Pantene Goes Natural | Adweek Pantene Goes Natural | Adweek
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Pantene Goes Natural

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NEW YORK Can a brand as scientific as Pantene also be natural? Procter & Gamble claims it can. The packaged-goods giant has launched a new Pantene hair-care collection called Nature Fusion, and a campaign that touts the collection's naturally derived nourishing properties.

Nature Fusion, which hits shelves this month, taps into the natural trend while leveraging the brand's scientific claims. Ads breaking this week highlight the brand's promise of delivering "softer, shinier and stronger hair."

One TV spot, via Grey, New York, opens with Top Chef host and former model Padma Lakshmi asking the question: "Think only a salon brand can unlock nature's power? Well I've discovered something new." The ad then shows a cassia flower engulfed in a honey-gold capsule, representing Pantene merging with nature.

"We think that consumers who enjoy natural ingredients also deserve high-quality performance, so we're thrilled to be able to offer women a hair-care collection that actually does what it promises," Craig Bahner, vp and general manager of P&G North American hair care, said in a statement.

Nature Fusion comes in two varieties: Moisture Balance shampoos and conditioners that are made with ingredients such as cassia, ginger and aloe vera extracts; and Smooth Vitality, which includes bamboo and grape seed extracts. Both retail for $3.99. A leave-in Fusion Smoothing Crème is also part of the collection and sells for $5.99.

The new collection is P&G's latest attempt to reinvigorate sales of its slowing beauty brand. IRI data, ending the week of Dec. 28, shows Pantene sales dropped 11.82 percent to $217 million, compared to the year-ago period. Conditioner sales, likewise, fell 13.76 percent to $157 million. Both the shampoo and conditioner markets are growing slowly, with shampoo sales down 2.30 percent and conditioners off 2.77 percent.

Caitlin Ewing, the Grey cd who works on the Pantene account, said the campaign's focus on both the natural and the scientific elements was critical. While women tend to seek natural products, "there is also the reputation that natural products don't always do the job," Ewing said.

Nature Fusion joins a host of other hair-care brands that make natural claims. L'Oreal, for instance, has an EverPure Moisture shampoo that's "100 percent vegan with natural botanicals." Alberto Culver offers a Tresemme vitamin C and E natural shampoo and conditioner duo.

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