Friday, December 9, 2016

Will hiring Ronda Rousey increase Pantene's sales?

Mixed Martial Arts are big.  How big?  Worldwide the sport has 300 million fans, more than Major League Baseball.  And when New York ended their 19 year ban against the sport last April, Ronda stood next to Governor Cuomo when the announcement was made. (Reinsmith, 2013)

But how many American women actually watch and who are they?  Data shows that ~27% of MMA fans are female.  41% of those are minorities.  Viewers are 18% more likely to be Hispanic and 40% more likely to be African-American.  53% of them are 18-34. (2012)

Does this sound like a good target for Pantene?  Parent company P&G has been shedding brands and cutting costs to restore profitability, but as near as I can tell Pantene sales were flat this year.  Their annual report says they are interested in growing users.

But I can't help thinking that Selena Gomez, their 2015 spokesperson was a better choice since Latinas are more likely than the general population to spend on hair care, and are responsible for 16% of sales.  Oh, and she has 120 million social media followers. (Romero, 2015)

Here's a look at the commercial.  "The tagline is: Don't hate me because I am strong."

So what do you think?  Are there enough Ronda fans in the US to make this campaign a success?  What about you?  Does it make you want to buy Pantene?

Reinsmith, T. (2013, October 15) Worldwide, MMA is bigger than MLB.  retrieved December 18, 2016, from

(2012, November 16)  UFC 154 Audience Demographics.  Retrieved December 8, 2016, from

Romero, A. (2015, June 15)  Selena Gomez Named New Pantene Spokesperson.  Retrieved December 8, 2016, from


  1. I personally agree with you that Selena Gomez makes much more sense. I think she would have worked better for another brand. When I think of what hair products I want to use, I want to feel more glamorous than how their campaign made me feel.

  2. I tend to agree if the target is Latina women, they would have had more success focusing on Selena Gomez, Jeniffer Lopez or Shakira. However, this ad makes me feel like they are trying to re position the brand to focus on the strength benefits that Pantene adds to hair, while capitalizing on the strong Sports culture that exists in the US. Its also a breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by "glamour." Finally, I tend to think that the ad meant to focus on more American active teens and millennials.

  3. While I think that Selena Gomez or another woman of color might have been a better choice, I do think that MMA's popularity growth can certainly be a relevant mention in discussing it's potential reach. Based on the UFC is getting more and more popular and could eventually be a market in which more women end up watching, with the growing involvement of female fighters. That seems like a long distance position, versus choosing someone like Selena Gomez that could be successful in todays market.

  4. Eventhough Selena Gomez is more popular and has more social media followers than Ronda Rousey, she has already been Pantene's image on 2015. I think that Ronda Rousey can generate attention in the growing group of people that take sports seriously and do an effort to reach their goals. If Pantene is interested in growing users it might make sense to target a different market.

  5. I think Pantene is trying something new to get a different demographic of people. It was already stated that Selena Gomez was used in 2015 so my assumption would be that they have gotten the millennial that are attracted to the celebrity “spokesperson”. Using a woman that is considered masculine and strong may not only get the attention of athletic women but women who have to be strong in other areas like those who are in corporate America, or small business owner and would like to have lovely hair.

  6. I have to agree with you that Selena Gomez made more sense.
    I don`t she how Ronda Rousey talking about being feminine would resonate with anyone.
    She is a great athlete, Yes. But I`m not quite sure her fans like her for her Feminine side. I`m also not convinced that her fans would follow her for beauty tips. I might be wrong here but I don’t see how Ronda Rousey will increase Pantene`s sales.

    The only positive I can think of is that using her in a shampoo ad is a unique idea. But I just don`t believe it will be enough to get their numbers up.

    Adam N.

  7. As you might already know, I’m a primary target for Pantene ads (actually, any other beauty brand) as I love all things makeup, haircare, and skincare and constantly purchase things. However, I never ever pay attention to the ads related to sports! I remember how all of the glossy magazines published covers in the Olympian style and I felt just “meh” about them. Don’t take me wrong: I’m definitely pro sport, but I don’t like ads featuring sport stars. I just don’t care about them!

    On another note, Ronda is knows far beyond her sport career so maybe that’s why Pantene wanted to incorporate her in their campaign… I still thing it didn’t work. Yes, this woman is fighting, but what is has to do with the hair? I just don’t buy it!

    I like Pantene campaigns that incorporate real people as these are more relatable. Celebrity endorsements don’t influence me much too, especially when it comes to skin care and hair care. I just know that these people are being paid for modeling in the ads and they know nothing about the effectiveness of the product. Saying so, whether it’s Selena Gomez or any other celebrity, I don’t think it’s the right way to go for Pantene.

    For today’s homework, I analyzed the Pantene Haircast idea and I think it was very effective as it relates to real customers of the brand. This kind of ad will make me purchase the product!

  8. I think ronda will do better than selena because selena isnt really someone to look up to. Although she match the ethicnity of the target group she is nothing more than another pretty face. Ronda has accomplished alot in her life and is one of the first women to ever do what she does. While selena is just a girl who got luck disney picked her. I believe role models like old spice or most interest man do really well in commercials. So I believe Ronda is a much better person to strive to be like.

    William Gockel-Figge