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Using love stories for Japanese marketing

How can we use love stories when marketing in Japan, and how can these themes be tied to influencer marketing?

Love stories have always been a popular topic in literature, films, and various forms of media, including marketing. In Japan, love stories have played a role in shaping the country’s cultural landscape and have become a key element in advertising campaigns. The use of love stories in Japanese marketing shows that this concept of romance resonates with people all over the world.

Love stories are frequently used in advertising campaigns for cosmetics, fashion, and luxury goods in Japan. These campaigns are usually targeted towards independent, career-driven, and fashionable women. The love stories portrayed in these campaigns typically emphasize the importance of maintaining one’s individuality and identity while finding love.

Best Influencer Campaigns in Japan that Use Love Stories



Recipist is a brand of Japanese skincare products launched in 2019. In this video for Recipist, the brand cast the famous actor and actress Ryusei Yokoham and Tao Tsuchiya, as a couple living together. The love story feels very real and heartfelt. To join the influencer marketing trend, Shiseido also created an account for the couple on Instagram, posting their photos and stories. It gives an illusion to users that they are dating in real life. This love story attracted the interest of many young girls, and their Instagram account hit 257,000 followers in a month. This worked very well as both Ryusei Yokoham and Tao Tsuchiya are Japanese KOL with around 3 million followers between them.



Love stories can be used for marketing not only for beauty products but also smartphones! The concept of this series of TV commercials was ‘I will not miss any of you’ and aimed to promote the high-quality photos of the Galaxy phone. Kento Yamazaki, one of the most followed Japanese actors on Instagram, was featured in this commercial along with Marie Iitoyo, who was cast as the heroin. The follow-up video was also a love story between the same people, but the concept of this was ‘Go beyond Yesterday’, which aimed to advertise the phone’s face recognition system.


Sea Breeze

Sea Breeze is a brand of medicinal cool/deodorant body shampoo products made by SHISEIDO. The main consumer target for this product is junior and high school students that belong to “Bukatsu” which in the Japanese word for a school’s sport or art ‘after school activity clubs. It’s very typical for Japanese students to join school activity clubs and spend most of their school life in “Bukatsu”. This commercial stars Suzu Hirose and Taishi Nakagawa, both popular Japanese actors for teenagers. It features the story of a girl belonging to a tennis club and a senior guy who plays soccer. This TV commercial series is very much like a teenage romance movie, so audiences look forward to watching the next commercial and seeing how their relationship moves ahead.

Japan Tobacco Inc (JT)


The motto of JT is “Think of people’s time”, so with this in mind JT created a campaign called “Omouta”, this word is a combination of Omou (think) and Uta (song), it makes the audience think about their important person when listening to songs. This video is an example that focuses on long-distance relationships. They used Takumi Kitamura and Anna Ishii, a popular actor and an actress in Japan. This video is very emotional, and many people who have long-distance relationships reacted to it since there are so many couples in long-distance relationships in Japan due to company transfer policies.


Love stories are often used as a powerful marketing strategy in many countries, but Japanese people have a different flavour of love stories compared to other countries, as you may have noticed from the videos.  In Japan, in most cases where campaigns have used love stories, they have seen increased engagement and interest from their Japanese audience. The campaigns can also be enhanced and adapted to Instagram to spread social reach.

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