Some of this year’s beauty brand-model pairings are perfect matches with the model and the brand’s image, while some are a bit more questionable. There’s a back story for these castings, so we made sure to get the inside scoop.
The Body Shop Favor Musicians?
Could the popularity of the show, “I Am a Singer,” be the reason for The Body Shop’s affinity for musicians? Kim Yoon Ah replaced Tiger JK and Yoon Mi Rae as models for the brand. The use of idol models conflicts with The Body Shop’s image; instead, the company prefers older models who have aged gracefully. Park Eun Kyung from the brand’s PR team, added that she checks potential models’ past “campaign” experiences. Kim Yoon Ah was the perfect candidate because of her involvement in various campaigns, including social impact work. “Our main event every year is a joint campaign with MTV for AIDS; we looked for models who could collaborate with us for the event and it just so happened that they were mostly musicians.”
Lancome Prefers Housewives?
Last year’s Lancome model was actress Jung Hye Young. Her elegant image is perfectly suited for Lancome, but she was unable to stay on as a model for the brand due to her fourth pregnancy. Lancome has now signed on newlywed, Eugene. Could Lancome be favoring housewives? There is apparently a different reasoning for the brand’s choice of Eugene to represent the brand: “When asked to pick a celebrity who has expertise in beauty, people think of Eugene. She’s already published multiple books on beauty, and is host of cable TV program, ‘Get It Beauty,’ strengthening her image as a beauty expert.” Lancome explains that their decision on signing on Eugene is because her recognition and approval for a product would increase the beauty brand’s appeal with people.
SK-II Wants to Be Younger!
“Kim Hee Ae is on her ninth year as an SK-II model, and Im Soo Jung is on her fifth. Because they’ve both been representing the brand for so long, their trust as beauty mentors is getting stronger; however, the problem is that brand image itself is aging. Women in their twenties, the target demographic for our products, consider SK-II a ‘wannabe’ or aspiring brand that older women use.” SK-II’s PR Team leader, Jo Da Som, explains that this discrepancy in the perception of their brand and their target demographic is the reason the brand is desperately recruiting fresh and youthful models in their twenties.
International Brands and Korean Models.
Chanel has never used a Korean model in the past—they’ve gone so far as to use a Caucasian model for a whitening product line launching only in Asia; this is attributed to the brand’s identity, which has the pursuit of “French chic” at its core. Make Up For Ever, another brand which has never used a domestic model, has signed on Jang Yoon Joo this year. Jang Yoon Joo’s “sharp and artistic image” is a great fit with the brand’s concept. Dior is on a relentless search for the perfect Asian hallyu beauty icon—a universal model who appeals to all customers across Asia. This year, they have signed on Kang So Ra from “Dream High 2”. Chanel and Dior are both headquartered in France, but their recognition of Korean models are polar opposites!
Idols Shift Around.
It’s hard even for editors to keep up with beauty brands’ ever-changing idol models. Idols transform their image drastically, and their contracts usually range from six months to a year (the norm for contracts with actresses is two years). Idols are great at instantly raising brand awareness (especially hallyu stars), but scandals and the like can quickly change consumers’ opinions. This year, Etude House signed SHINee and The Saem signed on IU as new models for their brands; idol group, Kara, represents the beauty brand, Nature Republic.