designed by a team of black scientists to provide strength and moisture for women with relaxed, natural, or transitioning hair! While washing my hair with the Deep Hydrating Co-Wash it left my hair feeling very moisturized and soft without stripping away any natural oils. Next I used the Leave-on Detangling Milk which is very lightweight and made it easy for me to detangle my hair without it feeling so weighed down. To help with my styling I had to use the new Thermal Heat Protector which helped protect my hair from frizz and heat while conditioning my hair when applying my blow dryer. Lastly I used the Curl Defining Pudding which helped lock in moisture and define my curls without having a lot of frizz! With all of the products combined together it left my hair feeling so soft and had my curls bouncing! I’m so in love with this line y’all! This collection is now available @krogerco Click link in bio for full video • • • • #soulbehindthescience #pantenegoldseries #flexirod #flexirodset #Blackbombshells #unconditionedroots #amazingnaturalhair #hair2mesmerize #protectivestyles #cwkgirls #naturalhairblogger #naturallyshedope #naturalchics #myhaircrush #myhairtexture #blackboldandnatural #curlbox #2curls1mission #nhdaily #bighairdontcare #berrycurly #naturalcurly #naturallyshedope #4ahair #3chair #naturalhairdoescare #bignaturalhair #kinks2curls

A post shared by Natural Hair Influencer (@_harrisjanae_) on

Beauty and style influencer Nneoma is another one of the larger personalities in the campaign, with an Instagram following of 108,000. As a Pantene partner, she performed a comedy skit, featuring a Gold Series product. The post recorded a total engagement rate of 4.84%.

With just over 37,000 followers on Instagram, Lisa Jean-Francois is the micro-influencer who delivered the most impressive results in the campaign. She posted a product review, featuring a call-to-action to buy the Gold Series from Walmart. The video generated a remarkable engagement rate of 21.65%.

View this post on Instagram

#AD Hey, boos! I Remember my 14 Day challenge with @Pantene a few months ago? Well, I'm back with another video/review featuring the Gold Series products, and as you know, I love this entire line. I used the entire collection for this #bantuknotout and I love love love LOVE the results. @pantene Gold series was made FOR US and specifically targets the needs of relaxed, transitioning and natural hair. Infused with Argan oil, this line is all about moisture, strength, elasticity, reduced friction for smoothness, and shine. Check out my stories for more, and click the link in my bio to shop this collection at @walmart . Products used to create this look: Moisture Boost Conditioner Moisture Boost Shampoo Detangling Milk Thermal Heat Protector Intense Hydrating Oil Hydrating Butter Creme Defining Pudding Edge Tamer . . . If you’ve tried this line, which product(s) is/are your fav? #pantenepartner #soulbehindthesciene #goldseries #pantenehair #teamnatural_ #naturalhairstyles

A post shared by Lisa Jean-Francois ?? (@lisaalamode) on

Results and conclusion

Pantene’s Gold Series advertising campaign reached 1,286,500 Instagram users. It generated a total of 56,819 likes, 1,603 comments and an engagement rate of 12.26%. On YouTube, influencers targeted 1,313,096 subscribers. Videos shared on the platform amassed 287,001 views, 1,069 comments and an overall engagement rate of 4.56%.

Notably, micro-influencers in Psntene’s campaign achieved on average a percentage point more than the mid-tier influencers. This indicates that influencers with small but highly-engaged and loyal followers can be valuable assets in marketing campaigns. Pantene has managed to tap into their potential, recognizing their audience and using their voice to spread the brand’s message in a more authentic way.

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Written by Deyana

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