Shiseido to launch new brand for Asian markets

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TOKYO -- Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido is launching a new cosmetics line that will hit stores Sept. 1, aimed at an expanding base of middle class consumers in Asian markets. The new line of skin care and make-up products will have the brand name Za and will be initially sold in about 1,200 outlets in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

Shiseido Asia Pacific Co., Ltd. forecasts sales for the new brand in the first year of $1.8m. By 2000, the company plans to have the Za line of products at 20,000 outlets in more than 10 countries and post annual sales of $88.5m.

"The population of Asia is now nearly two-thirds of the world's population, and huge demand is expected from the Asian cosmetics market, which is estimated to grow by $1 billion a year," Shiseido said.

Television and print media spots for the new cosmetics line have been produced by Tohoku Shinsha. Local advertising companies will translate the Japanese-produced ads in their markets. Shiseido did not release a budget for the ad campaign.

The products, which will not bear Shiseido's name, are being targeted at women in their late teens through 30s. The new product line will be promoted on a mass-marketing basis, with major retailers such as Watsons of Hong Kong being used as outlets.

Karen Mok, the Hong Kong actress and singer, has been signed as the image model for the campaign. Spot commercials will appear on channels such as Star TV and MTV.

Shiseido said the initial campaign will use the theme "Accent the positive" and the product is being positioned around the concept of cosmetics fitness, which means that the company claims the cosmetics will bring out the best of a healthy and active lifestyle.

Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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