Visualizing Wellness for Japan

Trends / Wellness
Ippei Naoi
Yuri Endo
Apr 15, 2021
Wellness has been talked about significantly during the pandemic, and it is the primary thing Japanese consumers take a stand for in life. When visualizing wellness, physical fitness tends to come first, but it is increasingly important to visualize wellness multidimensionally, showing not just physical health, but emotional health, as well.

According to our recent Visual GPS study, Japanese consumers' top priority across all generations is the health and wellbeing of their family. Similar to other regions, wellness was already important, but during the pandemic, its importance has increased.
79% of Japanese consumers believe it is very important to talk about mental health
Japanese consumers place almost equal importance on emotional and physical health and 79% of Japanese consumers believe it is very important to talk about mental health. While this is in line with the global picture, in Japan it has slightly increased during the pandemic.

In Japan, one in five people have suffered from a mental illness at some point in their lives. The suicide rate spiked last year, with the number of Japanese women and youth taking their own lives growing, offering a glimpse into the consequences of the mental health strain caused by Covid around the globe. From this, we understand that consumers want to see more visuals that represent mental well‑being and promote the importance of mental health.  

In the last twelve months, we noticed that keywords searches by our Japanese customers related to holistic health such as “Meditation”, “CBD” and “Mindfulness” have risen significantly. These trending terms reflect our new reality and how people are trying to stay healthy, recover and keep sane during this time.
According to our Visual GPS data, we also found that the older people get, the more they are aware of wellness. However, when looking at the visualization of wellness, it’s often the other way around: focusing more on the younger generations. In Japan and globally, people over 50 are often left out of the visual story or represented as feeble and passive. In particular, as Japan's aging population is increasing significantly, showing more visuals of positive senior lifestyles would draw more consumers in.

So what should wellness look like in our visual communication?
Show wellness through human connections
Choose more visuals that represent mental wellbeing to encourage a healthy mind and body. We need to go beyond stereotypes and cliches which represent only the negative sides of mental health.
Bring people over 50 to the center and showcase their dynamic and robust lives—for Baby Boomers, move away from medical healthcare and towards community and togetherness.
The Australian Consumer in 2021