Playing games: J&J-owned Dr. Ci:Labo ramps up travel retail presence to attract more Chinese consumers

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Dr. Ci:Labo is tapping into travel retail with a virtual interactive game targeted at Chinese consumers travelling in South Korea. ©Dr. Ci:Labo
Dr. Ci:Labo is tapping into travel retail with a virtual interactive game targeted at Chinese consumers travelling in South Korea. ©Dr. Ci:Labo

Related tags Johnson & johnson Dr.Ci:Labo China South korea

Japanese skin care label Dr. Ci:Labo is tapping into travel retail with a virtual interactive game targeted at Chinese consumers travelling in South Korea.

The game, which is exclusively available in South Korea, can be accessed via Weibo, WeChat and CTrip. It features Chinese celebrity and brand ambassador Liu Yuning and an animated character Dr. Rabbit as they journey though South Korea to “solve pore issues”.

Users can collect points by solving these puzzles and redeem special gifts including a limited-edition bottle signed by Liu Yuning, at selected Korean duty free locations operated by Shinsegae Duty Free, Lotte Duty Free, Doota Duty Free, HDC Shilla Duty Free and Hyundai Department Store.

Sandrine Tesnière, head of marketing, media and digital travel retail Johnson & Johnson told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that it chose to roll out the campaign in South Korea as it still remains a hot destination for Chinese tourists.

“Dr. Ci:Labo has a strong business presence in South Korea, and Chinese consumers continue to travel significantly to that destination. Chinese inbound traffic to Korea was up 28% YTD August vs. last year. So, it made sense to support our retail partners in Korea with this initiative.”

According to Tesnière the company has seen exceptional results from this campaign.

“[The game] is proving to be an effective conversion tool. After four weeks, 50,000 people had played our game. Amongst the people who redeemed the coupon, 54% were new Labo Labo buyers and 55% were in the 18 to 32 age group, proving that this platform is a good tool for recruitment and engagement with Labo Labo’s key target audience.”

Tesnière added that the game will continue to run till the end of the year to help new consumers discover Dr. Ci:Labo and drive footfall for the brand.

China success story

Since launching in China in 2017, Dr. Ci:Labo has experienced tremendous success. In 2018, it rose to become number two brand on Tmall and its Labo Labo Lotion snatched the top spot in the toner category.

Last year, the brand participated in Tmall’s Super Gathering Day for the first time and was the number one brand in terms of sales, said Tesnière.

“Success continued to accelerate and in September 2018, Dr. Ci:Labo became the first brand on TMall Super Brand Day to achieve over 650 million impressions,”​ she added.

Additionally, it also opened the doors to its first boutique in Shanghai. The boutique takes up three storeys and a host of interactive shopping experiences.

“[The boutique ]offers a connected brand discovery with smart POS, a beauty treatment floor and a studio with remote connection to Japanese beauty advisors, real-time broadcasts in Tmall and live beauty advisors consulting. Success has been tremendous so far thanks to a strong online to offline strategy,” ​said Tesnière.

Tesnière believes the brand’s success in China can be attributed to the trust Chinese consumers have in the brand.

“Dr. Ci:Labo is the number one medical cosmetics brand in Japan and benefits from amazing awareness and a high retention rate because it enjoys a strong level of trust,” ​she said,

The Dr. Ci:Labo portfolio comprises medical-grade skincare products for everyday use and it is rare to find brands that have such strong medical credentials. Our USP is that we are positioned as a skin health brand and our products are backed by significant science-based innovation.”

Following the success of its flagship, the company plans to roll out more boutiques across China in 2020.

However, the brand also continues to see plenty of opportunities to drive the business by targeting the travel retail channel.

Tesnière said: “The Chinese are the biggest consumers of beauty products in travel retail. The channel offers the opportunity to broaden the brand’s reach and recruit new Dr. Ci:Labo buyers by giving consumers opportunities to experience a brand that was originally only available in Japan via prescriptions from clinics.”

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