Best of 2015 No. 4 TV/Film: These Japanese High School Girls Have a Mind-Blowing Secret

Startling Film Shows the Transformative Power of Makeup

Published On
Oct 21, 2015

Editor's Pick

Through New Year's, we'll be counting down the best work of the year in TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Outdoor/Design and Interactive/Integrated (IX) as our picks of the day.

At No. 4 in TV/Film, beauty and cosmetics marketing is largely driven by strategies that involve glam shots, beautiful celebrities or models and a perhaps a word or two about product benefit, but this breathtaking, superbly crafted film, created in-house at Shiseido, illustrated the transformative power of makeup through an intriguing story with an unexpected twist.

Original Story:

This video from Shiseido has gone viral for a reason: It blows even the best cosmetics tutorials away in terms of showing the transformative power of makeup -- but not in the way you think.

The ad opens on a teacher as she's about to enter a high school classroom. She walks in, and the camera moves from girl to girl at each desk -- their delicate faces going from morose, to eager and even giddy, to just plain apathetic -- you know, the kind of expressions you'd expect from teenagers. A woman's soft voice sings in a lilty pop track that plays throughout.

The camera then lands on one girl immersed in a book, zooms in and pauses on one of the pages:

"Kono kyoushitsu ni, otoko ga ita no, kitzuita?" it reads. Which roughly translates to, "Did you notice the boys in this classroom?"

The soundtrack then immediately shifts to a male rap tune and the video appears to rewind, showing how these "girls" are actually guys, miraculously transformed by skillful makeup application.

The ad was created in-house, produced out of Watts of Tokyo and directed by Show Yanigasawa. Check out the Behind the Scenes video here.

H/T Design Taxi.