--On 21 October 2018, "Clé de Peau Beauté" launched its limited edition holiday collection. Firstly, could you tell us about the holiday collection released every October for the winter holiday season?
Kawahara: Overseas, the holiday season is a lively and enjoyable time, when people exchange gifts with one another. Clé de Peau Beauté takes on the once-a-year challenge of creating a playful collection especially for the holiday season in hope of reaching new audiences. The holiday collection was first launched in 2013, and this marks the sixth collection.
--What is the theme of this year's holiday collection?
Kawahara: The theme is "Collection Féeries d'Hiver,"* and the concept is "open the door to the extraordinary." Clé de Peau Beauté's Makeup Director Lucia selects the product theme and concept every year, along with the color palettes of eye shadows and lipsticks, etc. This year, smoky colors remind one of a winter tea party and the English gardens.
*Féeries (French): Fairyland, Hiver (French): Winter
Nishimoto: Based on the theme, Nagata, the packaging designer, proposed to the team that we collaborate with artist Daria Petrilli. We then commissioned Daria to depict a "mysterious wonderland" that would be applied to the packaging.
--Why was Daria selected for the collaboration?
Nishimoto: Daria is an Italian artist whose illustrations are published in books, children's books, advertisements etc. Her work exudes a surrealist feel while also being adorable. We were mesmerized by her talent.
Kawahara: Brands of low to mid price range create many products that are "adorable," but I think that is precisely why it is necessary to add some refinement, such as "a grown-up joke" or "spicy playfulness," when a prestige brand attempts to create an "adorable" product. Clé de Peau Beauté aims to create products that are persuasive; products that consumers would want to buy even at our price range. This is not limited to our holiday collection, but applies to all our products.
--Could you tell us more about the packaging's special features?
Nishimoto: If you look carefully at the outer carton, you would see that there is a cut-out in the shape of a keyhole. The goddess depicted on the outer box of "La Crème" also holds the key to this keyhole in her hand.
Not only does this tie in with the holiday concept ("open the door to the extraordinary"), it is also brilliantly linked to Clé de Peau Beauté's tagline, "UNLOCK THE POWER OF YOUR RADIANCE."
Kawahara: Our brand name "Clé de Peau Beauté" means "the key to skin's beauty" ("clé" means "key," and "peau" means "skin").
--Clé de Peau Beauté is a global brand, with an international team working on its creative. How did you proceed with this project?
Tomizawa: Since its brand renewal in the spring of 2018, Clé de Peau Beauté has had ambitions for further expansion in the global market and US-based Alisha was appointed Creative Director.
The Tokyo creative team, working in alignment with Alisha, took on the challenge of creating all holiday communication assets, such as promotion videos and website contents, that could be used globally in each market.
We prepared the creative proposals in English and worked closely with our copywriter in New Zealand to produce copy.
--Could you tell me more about the process of writing copy?
Tomizawa: For each of the products, we worked together to come up with a poem that matches the characteristics of each product and the concept of a wonderland. The copy has a whimsical wonderful ring to it.
--I understand that digital content was also created such as the 360-degree video.
Tomizawa: As global campaigns are launched in various countries around the world, it is necessary to create something that is highly versatile and universal. This time, we took on a new challenge of making not just a campaign video, but also a 360-degree video that anyone, anywhere, can experience through their smartphones. Viewers can enjoy more of the wonderland that we have created.
We also made contents that could be used at events, such as the online greeting card "STORY GIFT BOOK," produced in collaboration with CANOPUS INC. Users can send animated e-cards, which the recipients can flip through like a book.
--What points did you pay attention to when producing the videos?
Nishimoto: While remaining respectful of Daria's illustrations, we paid special attention to giving the campaign videos a sense of worldliness unique to 3D animation. We asked the production studio SHIROGUMI INC. to produce the CGI for the story of a rabbit jumping through keyholes and travelling through wonderland. Their expertise in animation is topnotch, and we were all blown away by their amazing creativity and skill. We together also made product videos using the packaging illustrations, which fully satisfy the creative demands of 2D animation.
Kawahara: It was a great collaboration indeed. It is often difficult to make the perfect adjustments. Sometimes a single movement can make the animation excessively adorable, or it can become too explanatory. Thanks to Shirogumi, the videos were well-balanced.
--How was the collection launched in retail?
Tomizawa: For example in Japan, a product launch event was held at Omotesando Hills in Tokyo 21-28 October. We created a spatial experience, where visitors could enter as the mysterious wonderland as if their bodies had shrunk small. Not only was the Clé de Peau Beauté Store in Omotesando Hills in holiday mode, but entire complex invited visitors to experience wonderland. Large banners hung from ceiling to the floor, blownup packaging made their appearances in the staircase, a mysterious tea party setting along with the 360-degree video was on display. It was the first time that the holiday collection was featured in such a large-scale event.
--Are there any special reasons for launching an especially large-scale campaign this year?
Kawahara: The key persons from each department first fell in love with the appeal of the packaging design. They felt that it would be a great hit and sell really well. Starting from there, it became a project where all respective persons-in-charge poured their passion and energy into creating something excellent.
Tomizawa: Inspired by the packaging design, we were able to expand on many playful ideas for digital and spatial design. Through this wonderland we were able to show a more imaginative, playful side of the prestige brand.
--Last but not least, what is your message to those who see the campaign and products?
Tomizawa: The online content "STORY GIFT BOOK," is available for a limited time. I hope that everyone can see and use it as a greeting card this winter.
Kawahara: As expressed through our tagline, "UNLOCK THE POWER OF YOUR RADIANCE," the aim of Clé de Peau Beauté is to be a brand that can raise spirits even when they buy just one lipstick. I hope that customers will pick up our products and experience "opening the door to the extraordinary," and I cannot be happier if that experience opens up doors in their real lives and transform them into something more wonderful and enjoyable.