Most hair adverts tend to set impossibly glossy standards for us all. I grew up with the Pantene ads of the 1990s, featuring women with veritable waterfalls of shiny, healthy hair, held up as the gold standard to which we should all aspire. But what about 2019? What are the brains behind the big brands telling us we should all want to look like now? Well, according to Pantene, it’s… er, a baby.
In Japan, a one-year-old called Chanco has been chosen to star alongside TV presenter Sato Kondo in the hair brand’s latest advert. Chanco has reached this “influencer” status thanks to an Instagram account, managed by her mother, with more than 300,000 followers. And, yes, she has an incredible head of hair for a human of any age, let alone one who has existed on Earth for less time than Donald Trump has been president (sob). But, erm, she’s a baby. Can babies even use adult shampoo?
Ooshiaki Okura, the associate brand director of P&G Japan (Pantene’s parent company), said: "We feel [Chanco's] beautiful hair has strong power that makes people positively move forward. We went straight to her mother because Chanco's personality and special character matches our image for women we want to support."
Pantene is not even the first organisation to suggest that infants are aspirational. In the last few years, several brands have used famous children in advertising campaigns and social-media promotion. There have even been entire articles holding up celebrity children as mini style icons. Weird? Certainly. Damaging? Maybe. Ageism in advertising is certainly still a problem that needs to be addressed. Are baby influencers the answer? Perhaps not.