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Image: YouTube/資生堂 Shiseido Co

Shiseido Japan’s same-sex kiss ad wins gold in Epica advertising awards

By Katy Kelly, SoraNews24

The Epica Awards are held each year to celebrate the most creative, envelope-pushing works in the fields of PR, commercial products and graphic design. Though the event originated in Paris, France, since 2012 it has become a thoroughly global affair, accepting entries from all over the world and commemorating the top three entries in a given category with bronze, silver and gold certificates.

▼ Shiseido Japan’s entry, the enigmatic short film “The Party Bus – I can’t tell you that I love you“

Not only did "The Party Bus" win the gold certificate for its nominated category (Health and Beauty – Film), its win qualified it as an entry into the top-ranked award provided by the Epica Awards: The Film Grand Prix. Only entries ranked gold can compete in the Grand Prix awards, and Shiseido’s ad triumphed over mighty opponents such as Heineken and Mars to earn the top prize.

The theme of "The Party Bus" is that the heroine isn’t brave enough to confess her feelings. Amidst a busy party on a bus, she gains confidence through a beautiful animatic sequence involving her own makeup, and shares a kiss with her female love interest at the end of the film.


Shiseido Japan has openly shown support for the LGBT community through makeup workshops for transgender people and as co-sponsors of the LGBT event Tokyo Pride. Upon receiving the award, Shiseido’s creative director Masato Kosukegawa said “In Japanese culture there is a strong conservative tendency, and stories of LGBT are not commonly told yet. I think this film was probably the first work by a major Japanese company to address LGBT in an advertisement.”

He also thanked the short’s director, Shou Yanagisawa, and all the artists involved in the project. The film was intended to reach out to young people, and show them the strength that makeup can lend them “in this confused and divided world”.


At the time of writing, the video has over 7,600,000 views and has been embraced on social media with multiple unique reposts and ardent praise. With other advertising campaigns by Shiseido Japan proving successful, they’re definitely a company to keep your beautifully decorated eyes on.

Source: Genxy. Epica Awards

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Fukushima bottled water wins Gold Quality Award in the internationally coveted Monde Selection

-- Japanese cosmetics company’s eight-model video has one big secret【Video】

-- Moon Prism Power Makeup — with actual base and foundation from Shiseido Maquillage!

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Advertising awards

This is where human endeavor through the ages has ended up.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

'Amidst a busy party on a bus' - As opposed to a bus party on a train...?

Kudos to Shiseido for obviously not being run by old farts stuck in the Edo era.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Congratulations to Shiseido! Real clever advertisement. Traditionally Japan has always been tolerant of LGBT relationships, there is no anti-homosexual tradition such as exist in Western Christian nations, such as USA, or Islamic nations.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

That kiss was not sloppy at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Shiseido's creative director Masato Kosukegawa..

He also thanked the short’s director, Shou Yanagisawa, and all the artists involved in the project. The film was intended to reach out to young people, and show them the strength that makeup can lend them “in this confused and divided world”.

"in this confused and divided world"...

And whom are you referring to as being confused Mr. Kosukegawa, the two women kissing or those who are not completely for making this the norm?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Trust a pervert to be the Ad director.. but if this was shown in the west, feminist groups and other groups will sue.. but it is ok here because its kawaii for westerners to see..

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Ganbare - as you said there's no(?) anti-homosexual tradition in Japan based on Christian-Judeo-Muslim moral teachings.

But in this modern era, coming out for LGBT folks is decidedly tough. Schools, workplace environments, families and the general public are not exactly accepting of such, esp in light of what you said re a non-anti-gay history.

Being LGBT in Japan is still thwart with discrimination and intolerance.. Speak to these people. They will tell you.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sometimes, when there's a kiss between two young good-looking girls on TV, I just can't help thinking it's for the benefit of dirty old straight men, and not for supporting the LGBT community.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What doJapanese know about kissing?

Definitely not experts...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ad not helping demography lol.

Ideas are original and surprising at the end.

The filming is neat and fluid so I like it.

Just the fact that a black guy (1 in 100000 people in Japan) gets the bad role was ridiculous.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

very clever add, not a single word is spoken, but the message is conveyed through actions and emotions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I lovely video and a lovely couple. Let's get more advertising on this scale of creativity!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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