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Pantene uses hijab-wearing brand ambassador for first time in Malaysia, in Grey ad

Pantene Malaysia has released a new campaign featuring award-winning Malaysian singer and songwriter Yuna, in a move that WPP agency Grey says is the first time the shampoo brand has used a celebrity ambassador wearing a hijab in the country.

The two-and-a-half minute video is now running on YouTube, having premiered last weekend across cinemas in Malaysia. Yuna stars alongside two high-profile Malaysian women: health and fitness influencer Linora Low and former Malaysian national diver Adeline Chin.  

Health and fitness influencer Low

Shot by production house Think Tank, the title of the film WanitaBesi is a Bahasa Malaysia phrase that translates to ‘Iron Lady’. A term that is traditionally used as an insult to “unfeminine” women, according to Grey. The narrative shows each of the female characters overcoming adversity.

“It is a fact that every year thousands of girls cast aside their passions under the weight of peer pressure,” said Yuna. “Phrases such as ‘Wanita Besi’ are used negatively in the schools, sports fields and across social media, forcing us to doubt ourselves and give up on our dreams.  

Yuna is breaking new ground

“It’s time to flip the script. I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of strong women in my life, or as I now call them ‘WanitaBesi’. Together we can all inspire each other to chase after our dreams.”

Forming the soundtrack of the film is the Malaysian nursery rhyme Bangun Pagi. Sung by a Malaysian girl choir, the song is given a unique twist, with a re-written final verse that ‘transforms it from a child’s song, into an anthem of strength” – said Grey.

Procter & Gamble general manager May Teoh said: “Pantene has always championed the inner strength of women across the world. Every woman has the strength inside to be the very best that they can be. Yuna is the epitome of contemporary #WanitaBesi.”

Credits

Executive creative director: Graham Drew

Creative group head: Andrew Fong

General manager: Jo Yau

Copywriter: Brendon Low

Art director: Sandy Ng

Producer: Suzy Chiang

Group brand director: Sharon Rodrigues,

Account executive: Audrey Chua

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