Marketing Featured East Asia

L’Oréal Groupe launches new luxury beauty brand through joint venture

Shanghai, China In collaboration with Hotel Shilla and private equity firm Anchor Equity Partners, L’Oréal Groupe announced the launch of its new luxury beauty brand ‘SHIHYO’, through Loshian, a third-party joint venture.

This marks the first time L’Oréal is launching a new beauty brand through a joint venture.

SHIHYO is a newly created skincare brand inspired by the Asian wisdom of the 24 seasons, embodying the healthy energy of nature powered by herbal sciences. The brand’s first flagship store, the ‘Seoul Garden’, will open in the coming months at The Shilla Seoul Hotel in Korea.

“L’Oréal LUXE is very pleased to announce the launch of SHIHYO through a partnership with Hotel Shilla and Anchor Equity Partners,” said Cyril Chapuy, president of L’Oréal Luxe.

He added, “Rooted in an exceptional traditional wisdom and knowledge of naturality, SHIHYO represents the epitome of Asian luxury beauty. Empowered by science, SHIHYO delivers the highest skincare quality thanks to its signature patented ingredient, offering the most elevated luxury beauty experience.”

In-Gyu Han, COO of Hotel Shilla, also commented, “SHIHYO is a luxury beauty brand that brings out the best of naturality and efficacy with seasonal ingredients directly sourced from local farmers in Korea.”

Han further explained, “With our rich retail expertise married with L’Oréal’s strong brand building capabilities, we believe SHIHYO will elevate the desire for natural, luxury beauty in Asia.”

Sanggyun Ahn, managing partner of Anchor Equity Partners, also said, “We are glad to join this partnership to support the growth of the most unique brand in Asia and globally. We have full confidence that SHIHYO will meet the discerning consumers’ needs with new luxury beauty routines.”

L’Oréal has also previously extended its partnership with digital-first agency Lion & Lion to introduce its science-forward skincare brand La Roche Posay to the Indonesian market.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesian beauty startup Sociolla raises US$60m in funding

Jakarta, Indonesia – Sociolla, an Indonesian beauty startup, has raised US$60m in funding, led by Temasek and L Catterton. Other participating investors include existing investors East Ventures and Jungle Ventures.

According to e27, the funding round followed a US$56m funding round that the company announced in May 2021 which it used to support its regional expansion plan.

Christopher Madiam, president and co-founder at Sociolla, said, “Sustainability has been our core principle since day one, and all of our bold moves are always well calculated. This is why we have been able to generate stellar growth despite the pandemic and raise new funds from marquee investors, validating our business model and robust fundamentals.”

He added, “While we have never been afraid to be an industry game changer, our relentless pursuit of sustainable growth over the long run defines us and will continue guiding our path forward.”

Sociolla aims to start with the Southeast Asian region’s over US$10b beauty market. Following its 48 stores across 15 cities in Indonesia, it has also started expanding into Vietnam with 13 locations at the moment.

Marketing Featured South Asia

Beauty brand SUGAR Cosmetics names Carat India as media partner

India – India’s beauty brand SUGAR Cosmetics has appointed Carat, the media agency by dentsu India, to be its new media partner.

SUGAR Cosmetics is crafted across Germany, Italy, India, USA, and Korea. The brand ships its products in lips, eyes, face, and nails, as well as skin categories across the world, scaling its physical presence with over 10,000 retail outlets as of 2020 across more than 130 cities.

As per the mandate, Carat will be overseeing SUGAR Cosmetics’ media strategy, planning, and buying.

Vineeta Singh, the CEO and co-founder of SUGAR Cosmetics, said that Carat’s strategic thinking, experience, and efficiencies stood out, and partnering with them on their media strategy is reassuring, given their data-driven approach in meeting the brand goals.

“The beauty industry is ever-changing and we at SUGAR Cosmetics always like to stay ahead of the curve. As a brand leader, it is my topmost priority to ensure that we keep evolving our strategies to meet consumer requirements. I hope our new association with Carat will help us in this journey of keeping up with consumer trends and stay relevant in the industry,” said Singh.

Meanwhile, Anita Kotwani, Carat India’s CEO, commented that they are pleased to win the media business for SUGAR Cosmetics, and they are committed to creating meaningful end-to-end media solutions through data-driven marketing, and to further accelerate the brand’s growth journey. 

“As a team, we are excited to get this opportunity to work with a brand that is loved by the women of today,” said Kotwani.

Marketing Featured ANZ

L’Oréal Australia joins AiMCO to bolster transparent influencer marketing

Australia – Global beauty brand L’Oréal in Australia has joined marketing board Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AiMCO), to support transparency and best practices in influencer marketing.

AiMCO is an industry body that brings together the expertise of a diverse group of industry professionals, marketers, and content creators who are committed to elevating influencer marketing best practice, campaign measurement, and industry knowledge. Its members are the guiding force behind its mission, principles, and industry codes.

Through the partnership, the members of the beauty brand, namely Emma Williamson, director of customer and social media governance, and Jenna Adamson, corporate legal, will be joining the newly formed AiMCO Marketer Advisory Council as the first fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) beauty brand.

According to AiMCO, this move by L’Oréal Australia proves the importance of influencer marketing, as large brands are now getting on board with the council whose members are drawn from influencer marketing tech, social media, and talent agencies, as well as legal specialists, along with influencers and content creators. 

Commenting on the partnership, Williamson said that they are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with AiMCO and other leading Australian influencer marketing businesses to help shape the landscape in an ever-evolving marketplace.

“Influencer marketing is here to stay. We recognize it is a critical lever in how to engage new audiences, reconnect with our existing consumers, and tap into forms of content that drive consumer trial and purchase. As an ever-present component in our media mix, it’s crucial that we get influencer marketing right. Consumers are savvy and if we want them to trust our brands, we need to ensure that the influencers we work with share our values and are authentic and transparent,” said Williamson.

Meanwhile, AiMCO’s chairman Detch Singh shared, “We’re excited to welcome L’Oréal Australia as the first of many brands to be joining AiMCO as a member. Influencer marketing is core to the media mix and it’s natural for leading and innovative brands such as L’Oréal Australia to want to play a role in shaping its future. The newly formed AiMCO Marketer Advisory council will be essential in ensuring we are addressing the needs of brand marketers with our initiatives moving forward.”

Marketing Featured Global

Skincare brand SK-II launches a ‘virtual city’ to draw people to its animated series on women empowerment

Singapore – As travel restrictions are still in effect due to the pandemic, global skincare brand SK-II has decided to launch its first-ever virtual city called ‘SK-II CITY’ for the premiere of its latest SK-II Studio installment ‘VS’, an animated anthology series that aims to inspire every woman that they have the power to #CHANGEDESTINY. 

The ‘VS’ series is a collection of six animated films based on the real-life experiences of six Olympic athletes including gymnast Simone Biles, swimmer Liu Xiang, and badminton players Ayaka Takahashi, as well as surfer Mahina Maeda, and Hinotori Nippon. They each explore what it means to take destiny into their own hands, overcoming societal pressures like trolls, image obsession, and rules and limitations.

The series is then promoted by the brand through a virtual city, ‘SK-II CITY’, which is inspired by the streets of Tokyo, Japan. It seeks to transport visitors to Shibuya Crossing, and let them sightsee Mount Fuji and Tokyo Tower.

The ‘VS’ series spans a broad range of genres including sci-fi, fantasy, action, and sports. Each episode has its own universe and style, featuring the work of various award-winning animation studios and singer-songwriters.

Visitors can enter the SK-II Studio where they can get an exclusive backstage tour of the ‘VS’ series, and find animation sketches, film trivia, and behind-the-scenes footage from the six athletes.

Sandeep Seth, the CEO of SK-II Global, said that in these times where international travel is still restricted, they want to be able to provide their consumers a gamified experience that they can gain inspiration and shop in a safe yet entertaining and meaningful way.

“We are thrilled to launch the SK-II CITY, as we premiere our next SK-II Studio blockbuster ‘VS’ series. The SK-II CITY is inspired by our Japanese heritage as well as our brand purpose #CHANGEDESTINY,” added Seth.

To find out more about the ‘VS’ Series and learn about SK-II STUDIO and #ChangeDestiny, consumers may visit the virtual SK-II CITY at

Marketing Featured APAC

Mary Kay promotes former CCO Wendy Wang to lead APAC as new regional president

APAC – Global beauty brand Mary Kay has appointed Wendy Wang, its former chief commercial officer, to become the new president for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region team.

The appointment will see Wang providing strategic vision and leadership while working on the company’s growth expansion in the APAC region. 

Prior to Wang’s new position, she worked at Mary Kay’s Corporate Legal Department in 2002 as counsel for the APAC region. Shortly thereafter, she began a multi-year assignment in China and upon her return to the global corporate headquarters in 2012, she was promoted to the position of vice president and associate general counsel, where she was responsible for legal work and compliance in all four regions.

Furthermore, in 2019, Wang returned to China for a new assignment and was promoted to the position of chief commercial officer for APAC in 2020, developing and driving the implementation of commercial strategies, and leading the APAC team in support of sales, marketing, business technology, and operations.

Commenting on her appointment, Wang said, “Supporting Mary Kay’s independent sales force is my greatest honor and it always brings me hope, love, and confidence in our future. We are a people business with a mission to enrich women’s lives and a vision to empower the Independent Beauty Consultant. My team and I are committed to delivering the very best business opportunity, building upon the values Mary Kay upholds as cornerstones of our corporate culture and mission,” said Wang

David Holl, chairman and chief executive officer of Mary Kay, said that the company is thrilled as Wang transitions into her new role as President of Mary Kay APAC, saying that she is passionate about the independent sales force and is a proven leader. 

“During her tenure, she has tirelessly built a strong and talented legal team that created a culture of compliance and compassion for China and the entire Asia Pacific Region. We are thrilled to welcome her as a member of the executive committee as we build on our efforts to enrich women’s lives around the globe,” added Holl.

Mary Kay Inc. which is headquartered in Addison, Texas, U.S.A. has been known for manufacturing cutting-edge skincare, color cosmetics, nutritional supplements, and fragrances.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Sephora SG is now available on Atome

Singapore – French prestige beauty company Sephora in Singapore has now partnered with buy now-pay later service Atome, to allow customers flexible payment options on their e-commerce website, mobile app, and brick & mortar stores.

For Alia Gogi, Sephora Asia’s president, the recent move ensures safer payment options for the consumers.

“The shopping behavior and profile of Sephora customers has evolved in the last few years, but especially so this year. They now not only expect a secure, seamless, and easy payment experience but also flexibility and choice in how they shop and pay for their beauty products online, on mobile, and in-stores.”

She added, ”We’re delighted to partner with Atome in introducing ‘buy now pay later’ flexible payment options to first our Singapore — and later Malaysian — customers, enhancing their shopping experience both online and in our stores.”

Alia Gogi and David Chen
(Left) Alia Gogi, President of Sephora Asia; (Right) David Chen, CEO of Atome

David Chen, CEO of Atome, commented, “We’re really humbled to partner Sephora, a global brand that is not only a leader in beauty and retail, but is also constantly evolving and staying on the forefront of the latest consumer shopping behaviors and payment trends. We’re thrilled to be able to offer Sephora customers in Singapore, and later Malaysia, a safe, easy, and flexible payment experience, especially as we enter the festive end-of-year shopping season.”

Atome is available on the App Store and on Google Play.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PH makeup brand Sunnies Face extends to MY, SG on Lazada

Manila, Philippines – Philippine makeup brand Sunnies Face has now made available its products to Malaysians and Singaporeans through its flagship store on Lazmall, Lazada’s in-app digital mall. 

The brand revealed its digital expansion in both countries through its official Instagram account. On a post Saturday, it shared a screenshot of an article from Harper’s Bazaar announcing the launch of its Lazmall store in Singapore, and only a few days after, another post sharing the news on its store on Lazada Malaysia. 

It posted an animated GIF of its products alongside candies and sweets, with the text “Apa Khabar Malaysia?” or “How are you, Malaysia?” The caption read, “a sweet treat for our friends in Malaysia @sunniesface is now available on lazada Malaysia!” 

Sunnies Face’s main branding strategy is designating in each of its products a unique name. It offers matte lipsticks, which are called “Fluffmattes,” while their other products such as blush-ons, brow makeup, and skin highlighter are called Airblush, Lifebrow, and Glow Boss.

Since its launch in 2018, the brand has been extending its availability outside the Philippines, first launching in China in late 2019 via eCommerce sites TMALL Global and RED. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Digital agency Kingdom Digital produces “Girl Next Door” web series for MY beauty brand

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Digital agency Kingdom Digital has been roped in by Malaysian beauty brand KOSÉ Malaysia to produce the “Girl Next Door” mini web series to celebrate the launch of its new SEKKISEI Clear Wellness range as well as to commemorate its 35th anniversary.

The series will be two-part and will star personalities, Alvin Chong and Jasmine Suraya Chin. The production by the agency is in collaboration with the production company Imagineers Film. 

According to Edmund Lou, head of strategy at Kingdom Digital, the campaign’s objective is to educate consumers on SEKKISEI Clear Wellness’ star ingredient, ITOWA, and to demonstrate how simple, natural ingredients can be formulated to help them achieve healthy, clear, and smooth skin.

The short film tells a heart-warming love story between two neighbors, Josefine and Alvin. The story starts off with the flamboyant female lead going to great lengths to catch her love interest’s eye but her efforts were futile until she embraces the “less is more” concept. 

“We decided on the ‘less is more’ concept as KOSÉ’s latest revamped range is a true personification of minimalism and simplicity. With this, we want to position KOSÉ SEKKISEI Clear Wellness as a brand that upholds the Japanese art of minimalism in both aesthetics and functionality. Working closely with the client, we selected Alvin and Jasmine as the stars of the “Girl Next Door” mini web series as these personalities’ fanbase and followers match KOSÉ’s target audience profiles – especially in terms of the Malay and younger demographics. We believe Malaysians will resonate well with this mini web series, as well as the campaign as a whole,” added Lou.

Meanwhile, Reuben Kang, founder, and filmmaker at Imagineers Film shared that their aim was to convey the agency’s “less is more” concept in a way that was relatable and engaging to KOSÉ’s target audience.

“These days we are seeing a shift towards messages of simplifying and removing unnecessary excess in our everyday lives. However, in the beauty world, this minimalistic lifestyle hasn’t exactly caught on – many young women still hold the misconception that heavy makeup is the must-have look. Through the “Girl Next Door” mini web series, we hope to translate this idea of simplicity and champion that less is, truly, more,” explained Kang.

Also, Annie Tay, marketing manager at KOSÉ Malaysia shared that the rebranding was spurred by the fact that consumers are now more conscious of products’ ingredients. This has resulted in an increase in the demand for skincare with natural ingredients.

“It was essential that we partner with an agency that understood what our brand stands for and the importance of brand-building. We are delighted to partner with Kingdom Digital who was able to seamlessly transform our objective into an entertaining and relatable web series while maintaining the essence of SEKKISEI Clear Wellness as the focal point. With the agency’s strategic approach, we will be able to engage more authentically with our audience through down-to-earth messaging and continue accelerating our online visibility,” expressed Tay.

To drive awareness and evoke consumers’ interest, the campaign will be supported by social postings along with a custom KOSÉ Instagram filter. The filter is currently live, and users can try it by clicking on the ‘Filter’ tab on KOSÉ’s Instagram. Aside from the stars of the web series, a few select influencers will also be promoting this new filter. The campaign will run from 2 October 2020 to 31 December 2020.