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Fort Lauderdale students wins Pantene hair contest

Pantene Reality Hair Star, Marissa Hopson (left), with Stacy London
Pantene Reality Hair Star, Marissa Hopson (left), with Stacy London
photo provided by Pantene

Last Tuesday night, on live television, 24 year old Marissa Hopson was named Pantene's Reality Hair Star. Hopson, a senior in FAU's broadcast journalism program, was chosen from more than 100 contestants. She was chosen based on her ability to be engaging and confident on camera, her personality, and of course--her beautiful hair.

The live ad was a departure from anything Pantene has done before. Unlike traditional Pantene TV advertisements, this ad was not set in a controlled studio environment; there were no re-takes. Instead, earlier in the day, cameras were hidden in Hopson's home, and she was surprised to see herself live on TV as the ad aired and was also surprised by London when she knocked on her front door, without advanced warning, to notify her that she was chosen as the World's First Reality Hair Star. The cameras captured Hopson's genuine surprise and revealed the real-time results of the new Pantene.

From April 2nd through April 18th 2010, Pantene received 140 one-minute videos of hopefuls telling the Brand why they should be the World's First Reality Hair Star. America voted on their favorite videos and Pantene evaluated the submissions to narrow it down to 12 semi-finalists on April 26th. On May 12th, the semi-finalists were flown to New York City for an in-person test shoot that included a consultation with Pantene celebrity stylist Danilo, a makeup and wardrobe styling session, an interview with Grey advertising executives and an audition on camera.

Reached the morning after being named the winner, Marissa found time for a short phone conversation with this Examiner:

It was crazy. I saw the flowers and didn't realize that Stacy was outside my house. Then I saw myself on television and started crying. This is so exciting. --Marissa Hopson

Here's footage of the ad, as it was shown live--

 Marissa Hopson's live moment on television

Jewel Figueras is the Miami Fashion & Style Examiner.  She also maintains the website  You may contact her at or via Twitter at


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