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Shiseido aims to break Asian stereotypes with film that focuses on millenials and diversity, not product

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By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

September 22, 2017 | 2 min read

Japanese skincare company Shiseido released a film aimed at millennials in June 2017 that introduced a new product range called Waso, which was inspired by the Japanese washoku philosophy and made up of natural ingredients such as carrot, loquat leaf, tofu, white jelly mushroom and honey.

The 30 second film, which was produced by Arcade, opens with the question: ‘Where does beautiful skin come from?’, and stars five naturally made-up young millennials from different Asian ethnicities shot against a range of natural backgrounds.

What stands out in the video is that it captures the diverse and confident faces of young Asian millennials juxtaposed against the beauty of nature, as well as not mentioning the product benefits and instead encourages viewers to do their own product research.

Mark Taylor, co-founder and chief creative officer at Arcade tells The Drum that the agency chose this approach because it wanted to break away from the traditional stereotype of Asian skin being fair (from East Asian culture) and to embrace the diverse beauty of different skin types. “What they all have in common is healthy, glowing skin - which is what Waso enables and protects,” he says.

“We also want to change the perception that Shiseido is a skincare brand that only caters for a more mature audience. Waso was created to appeal to a younger age group. There is also a trend amongst millennial women of purchasing natural and organic products,” Taylor adds.

Taylor further explains that the agency wanted to communicate the idea that “All Things Beautiful Come From Nature” and the idea that Waso brings to life the best of both worlds, which is skincare that works and is a fun experience.

More importantly, Tay says traditional beauty product advertising focuses a lot on the science and Waso hopes to break that trend by staying true to its philosophy of using natural ingredients for young skin.

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