“I like myself better now than when I was younger.”—A PRIOR promotional campaign starring attractive older women
Parties held across Japan for women over 50 to have fun with “beauty”
--I understand that PRIOR, a cosmetics brand launched in 2015 that conducts research into concerns unique to grownups, organized an experience-oriented event titled “Party for Blossoms of the Future.” Could you tell us more about the objectives of this event?
Tsunoda：The “Party for Blossoms of the Future” is a support event that encourages women over 50 to reaffirm the fun of makeup, with the aim of spreading the message “Let’s be beautiful together.” It was held at seven venues across Japan from September to November 2016. The event covered various activities including ikebana shows, fashion shows of current trends, and shows presenting makeup tips by Shiseido’s hair and makeup artists.
Murasawa：On top of that, about 2,000 participants selected through a draw had the opportunity to experience makeup and receive advice from our beauty consultants. After their beauty transformation through the makeover, they had their photographs taken individually by three professional photographers, including Rowland Kirishima. All the participants took the photographs home with them.
--Mr. Murasawa and Ms. Tsunoda, you both visited almost all of the venues during the course of this event. Did you discover anything new by observing the female participants in the event?
Murasawa：In the questionnaire that we asked the participants to fill in, there was a question “What aspects do you like about yourself better now than when you were younger?” Many of the respondents selected the answer “I am more relaxed now and I like myself better this way.” I get the sense that all the women are enjoying their lives with a positive attitude as they grow older.
Tsunoda：What left a strong impression on me was the large number of respondents who indicated that this was the most enjoyable time of their lives, as the experience they have gained through life has helped them to develop a sense of self-composure.
Murasawa：That is why I felt that our ideal stance is not adopting the presumptuous attitude to cheer up women over 50, and the correct approach to take may be to say to the women of that generation, who are already glowing and gorgeous, “Please allow us to help you become even more beautiful.” Our proposal to them is, “You can have even more fun through makeup.”
Show presenting makeup tips by professionals, held on the stage
Jump, laugh. Behind the scenes of lively photographs.
--The newspaper advertisements publicizing the event contain photographs that capture the lively and vivid expressions of the female models.
Tsunoda：The overall visuals were conceptualized based on a single keyword, “splendor.” We asked the stylist, Ito Sacico, to style the models in bright-colored clothes that women could wear in their everyday lives, and clothes that women of this age group would look natural in.
Murasawa：In fact, the models that you see posing in the advertisements were members of the general public. That worked well, and the result is a sense that we have created an atmosphere of natural enjoyment and fun.
Tsunoda：The photographer was ND Chow, who is also in charge of PROIR’s advertising photographs. No composite photographs were used at all; the key point was to capture everything with just one shot.
Murasawa：We played loud music in the studio, and the models gradually became more relaxed. The atmosphere was really lively and exciting.
Tsunoda：During the shoot, ND called each of the women by their first names, and shouted “Everyone, jump!” when he was photographing the jumping scene (laughs). He persisted till the end, taking two hours longer than the initial shooting time that we had scheduled for, and successfully captured the moment when each model presented her best smile.
Advertisement for the “Party for Blossoms of the Future” published in national newspapers
“Senior women? Who are you talking about?”… The inspiration behind the relatable copy
--The main copy used for this promotional campaign is “Act II is far and away the most fun.” What was the inspiration behind this copy?
Murasawa：Actually, the initial proposal for the main copy was “Today is the start of the future.” However, after witnessing the photo shoot for the advertisement, we felt that this copy was far too mild and gentle. We thought about it again after the shoot and decided to replace it with “Act II is far and away the most fun.”
--At Ginza Station, near to the Tokyo International Forum which was the venue for the party in Tokyo, you also put up advertisements that seem to convey in part this feeling of dynamism and energy.
Tsunoda：During the shoot for the group photograph that will be used in the advertisement, ND invited the models one by one while they were on standby after their makeup was applied and took their individual photographs. These photographs turned out excellent and seemed to reflect the character of each woman, so we decided to use them in the transit advertising.
--In addition to the wonderful photographs, the humorous catch-copies such as “It is not a dream to be beautiful at 100” and “Senior women? Who are you talking about?” also draw our attention.
Murasawa：These were some of the proposed copies that we came up with for the newspaper advertisement that was published first. Our aim was to use words that people would be able to relate to.
Tsunoda：I believe that many people only take side glances at transit advertising as they walk past, but I was really happy to see many passers-by stop in front of our advertisements to take a good look.
Transit advertising: “Senior women? Who are you talking about?”
Transit advertising: “It is not a dream to be beautiful at 100”
Transit advertising put up at the station nearest to the event venue in Tokyo
The positive attitude of the “PRIOR generation” conveying the “true-to-life” appeal of women today.
--After the “Party for Blossoms of the Future” ended at all seven venues across Japan, a newspaper advertisement that featured one woman from each of these venues was also published. What were the events that led to the production of this advertisement?
Murasawa：We wanted people to know that there are more and more members of the wonderful PRIOR generation across all parts of Japan. We also hope that young people who see this advertisement will start to think that growing old is not such a bad thing after all.
Tsunoda：Personally, I also wanted the men of the same generation to know that the generation of women whom we call “seniors” are not the “grandmothers” that they perceive them to be. I wanted them to reaffirm the “true-to-life” character of women today.
Murasawa：In the process of coming up with the series of copies for this campaign, I nodded a million times in agreement to the quote by Walt Whitman (1819-1892), an American poet often known as “the father of free verse” in American literature: “The young are beautiful – but the old are more beautiful than the young.” As a copywriter, I feel strongly that “It is not a dream to be beautiful at 100” just like we said in our transit advertising. I hope that women will continue to dress as they please and have fun with makeup even as they grow older.
Newspaper advertisement featuring the photographs of women who participated in the “Party for Blossoms of the Future”
Published in March 2017
- Ken Ono Creative Director
- Creative Director, Advertising and Design Department, Shiseido. After graduating from the Department of Visual Communication Design at Musashino Art University, he joined Shiseido in 1990. He is currently in charge of the creative direction of brands including ANESSA and PRIOR.
- Nao Tsunoda Art Director
- Art Director, Advertising and Design Department, Shiseido. Joined Shiseido in April 1999 after graduating from the Department of Crafts, Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. She has worked on art direction for INTEGRATE (06-09) and HAKU (09-12), and is currently in charge of PRIOR.
- Hiroaki Murasawa Copywriter
- Copywriter, Advertising and Design Department, Shiseido. After working in a film company, advertising agency, and advertising production company, he joined Shiseido in July 2000. He currently works on brands including PRIOR, AUSLESE, and The Collagen.
- Mieko Ichiba Producer
- Producer, Advertising and Design Department, Shiseido. She had previously worked in areas including GMS head office sales, specialty store policy, and mass media, and joined the Advertising and Design Department in 2016. She is currently in charge of brands including PRIOR, MAQUILLAGE, and HAKU.
- Nao Tsunoda
- Hiroaki Murasawa
- Ken Ono
- Mieko Ichiba