Advertisement Analysis: Uniqlo
The purpose of an advertisement is to introduce a new idea, service, or product to potential customers through different channels or patterns. This advertisement is named “Science of LifeWear”; it was first launched in the US in August 2016. Through this advertisement, Uniqlo ignites a dialogue on human attitudes toward clothing. By observing how people live, behave and interact, raises one philosophical question: “Why do we get dressed?”. The advertisement selects several locations in one city, and they together compose six different senses and six different kinds of lifestyles, showing innovative high-quality clothing that is popular in design, comfort, and made for everyone in their daily life. While conveying the business’s new idea, this advertisement also introduces several new products to the audiences, such as legging pants, jeans, sweaters and cardigans, HEATTECH collection, and ultra-light down collection. Uniqlo is a global casual apparel brand that was founded by Tadashi Yanai in 1984 in Hiroshima, Japan. It manufactures and retails casual wear. By the end of August 2017, Uniqlo has operated 1920 stores worldwide. Moreover, it ranked 168th in the 2018 World Brand Top 500 list. This advertisement is intended to encourage people to think about the attitude of life behind dressing, and also to let people think about the question ‘Why are we dressing?’ Uniqlo is characterized by convenience, comfort, and leisure, so its target consumers are people of all ages who do not pursue exquisite and complex costumes, especially the young working class.
In 2013, Uniqlo changed its brand slogan from “Made for All” to “LifeWear”. From the change of brand slogan, it can be seen that Uniqlo’s attitude of the product also changed from “deliver what it can provide to consumers” to “thinking about the needs of consumers”, which is a shift in thinking mode. Uniqlo hopes that by asking consumers to think about “Why do we get dressed?”, consumers will explore the meaning of clothing for people in their daily lives. Can it be used to meet people’s clothing needs? Come to more creativity, imagination, and pass on your life attitude to the outside world?
According to some researches on the internet, this advertisement was filmed in Tokyo, Japan. The company chose to shoot in its ‘hometown’ for the commercial which contains its first change in business philosophy and its apparel understanding to the cloth since its inception. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and it is also a diversified international metropolis in every respect. This city accommodates people of all ages, countries, races, and genders while implying the diversity of Uniqlo’s customer base, it conveyed a question in this advertisement: “Why do you get dressed?”.
The characters of Uniqlo are comfortable, cost-effective, and all-match, so its advertisement is also simple, fast, and close to life. Abandoning the gorgeous scenery and advanced special effects that can be brought by the photography in the studio, the company decided to set the location of the photography at the street, building, square, park, library, and residential communities that are closely related to the lives of the people. What’s more, instead of inviting well-known celebrities to increase the public’s attention, the company chooses to use no-fame models and ordinary people to finish the entire advertisement. This decision means that Uniqlo gives up the great appeals and influences of stars. The advertisement uses slow motion to zoom in and slow down people’s behavior in life, to give the most ordinary movements some special beauty: the slow-motion emphasizes the elegance and soothing of the movement. Slow-motion also emphasize key actions and cause audiences to make associations with this advertisement, take one step further, with Uniqlo: “Do I do the same thing as he/her every day?”, “Do I have some similarities with him/her?”, or “Can Uniqlo also fulfill my demand just like it able to satisfy his/her needs?”. All of these actions aim to provide audiences with familiar conditions to inspire their inner resonance.
Although the content of this advertisement has a little bit of philosophy, its aside is pretty close to our lives. For example, “What happens when work is done?”, it’s a question that every office worker will think about every day; “Do you get dress because of the cold? What kind of cold?”, everyone has experienced cold, no matter physical or psychological; “Be in warm makes you happy, and being happy makes you warm.”, warm and happy defend cold, no matter physical or psychological.
In this video, several scenes can incarnate the perfect combination of copywriting, voice-over, and background video, which enable the audiences to more directly understand what the advertisement wants to express. First, when the speaker says: “Do you just throw something on because you are late?”, a man rushes away in the video. Second, when audiences hear “Warm color will release dopamine, in other words, it can make you happy”, a girl in a red sweater and her father who wear a red plaid shirt show on the screen; this little girl sitting on her father’s shoulder, chasing a yellow balloon. Her ingenuous smile and the color they wear all make audiences feel joyful. Third, when the speaker says: “Why do you want to fit in?”, there is a man with long hair inside the screen who looks back. In most Asian countries, although people will not be scared of men who have long hair, most people still don’t accept such appearance and treat them as weirdos. So, does he want to fit in? If so, he needs to cut his long hair, and become a gregarious person but loses his own characteristics. In this diverse group of people, do we want to integrate into them or stick to be ourselves? Fourth, when the speaker says: “What’s on your mind when you get dressed? You nine to five? Or five to nine?” there are two ladies walks before an office building: one wears a coat, a black sweater, leather shoes, and carrying a laptop package, another one walks her dog in a short jacket, white sweater, white sneaker. Both of them represent two different images: one is “nine to five” and another one is “five to nine” — a busy lady work and a leisure lady after work. When saying: “What happens when work is done?” it zooms in the second lady with her dog. In the park, a black girl and an Asian lady wear the same sweater, but they give the same sweater two different kinds of feeling: one is youthful and lively, another one is elegant and graceful. This corresponds to the “Can you wear the same thing but feel completely different?” in the narration.
At the end of the commercial, the logo and slogan appear on the screen. The original logo of Uniqlo was designed in 1991, and it was only in English. In 2006, Uniqlo invited Kashiwa Sato to redesign its logo. The background color of the logo changed from black to red; Katakana, Japanese lettering, and English are written in white on the bright red. Red is the color of passion and power. What’s more, the use of red and white has a deeper meaning: it’s the color of the Japanese flag. The shape of the logo resembles a Japanese ink seal. These changes have all deepened the Japanese traces on Uniqlo. The slogan of Uniqlo is “LifeWear” which was changed from “Made for all” in 2013.
This advertisement puts the scene of daily life on the screen; the aside is also very close to life. The combination of narration and video content makes their attraction even bigger; it’s like one plus one is greater than two. Even although audiences know it’s an ad, they can feel more in it the same in the advertisement. It is not only for promoting its brand and clothes but also wants to explore the philosophy of living and being as human. Any advertisement that can arouse the audience’s identity, make the audiences have resonation, and be remembered by the audiences in their brains is successful.