Annals of Advertising: Japanese Women Are Beautiful

A couple of years ago, the Dove cosmetics company made history by hiring British photographer Rankin to shoot a campaign featuring beautiful women who also happened to be larger, curvier, and older than most fashion and beauty models. Now a similar milestone has been reached in Japan. For years, advertisements there have featured Western models and beauty role models. But a new campaign for a shampoo from Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido has created a stir by featuring Japanese women.

A couple of years ago, the Dove cosmetics company made history by hiring British photographer Rankin to shoot a campaign featuring beautiful women who also happened to be larger, curvier, and older than most fashion and beauty models. Now a similar milestone has been reached in Japan. For years, advertisements there have featured Western models and beauty role models. But a new campaign for a shampoo from Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido has created a stir by featuring Japanese women. I assume we can expect more of this trend, since the shampoo, called Tsubaki, became the best-selling product in the category. Go here for the story. This could also be a blow to Western model agencies, which already have to battle celebrity endorsers in this country for magazine covers and ad campaign work.
--David Schonauer

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