Product / ServiceLUX HAIR
CategoryA01. Fast Moving Consumer Goods


Name Company Position
Aki Mizutani cutters studios tokyo Film Director/Editor

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

The creative clearly shows the brand’s action breaking Japanese common sense; to show gender in recruitment process. The brand took an action to change the CV format in recruitment process of the company with support of HR, to remove all gender-related elements (gender, photo and first name) in order to take away unconscious bias on gender. This work clearly shows the brand’s action and the reason behind; that hiring is about competency, not gender.


Japan is sitting at 121st out of 153 countries in terms of Gender Gap Index, where still many gender-related unconscious biases can be found. In recruitment process, still gender related inputs are required, and the brand revealed the fact through a research that 1 in 5 people in charge of recruitment preferred male applicants for certain types of jobs, just because of their gender. Additionally, 1 in 4 who are in charge of hiring felt that male and female were not equally treated in recruitment process. The brand tries to take away these unconscious gender bias by visualizing the issue and taking the initiative to remove all gender related information from CV, clearly showing that it supports all women to shine.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

The core idea is to show that gender must not affect hiring by showing 2 applicants, male and female, having same experiences, skills, and a name – the only different element is their gender. The creative shows an interviewing scene of Hikaru Tanaka, starting from the scene showing a CV. She and He talk how they got interested in mechanical engineering – area often considered to be “male’s study” – and that they entered University of Tokyo. They fluently talk about their extraordinary skills based on their experiences. At the end, it reveals that both applicants were “same” except for their gender with a powerful message “If Hikaru is the most qualified candidate, does his/her gender matter?”. It ends with the message “Let’s remove gender from the hiring process in Japan”, clearly showing the brand action to actually taking away gender from CV.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Although the film itself is focusing on new grads recruitment, our core message “hiring is about competency, not gender” is relevant not only for students but for everyone who has experienced job hunting or work experience. It will especially be relevant to people who have experienced gender inequality during hiring process – which tends to be female in Japan. The creative took an approach to persuade the viewers that gender must not affect hiring by showing 2 excellent applicants, with same background and competency with different genders.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

The brand action was taken from 2020 March 6th, with a newspaper Ad on Nihon Keizai Shimbun (largest financial newspaper in Japan) to clearly state the brand’s point of view with a powerful core message “We removed photo from CV used in recruitment” with statements describing the reason behind. Since then, all gender-related elements have been removed from CV format for all hiring process in the company. Film was used as a YouTube Ad from March 10th to April 5th. The execution also included tie-ups with local media (Huffington Post Japan, The UPDATE) with celebrities and influencers to raise awareness and relevance given that the gender gap had low interest and attention. Tie-up with Huffington Post Japan covered 4 different “Social Damages” that women experience in Japan (inequality in workplace, gender and appearance, unconscious bias on age, pressure of “Ryou-Sai-Ken-Bo (good wife and wise mother)” – a Japanese idiom).

List the results (30% of vote)

The brand activation initially created a buzz on social media with over 14k tweets in 1 week, resulting multiple TV programs, newspapers, web media to highlight the project. Advertising conversion value from the project launch to 2020 year end was 337M JPY (approximately 2.7M euro) with astonishing exposure on 7 major TV programs, 21 newspapers, 215 web medias. The YouTube film gained approximately 1.7M views, with 94% of positive reactions. In July 2020, Japanese Industrial Standards removed CV format with gender and photo from a standard example, and one of the major stationary manufacturers in Japan began to sell CV without gender from December 2020. The project made consumers aware of unconscious bias on gender, and question them on Japanese standard to ask gender in hiring process.

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