Procter & Gamble’s Royal Oils by Head & Shoulders and Gold Series from Pantene are celebrating Black History Month (BHM) by helping Black Americans reconnect with their African roots.
The “Crowns of Heritage” initiative, developed with Burrell Communications and Marina Maher Communications, seeks to encourage people to reflect on their family history through a partnership with AfricanAncestry.com, which owns the largest database of proprietary African lineages.
As part of the program, P&G is giving away 50 DNA test kits through the end of the month. Participants take a cheek swab and send it back to AfricanAncestry.com where they extract the DNA and compare it against their maternal lineage and determine test takers present-day country and ethnic group (tribe) of origin in Africa.
Although the kits themselves do not use hair analysis to trace their heritage, the connection between DNA and hair stems from P&G’s commitment to “scientific excellence,” explains Nadirah Mutala, communications, P&G Beauty.
The company is focused on “elevating the connectivity between innovation and its ability to teach us about our unique history, traditions and legacy,” she says. “Our team of Black scientists have made understanding our hair their mission and legacy, utilizing specialized testing protocols on hair samples of African ancestry to ensure optimal performance and best-in-class product benefits.”
To help jumpstart the campaign, more than a dozen P&G multicultural haircare ambassadors, executives and scientists earlier took the AfricanAncestry.com DNA test and participated in a group reveal. Rolanda Wilkerson, principle scientist for P&G Beauty, for instance, was finally able to share with her children that their family history is beyond Louisiana.
These participant reactions have been transformed into videos airing across multicultural channels. Consumers are also invited to discuss the efforts via social media using the hashtag #CrownsofHeritage.
“This last year reinforced how important connection is to grow and thrive. Technology has been integral to staying connected to family and deepen those relationships,” says Mutala. “The Crowns of Heritage campaign allowed all of us to expand our family group to include ethnic groups from West and Central Africa. Now, we can fully embrace and explore a more complete picture of ourselves.”