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P&G Writes E-Book On Head-Scratching Etiquette


While it’s a little out of character for Procter & Gamble to step into the book-publishing biz, its Head & Shoulders brand has just partnered with Nook to publish The Good Girlfriend Guide. It’s “an e-manual of positive girlfriend-to-girlfriend advice tackling everything from beauty faux pas to relationship hang-ups,” April Anslinger, associate marketing director of Head & Shoulders, North America, tells Marketing Daily.

The project was a logical next step for the brand, which hired Alyson (“How I Met Your Mother”) Hannigan as a brand ambassador last spring. That led to the Head & Shoulders for Women Facebook Fan page, which collected over 14,000 etiquette entries and resulted in what she describes as “a truly collaborative e-manual. Our goal is to help consumers live uninhibited lives, and if you have any kind of scalp issue, you know that kind of incognito head-scratching is a problem,” she says.



The guide incorporates advice from doctors, stylists, and fashion experts -- but mostly, regular janes.  “We are incredibly in touch with where we reach our audience,” she says. “She’s very engaged in magazines, online, reading blogs, and using e-readers. This made sense.”

It also points to the very different way that men and women approach the brand. “Men are pretty simple,” she says. “They grew up with fathers using Head & Shoulders, so there’s a lot of trust and heritage. They talk about it differently. If they have a healthy scalp, their hair is manageable. It’s a brand of performance.”

Women, on the other hand, don’t have positive associations with the shampoo. While they are just as likely to love the brand’s comical TV advertising -- using the mind-boggling tresses of Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polamalu -- as men are, Head & Shoulders makes them nervous.  “There are a lot of myths out there about the brand, including that it smells medicinal, that it’s harsh on your hair, or bad for color. Stylists have a lot of wrong information, so we are trying to debunk those myths.”

That, she explains, is what led to linking the brand with Women's Empowerment, a group that educates and supports women in need with the skills and confidence necessary to find jobs and homes, and which will receive all proceeds from the e-book.

“Really,” she adds, “we just want the brand to inspire all the confidence that a good hair day provides.”

Hannigan will also appear in a TV campaign for a separate Head & Shoulders initiative, beginning in February.

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