Shohei Ohtani, a Japanese professional baseball star that plays for the Los Angeles Angels in Major League Baseball, was announced as Kosé global brand ambassador in March.
According to Kosé, parent company of Decorté, the brand has held 100 events featuring Ohtani across Japan, which has attracted new male and female consumers.
The firm estimated that the number of new customers for Decorté products increased by 20% to 30%, which has led to an 8.6% increase in sales, despite negative sales in China and Japan.
“Major leaguer Shohei Ohtani's campaign, which started on March 16, has also contributed significantly to sales growth and has led to the acquisition of a new customer base,” said Shinichi Mochizuki, director and CFO, Kosé Corporation.
In addition to Ohtani’s star power, Decorté launched new products in the skin care and makeup categories, which also contributed to its success in attracting new customers.
“This fiscal year, we will continue to encourage repeat purchases within the brand by enhancing in-store touch-ups, especially for the Liposom series, to expand overall brand sales and enhance loyalty of customers,” said Mochizuki.
Overall, along with Tarte Cosmetics, Decorté contributed to the cosmetic division’s higher revenues and profits, while operating margins recovered to double digits.
According to the firm’s reports, sales in the cosmetics business increased 19.6% to JPY55.9bn (USD407m) and operating profit was up 256.9% to JPY6,460,000,000bn (USD47.2m).
Tapping into star power
Kosé will also continue to leverage Ohtani’s celebrity with its mass brands, especially Sekkisei, which renewed its sunscreen range in February.
Mochizuki revealed that the brand would be starting a campaign featuring Ohtani in July.
“Since H2 of last year, customers have returned to the mass channels, and sales of Sekkisei have been recovering. In February, the sunscreen was renewed, and a sales campaign featuring Shohei Ohtani is running through July.
In addition to having Ohtani as its ambassador, this year Kosé has also introduced the new face of Sekkisei, Yuzuru Hanyu.
Hanyu is a two-time Olympic champion figure skater and appears as alongside long-time brand ambassador Yui Aragaki.
Ohtani and Hanyu were both appointed as part of Kosé’s inclusivity push.
“We will strengthen products of the sunscreen category, for which demand will increase through the summer, to expand sales of the Sekkisei products,” said Mochizuki.
Additionally, Kosé has put out an advertising campaign to promote the use of lip makeup. The campaign, which will run throughout 2023, will promote three drugstore brands, Visée, Fasio, and Esprique.
“Since the COVID-19 regulation was lowered to Category 5 this week, May 8, and the demand in the lip category is expected to recover in the future, we are conducting the lip promotion campaign for three brands, Visée, Fasio, and Esprique,” said Mochizuki.
The company is also seeing an uptick in the prestige makeup category, with sales of Jill Stuart and Addiction increasing in line with the recovery.
“The Japanese makeup market has been recovering since the end of last year, and in Q1, high-priced makeup brands, such as Jill Stuart and Addiction continued to perform well.”