David Blecken
Aug 17, 2018

HP presents three un-stereotypical Japanese women

New work for the Spectre laptop is a subtle but refreshing break from the TV norm.

A campaign to launch HP’s Spectre laptop range in Japan encourages people to overturn limiting female stereotypes.

Developed by BBDO Japan, the local adaptation of HP’s ‘Keep Reinventing’ drive presents three strong female protagonists who have gone against the expectations of society to pursue their dreams.

Their actions include the decision to study abroad mid-career; putting off marriage to forge a path as a DJ; and maintaining a dynamic professional life while raising a child.

HP appointed BBDO to work on the launch at the beginning of the year. In a statement, the agency’s CEO Tony Harris said that while the work challenges “the status quo in Japanese society”, its aim is not “to downgrade the traditional points of view but instead modernise some of them to be more relevant for 21st century life”.

Campaign’s view: It must be said that gender stereotypes still abound in Japanese TV work, so this a refreshing change. The lifestyle choices presented here are not outlandish by any means, but they are certainly a deviation from the more common dutiful housewife or dilligent junior office worker.

The work doesn’t just present ‘alternative’ characters for the sake of it; in the end, doing so should make the brand easier for real people—many of whom share similar aspirations—to relate to.

Just to be clear, “reinventing” here presumably refers to the freedom to reinvent oneself. We think stereotypes should be discarded altogether rather than reinvented.

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