It’s not every day you get to see cosplayers fronting an ad campaign for one of the annual convention’s main sponsors.
For many cosplayers, maintaining a pale complexion to match the skin colour of their favourite characters from the world of Japanese manga and anime can be one of the small details that lifts their look from ordinary to amazing.
It makes sense then, that Shiseido chose to sponsor the World Cosplay Summit this year, bringing attention to their popular range of Anessa sunscreens in a stroke of marketing genius that let cosplayers create their own ads for the brand, complete with official logos and images.
The organisers of the World Summit, which was held in Japan in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, from 29 July-6 August, announced via Twitter that Shiseido was releasing a set of templates so cosplayers could create their own professional-looking ad for Anessa sunscreen.
#コスサミ このたびスポンサーの資生堂さまより、 「ANESSAポスタービジュアルにコスプレ姿を自由に採用できちゃう画像」をご提供いただきました！！！！自由に写真合成OK！めっちゃよい！よいですぞ！＼(^o^)／ 推奨タグ… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
コスサミ公式@いよいよ8/5,6 (@cosplay_summit) August 02, 2017
Cosplayers could choose between two styles of ads, with layouts for vertical or horizontal images featuring both the sunscreens and the tagline, “Beautiful Skin, Forever.”
しろなが (@0529shironaga) August 02, 2017
Some cosplayers chose their images carefully, inserting just one of their favourites to share online.
鳩野サブレ@夏コミ1日目花丸 (@kycn360D) August 02, 2017
くりゅ (@rxargyros) August 03, 2017
While others used numerous shots and characters from their portfolio to create a variety of different ads.
いぶ@次は夏コミ1.2 (@run_run252) August 02, 2017
まいまい 30創作 (@0mm_ply0) August 07, 2017
Characters with pale complexions like these proved to be perfect models for the brand’s skin-protecting properties.
歩 (@10ayumu_ta) August 02, 2017
のめひ💮8/20超閃華【ノ13b】 (@nonecos074) August 02, 2017
くりゅ (@rxargyros) August 03, 2017
Given the nature of the product, a lot of cosplayers incorporated beachside scenes into their ads.
ぽっかれもん🍋お写真DMで下さい！ (@poka_cos) August 05, 2017
うらまる (@uramaru_y) August 04, 2017
すぐやりたがる #レイヤーが日焼けなんてしてらんない https://t.co/aLkkwwrbAP—
mofu@C921日目東え16b (@mofu2002) August 02, 2017
＊藍架＊WCSお仕事🍊 (@orange_aiu) August 02, 2017
▼ Some opted to add parasols to their look.
石子.🐇🍓👓🐾 (@ishikooooo) August 02, 2017
さくのじゃよ〜 (@s2skn) August 02, 2017
▼ While others stripped down to their bikinis in the name of sun protection.
こういうことか！ #レイヤーが日焼けなんてしてらんない https://t.co/f0hSyJSAsW—
浩哉﴾KOUYA﴿コミケ3日目 (@kouya_sara) August 02, 2017
心白 コスサミお疲れ様でした (@awmhbietre) August 02, 2017
non 1日目あ-28a (@monhannoero) August 03, 2017
▼ Poolside photos were another popular choice for creating personalised advertisements.
たつの🍼コスサミ両日 (@tatuno_cos) August 02, 2017
ウサコ (@ASCEUSAKO) August 02, 2017
▼ No matter where the location, sunny days were a key highlight of the ad campaign.
ことり (@__kotori__) August 05, 2017
🎂蒼崎杏子🎂橙子ちゃん生誕祭✨ (@azulrojo47) August 02, 2017
Utahime*TW cosplayer (@utahime_cosplay) August 03, 2017
HOSOn ٩(๑❛ᴗ❛๑)۶ (@gakkari_hoson) August 02, 2017
▼ Some of the ads were put together so well they could pass for official ads.
さくら (@capricoooo5) August 03, 2017
gyava@夏コミ1日目/東せ-23 (@gomikuzujk) August 02, 2017
▼ Even seafaring pirates like Jack Sparrow came out to show support for Anessa!
二代目GMふわさんコスサミ両日参加 (@Huwajack) August 02, 2017
▼ Ladybeard was another fan, joining in the fun with a series of poolside photos.
Ladybeard🎀新曲MV公開！ (@Ladybeard_Japan) August 04, 2017
The genius marketing plan by Shiseido was a resounding success, attracting media attention and bringing a huge amount of attention to both the World Cosplay Summit and the Anessa sunscreen range.
Best of all, though, the sense of goodwill and support for the world of cosplay as the company handed power over the brand to the cosplayers themselves is something that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Next time cosplayers are looking for a product to help give them the complexion of an anime star, we have a feeling we know which brand they’ll be turning to.