Tokyo, Japan – Head & Shoulders, the anti-dandruff shampoo brand of Procter & Gamble, has released a new animated campaign for its Japanese market, narrating a tale of espionage of dandruff prevention.

Entitled ‘The Chase’, the campaign follows Ando the spy as he is being chased by Detective Takashi and his henchmen across the world. Despite hiding at every corner in the world, Ando is somehow tracked down by Detective Takashi due to the ‘trail of dandruff’ he left behind. But after using H&S scalp product, Ando manages to escape the henchman-now without a trace.

The campaign centers around the message of ‘Don’t let dandruff get in the way’ as Procter and Gamble aims to promote a new line of Head & Shoulders products in the Japanese market. The campaign also aimed at portraying the issue of dandruff among Japanese men in an anime-inspired context, as Japanese men rarely speak about dandruff-related issues.

“The campaign not only marks the launch of our new line of anti-dandruff products in Japan, but is also the start of an exciting new journey where we want to help men break free from the stigma that surrounds dandruff, providing a solution both to a haircare issue and an everyday life barrier,” said Kylene Campos, vice president for Japan and Korea for hair care at P&G.

The campaign was done in collaboration with creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore. The collective has also worked with Psyop/Blacklist – renowned for managing the best animators in the world – and high-profile animation company Wizz’s director duo CRCR to bring the vision of Ando and this adventure to life. 

“Animation is a category convention breaking approach, aimed to stand out from traditional product-focused shampoo commercials. The 2.5D animation style was chosen to convey the desired mix between the realism of the characters and settings and the liberties animation allows for which heightens both the action and humor of the film,” Forsman & Bodenfors stated in a press statement.

According to Shum Qihao, creative at Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore, knowing that talking about dandruff among men in Japan is met with a taboo factor, they aimed to create the campaign to uplift a humorous element to it, as well with a theme of action-packed sequences.

“We conceived Ando to prove the point that getting rid of dandruff is easier than most people think, and created a relatable yet aspirational character for audiences to showcase that. Every scene is crafted to dramatize the annoying consequences of having dandruff and how Ando finally finds the perfect solution to break free from it,” Qihao stated.

Meanwhile, Julia Blomquist, planner at Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore commented, “Greasiness and dandruff are associated with the feeling of shame and perception of being unhygienic, meaning few men discuss the issue or its possible solutions with others, and they are held back in daily life because of it. With this campaign, we tackle the issue by addressing it head on with humor, showing we understand the audience in a way that breaks the category convention.”

The original campaign, initially launched last 8 April, will be also available as two shorter spots catered for TV and social media campaigns, which will be accompanied by key visuals and GIFs for social media and digital display.

In addition, fans can follow the adventure on Twitter using the “#フケから救出大作戦” (#OperationRescueFromDandruff) hashtag. Adding to that, Ando will be taking over H&S Japan’s Twitter account where he will provide advice for men suffering from dandruff. There will also be a question box available for those who wish to ask questions anonymously.