All About Japan

James Cordon & Naomi Watanabe: Beauty Masters

Cosmetics & Medicine Japanese Commercials

Japanese companies are known for wacky TV commercials, but cosmetics brand SK-II has capitalized on this trend with a series of commercials for their PITERA Essence product that features a star-studded cast of Japanese, Chinese, and American celebrities.

The commercials started off with a series of videos titled #BareSkinChat, which has both a Japanese and an English version. The Japanese version features comedian, fashionista, and actress Naomi Watanabe, who is an Instagram queen as well as a beauty expert, and popular actress Kasumi Arimura, while the English version features The Late Late Show’s James Corden and actress Chloë Grace Moretz. In it, Corden and Watanabe, who play parallel roles, ask their friends about their skincare routines and baffle them with their…weirdness.

The English version of the first episode

There are five episodes of the #BareSkinChat, in which Corden and Watanabe learn their friends’ “secret to beautiful skin” is just SK-II PITERA Essence. What seems to logically follow from that is the first episode of the #PITERAMasterClass, in which Corden and Watanabe randomly meet in a bamboo forest–wearing shirts with each other’s faces on them–and fight over who is now the real PITERA Master.

The Japanese version of the first episode

…until an old man sticks his head out of a random wooden building and tells them that neither one is the PITERA Master. So, in the next episode, he proceeds to force them to mix rice with their hands, so they can learn a valuable lesson about "youthful-looking hands."

Chinese actress and a "global spokesperson for SK-II" Tang Wei also makes an appearance. She shows Corden how to speak Chinese, how to pose with SK-II bottles, and how to properly use PITERA Essence…to debatable degrees of success.

Somehow SK-II also managed to snag musician John Legend, who has actually composed a theme song for PITERA Essence, called “Oh PITERA”, although Corden doesn’t really seem to think it’s appropriate for the occasion. Legend sings the song with piano accompaniment as scenes from all of the videos, those posted so far and those upcoming, play, and although the song is beautiful and romantic, the whole production is obviously very tongue-in-cheek.

The videos are pretty silly but actually quite funny, and though they’re very clearly an advertisement for SK-II’s “miracle water”, they don’t take themselves so seriously that they’re annoying to watch, like some ads. There are many more already up and it looks like a few more are going to come out, so keep an eye on SK-II’s channel to make sure you don’t miss the hilarity!

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