Shiseido’s breathtaking Ibuki ad premieres in Paris

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Paris has always had the power to take my breath away – for reasons good and bad (have you seen what the tourist traps charge for a coffee these days?) – but last Friday it managed to leave me breathless for all the right reasons.

I was visiting the City of Light courtesy of Shiseido, to witness the unveiling of the brand’s new Ibuki skin care collection, which will make its debut in September. Ibuki, which means “new breath” in Japanese, targets younger consumers aged 25-35. And the idea of breath imbues the entire concept, from formula to communication.

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Shiseido’s new Ibuki skin care collection

After a most convivial lunch with Shiseido Europe Senior Vice President Ariel Gentzbourger and her team, the travel retail media were treated to an in-depth Ibuki presentation – and a preview of the line’s innovative breath-activated media campaign. Various “chapters” of the ad, which lasts for one-and-a-half minutes in total, are set in motion by breathing on a computer screen, tablet or smart phone. We tried the technology for ourselves, via a microphone in front of an audience, and can vouch for its effectiveness. What a clever way to communicate the values and objectives of the line, while mentally – and physically – engaging today’s digital-savvy consumer.

“This [ad] is a world first, the first interactive movie that reacts to breathing, and it opens a new chapter of our brand communication,” noted Shiseido Europe Vice-President Marketing & Communication Florian Hanhausen, at the event. “It’s a new breath for a new generation.”

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Ibuki’s breath-activated ad is previewed to journalists

Ibuki’s key target market is younger women aged 25-35: busy multi-taskers known as “the Millennials”, whose skin is suffering the effects of a stressed, modern urban lifestyle that disturbs its balance and increases its sensitivity and fragility.

The Ibuki collection promises to help their skin regenerate, by delivering a new breath of life to the complexion. Its breathtaking communication programme is likely to do the same within the advertising arena.

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