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#BLACKGIRLSDO: Essence Festival 2018

Entered in Multicultural Community Engagement

About this entry

We know just how much #BlackGirlsDo and we know just how wonderful they are. Pantene wanted a way to celebrate this love while establishing a lasting, organic relationship with more shoppers in the process. We knew that this would require two powerful elements: Showcasing what makes AA women so amazing, and staying 100% true and authentic to our brand and our customer base.

Pantene Gold Series is a premium collection of moisturizing hair care products designed to help women empower their personal style. Pantene feels their style and beauty deserve all the attention they can get, so we wanted to share them with the world.

Going into this program, we knew that 1:1 emotional connections with beauty-focused AA shoppers were going to be the keystone of our effort and our authenticity; by fostering these relationships, we knew we could find common ground that could help these women experience the ethos of the brand without having to try it first. Furthermore, we wanted every girl to recognize her own beauty, while proving to them that the emotional connection offered by Pantene Gold Series was as genuine, real, and honest as its promises. We also knew that the high-energy environment of the Essence Festival was the perfect setting to start an engaging, memorable conversation. We wanted to foster a lasting dialogue that would reach far beyond the booth and the New Orleans crowds to help guide beautiful black girls everywhere to Pantene Gold Series at Walmart.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

In a time when big brands are often blind to the need for authentic connections with African-American (AA) consumers, Pantene Gold Series saw the value and purpose in changing the rules. Pantene wanted to forge a relationship based on authenticity and honesty, one they could leverage to prove to AA shoppers that they understood their needs, their wants, and especially their hair.

Across the board, brands were struggling to connect with the AA shopper in the Walmart multi-cultural section. Previous attempts to connect using authentic communication had often fallen flat, and had failed to create value and conversions.

To overcome this situation, Pantene needed to create authentic, honest content that could break through the noise, start conversations, and then keep them going. Our shopper research told us that AA shoppers want brands to create 1:1 connections. We knew that was the critical key to growing the Pantene Gold Series business at Walmart.

To demonstrate an understanding of our shopper, her hair, and her world, we tapped into a cultural movement from within her community. Known as Essence Festival, it is the largest event celebrating AA culture and music in the United States. It was also the perfect place to build the foundation for a lasting relationship.

At Essence Festival, Pantene rolled out #BLACKGIRLSDO. In one execution, we tapped into their desire for connection, celebrated what makes them special and beautiful, and harmonized with the overall vibe of Essence Festival. We proudly gave AA women the chance to declare what #BLACKGIRLSDO.

Pre-event awareness was created through branded and social media. Engagement at the event itself was facilitated through our Creator Wall. This interactive, tactile experience in the My Black is Beautiful Booth let festival participants declare what #BLACKGIRLSDO with their contribution to a piece of crowd-sourced art. When complete, the Creator Wall was displayed to the entire city of New Orleans through sky-scraper sized projections.

To help our AA shopper remember that Pantene Gold Series is all about what #BLACKGIRLSDO, projected Creator Wall content was refreshed every night with new #BLACKGIRLSDO declarations. #BLACKGIRLSDO branded media and a robust influencer program further engaged with our AA audience and encouraged festival and non-festival goers alike to share in the amazing experience of what #BLACKGIRLSDO!


Out of nearly 500,000 festival attendees, 7,000 came to the My Black is Beautiful (MBIB) booth. We had over 520,000 booth engagements, 3,000 #BLACKGIRLSDO stickers on our creator wall, and 510,000 impressions during our nighttime projections. Run of site media reached an audience of 11.8MM and garnered 179.7M social engagements. Influencers reached an active audience of 6.5MM shoppers and inspired 178.4M engagements.


Video for #BLACKGIRLSDO: Essence Festival 2018

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Saatchi & Saatchi X, Procter & Gamble


Entry Credits