Japan’s buff Swedish-born gardener and his bodybuilding buds get sweaty on the beach.

In Japan, sunblock has traditionally been marketed as a cosmetic product, not a health-care one. Because of that, ads for it usually feature fashionable young women lounging around sunny seaside locales, in an attempt to reflect the target demographic and its aspired-to lifestyle.

However, Shiseido is taking a very different route with the latest ad for its Anessa sunblock.

If the trio of studly stars looks familiar, it might be because they’re the same group of performers, Tatsumasa Murasame, Shinij Takeda, and Kota Kobayashi, who host public broadcaster NHK’s popular Bodybuilding for Everyone short exercise program. Or maybe you recognize Swedish-born Murasame (birth name Jakob Sebastian Björk) from the time we looked at his rippling muscles/job as a traditional Japanese gardener.

▼ Murasame describes the ad’s filming as “fun” and “very stimulating.”

The group was chosen to appear in the ad because it’s highlighting Anessa’s “Aqua Booster” components, which Shiseido says actually increases the amount of UV protection the sunblock provides when it comes into contact with sweat or other moisture. So after Takeda and Murasame finish lathering themselves (and each other) with Anessa, the three bodybuilding buddies begin strenuously working out…

…and their session ends with Kobayashi, the only one who didn’t apply Anessa before their session of push-ups, squats, and ab work, with some painful-looking tan lines.

The ad closes with Shiseido reminding us that Anessa is the “best for sports,” and all three men have gone on record as regular sunblock users, with Murasame saying he uses it not just when exercising outdoors, but also when doing gardening work.

Looking at the overall ad, it’s a little hard to tell if Shiseido’s primary goal is to promote sunblock as a macho product to a new demographic, or simply to give some appealing eye candy to the female customers who already make up the product’s core users. Either way, though, the ad is likely to leave anyone who watches it thinking that it’d probably be a good idea to put on some sunblock, and maybe hit the gym too.

Source: PR Times
Top image: YouTube/資生堂 Shiseido Co., Ltd.
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