Grey New York, Ronda Rousey and Pantene Think ‘Strong Is Beautiful’

By Erik Oster 

Grey New York launched a new campaign for beauty brand Pantene. It stars UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, who took some time off from her busy schedule consumed by not being perfect and eating at Carl’s Jr.

Rousey delivers a new take on the brand’s 80s “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” tagline, changing the line to “Don’t hate me because I’m strong” and clarifying that “Strong is beautiful.” (For her, there is no separation.) The 60-second anthem “Again” is a call to arms, with Rousey celebrating the breaking of glass ceilings and proving doubters wrong again and again … which she promises to continue to do.

In the 30-second “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Strong” she gets right to the message, delivering the title of the spot, immediately followed by the “Strong is Beautiful” tagline, which is maybe a bit too to-the-point for its own good.

Rousey, of course, is no stranger to advertising, having appeared in VB+P’s “#PerfectNever” spot this July for Reebok in the wake of her loss of the UFC World Bantamweight Championship title to Holly Holm and a 72andSunny spot promoting Carl’s Jr.’s cinnamon swirl french toast breakfast sandwich eleven months prior. Her appeal as an example of the changing image of feminine beauty and personification of the “Strong is Beautiful” tagline is obvious.


“This line … with what [Rousey] has been up against her whole life, all the criticism that she faces but she keeps getting back up again and again and again, it just felt so right for her,” Grey global group creative director Joanna Carver told Adweek.

“I’m fully aware that I might not be the first person people think of to collaborate with a beauty brand. I’ve been called ‘Miss Man’ and ‘savage’ because of my physique, but to me, strength isn’t only about having muscles,” Rousey said in a statement. “It’s about having heart and finding inner confidence, so I’m honored that Pantene asked me to be part of their new campaign that encourages women to break gender barriers, break the glass ceiling and never settle.”