Pantene goes grey, more proof of Fortnite’s dominance, and some familiar McDonald’s wayfinding

Pantene Goes Grey

P&G is running a new campaign for its Pantene brand that celebrates grey hair. Developed by Grey London, Publicis Media and Ketchum, the creative puts a new twist on Pantene’s “Power of Hair” project. It includes billboards, print, social and YouTube videos of naturally grey-haired women encouraging people to question beliefs about grey hair.

The campaign began with a billboard showing unbranded shots of grey-haired models accompanied by provocative lines like “grey hair says – you’ve let yourself go.” The next day, the billboard revealed Pantene as the brand, with the line “we say different.”

“It’s part of a broader commitment at P&G on the everyday stances we take through our reach and voice in advertising to promote and encourage diversity,” said the company in a release. “People prefer what’s familiar, so deliberately including people of various races, backgrounds, sexual preferences in advertising creates greater familiarity.”

First ever Fortnite World Cup held in New York

The immense popularity of e-sports was on full display in New York this weekend, during the first-ever Fortnite World Cup at Arthur Ashe Stadium—the iconic home of tennis’s U.S. Open.

An online audience estimated at more than 1 million people also watched Pennsylvania teen Kyle Giersdorf claim the $3 million first place prize—part of a $30 million prize pool that matched the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Fortnite has amassed more than 125 million players since its introduction, transforming parent company Epic Games into a $15 billion company. While the game is free to download, Epic makes money through the sale of in-game items.

Described by one writer as Lord of the Flies meets Hunger Games, Fortnite is a battle royale game in which 100 players are dropped onto an island and attempt to be the last person standing. There is no the blood or gore, and the characters perform comical dance moves that have become a pop culture phenomenon. -C.P.

McDonald’s Paris uses its fries as a wayfinding tool

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McDonald’s is once again using its iconography in a series of way-finding ads, this time in a new campaign from TBWA\Paris (which earlier this year created a series of arresting print ads promoting its new McDelivery service).

Reportedly inspired by the Minimalism movement, “The Right Way” campaign uses McDonald’s fries to direct people to the nearest location. The ads use eight different colours in 64 different combinations.

These way-finding ads have become a popular marketing tactic for McDonald’s. Last month, Leo Burnett Milan introduced a beautifully art-directed campaign called “On our way” that showed a delivery driver making his way to customers on a road created from the McDonald’s “M.”

And Cossette Canada won the Grand Prix in Cannes last year for “Follow the arches,” an out-of-home campaign consisting of a series of billboards that used a deconstructed McDonald’s “M” to direct drivers to the nearest location.  –C.P.

Amazon launches more private label products

Amazon is getting into the business-to-business space with the introduction of a new private label brand called AmazonCommercial. It currently features only a handful of paper products, including 800-foot rolls of paper towels and 1,000-foot rolls of toilet paper.

According to a report on that quotes revenue estimates from the software tool Jungle Scout, the line’s most popular item, an 80-roll pack of toilet paper, sells 1,230 units per month.

The launch marks yet another foray into the private label space for Amazon, and its first in the industrial space. “Now that Amazon has launched private label brands in almost every major product category, it’s clear that no category—no matter how unsexy—is immune from Amazon’s gaze,” says Forbes

The B2B sector is poised for explosive growth in coming years, with Frost & Sullivan predicting that sales will grow to $6.6 trillion by 2020, more than double those of the business-to-consumer sector ($3.2 trillion).

It also seems destined to become a new battleground for Amazon as it seeks to strengthen its already powerful grip on the global e-commerce industry. It will control an estimated 38% of the U.S. e-commerce market this year according to AdAge.

But its immense power has also attracted the attention of regulators. The online retail giant recently came under fire for promoting its private label products at the expense of its competitors, displaying digital pop-up ads promoting its private label products when shoppers searched for competing brands.

The report noted that ads for AmazonCommercial products have appeared on the product display pages of competing brands including Scott and Kleenex, reading “Great quality, better price.”

Forbes, meanwhile, notes that Amazon is contravening its own product guidelines, which stipulate that products’ main image be on a white background. AmazonCommercial products are featured on blue and yellow backgrounds that enable them to stand out from their competitors.

“National brands might say there is one rule for them, and another for Amazon,” the report says.

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David Brown