Head & Shoulders Tackles Dandruff Stigma in Japan with Action-Packed Anime Spy Thriller
A fast-paced, action-packed animated adventure becomes the first campaign from Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore for Head & Shoulders in the Japanese market. The category-breaking campaign sheds light on male dandruff – a common yet not openly discussed, hence stigmatised, problem with a simple solution.
“Don’t let dandruff get in the way” is the action-oriented message in the new campaign that launches April 8th across Japan to promote a new line of anti-dandruff products from H&S. The Japanese market is still underdeveloped in terms of anti-dandruff solutions, and very few men dare speak of their scalp issues openly. This campaign dramatises the stigma around male dandruff in an unexpected way by tapping into the popular anime context.
Called 'The Chase', a series of animated adventures tells the story of how our hero, Ando the spy, discovers he has dandruff and ultimately overcomes it with h&s Scalp. Despite repeatedly escaping his nemesis, Detective Takashi and his henchmen, in a chase around the world, he is finally captured. Asking how the detective constantly manages to find him, he learns that what gives him away really is his dandruff. But after using h&s scalp, he once again manages to escape – but this time without a trace.
“The campaign not only marks the launch of our new line of anti-dandruff products in Japan, but is also the start of an exciting new journey where we want to help men break free from the stigma that surrounds dandruff, providing a solution both to a haircare issue and an everyday life barrier,“ said Kylene Campos, vice president Japan and Korea, Hair Care at P&G.
The campaign is developed together with creative collective Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore.
“Dandruff is known to be a sensitive hygiene issue in Japan. We decided to push the boundaries and go with action and humor as an approach. We conceived Ando to prove the point that getting rid of dandruff is easier than most people think, and created a relatable yet aspirational character for audiences to showcase that. Every scene is crafted to dramatize the annoying consequences of having dandruff and how Ando finally finds the perfect solution to break free from it,” said Shum Qihao, creative at Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore.
The humorous story and the charismatic and aspirational character of Ando represent a new chapter in h&s Japan’s advertising, to coincide with the launch of its new line of anti-dandruff products. Through three entertaining films, the brand tackles Japanese men’s fear of judgement over dandruff in a new way; a light-hearted and humorous approach that destigmatizes the topic and offers a simple solution.
Studies conducted by h&s show that more than four out of ten Japanese men suffer from dandruff, and half of those worry that others perceive them as unhygienic.
“We based the campaign on the insight that dandruff is stigmatizing in Japan where the appearance of cleanliness is important. Greasiness and dandruff are associated with the feeling of shame and perception of being unhygienic, meaning few men discuss the issue or its possible solutions with others, and they are held back in daily life because of it. With this campaign, we tackle the issue by addressing it head on with humour, showing we understand the audience in a way that breaks the category convention.” said Julia Blomquist, Planner at Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore.
Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore worked with Psyop/Blacklist - renowned for managing the best animators in the world - and high-profile animation company Wizz’s director duo CRCR to bring the vision of Ando and this adventure to life. Animation is a category convention breaking approach, aimed to stand out from traditional product focused shampoo commercials. The 2.5D animation style was chosen to convey the desired mix between the realism of the characters and settings and the liberties animation allows for which heightens both the action and humour of the film.
The campaign features both a long 70 seconds action film and two shorter spots for TV and social media, accompanied by key visuals and GIFs for social media and digital display.
Fans can follow Ando and his mission under the hashtag “#フケから救出大作戦” (#OperationRescueFromDandruff). Adding to that, Ando will be taking over h&s Japan’s Twitter account where he will provide advice for men suffering from dandruff. There will also be a question box available for those who wish to ask questions anonymously.
This is Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore’s first campaign for Head & Shoulders, a client for which the remit is long-term brand campaigns Japan. Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore has quickly established themselves as champions of creativity in the APAC region; growing from 4 to 22 employees in 2 years, and proving their credentials by winning Bronze for Boutique Agency of the Year - South East Asia in the Agency of the Year Awards 2020.
Featured Companies: QUAD Group
Category: Beauty & Health , Shampoo
Genre: Action , Animation