Staff
Mar 25, 2019

SK-II’s Bare Skin Chat campaign is high on humour

What are Naomi Watanabe and James Corden doing in a beauty campaign? You’ll have to watch to find out.

#BareSkinChat capitalises on a key marketing trend - the rise of video content
#BareSkinChat capitalises on a key marketing trend - the rise of video content
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It’s a given that beauty ads are high on glam and well, beauty – at least society’s definition of it. SK-II is going down a different route with its latest Bare Skin Chat campaign

To promote its Facial Treatment Essence, the brand has enlisted four celebrities in Japan and the United States to make a short film staged in the most intimate space in the home – the bathroom.

In the series, Naomi Watanabe, a Japanese comedian also known as 'The Japanese Beyonce' and James Corden, popular comedian and TV host, turn up in the bathrooms of actresses Kasumi Arimura and Chloe Grace Moretz to get tips on their most coveted beauty secrets. Tomfoolery ensues, with Watanabe and Corden testing Moretz and Arimura's top beauty secret—SK-II’s popular Facial Treatment Essence, also known as ‘Miracle Water’ in Asia. The film trailer came out on March 21.

Bare Skin Chat campaign stands out among the sea of beauty ads with its unusual choice of ‘models’.

While Arimura and Moretz are beauty ad regulars, Watanabe and Corden are known more for their wacky antics on TV. You’re more likely to see the two wildly belting out – or lip-syncing – to a Lady Gaga or Beyonce number than fronting a beauty campaign.

But that unexpectedness works – the trailer notched up nearly eight million views within five days of its global launch.

Naomi Watanabe aka 'The Japanese Beyonce'

Bare Skin Chat isn’t just about selling beauty – it’s also about going against brands who are churning out run of the mill beauty ads without taking the time to build that connection with the audience.

The film series is expected to a hit among technologically adept young consumers who hit ‘skip’ on in-your-face ads, but respond to content that are of value to them – in this case, entertainment.

“At SK-II, we like to say – if it ain’t broken, break it. Over the years, beauty content has some become formulaic—glamorous ads, tutorials, how-to videos. Consumers these days don’t like being pushed product or sold to. We have to behave less like a brand that is trying to sell but a brand that creates a human connection with consumers,” says Sandeep Seth, vice president, global, SK-II.

Wantanabe with Japanese actress Arimura Kasumi

The brand has also decided to split the short film into one to two-minute bite-size clips - ideal for an increasingly mobile-centric world.

As to what shenanigans (there is a bathtub scene) Watanabe and Corden get up to? Viewers will have to tune into SK-II's Youtube channel, where new episodes will be dropped every fortnight beginning on March 25.

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