Show 13. juni 2024

SK-ll: Marriage Market Takeover – building a cultural movement in China

Forsman & Bodenfors, Be On / AOL


SK-ll / P&G Singapore

Kategori :

Type :

Vinder af Social - Conversation


Hvordan skaber man samtaler om kosmetikprodukter på det kinesiske marked? Man tager en stærk kreativ kampagne og seeder indholdet til kvindelige influencers i den vestlige verden, fordi progressive kvinder i Kina – på trods af ”The Great Chinese Firewall” – følger vestlige influencers. SK-ll: Marriage Market Takeover modtager sølv på grund af en stærkt indsigtsdrevet mediestrategi, hvor man formår at udnytte synergierne mellem lokale og globale samtaler for på den måde at skabe et enormt engagement og imponerende resultater på et ellers meget komplekst marked.


SK-II is an international prestige skincare brand looking to grab a larger share of the Chinese market. But in China advertising for cosmetics is often rational and celebrity focused. “Use this cream and get flawless skin, just like this movie star.” In order to stand out, SK-II was looking to do something with emotional quality.
They had already established #changedestiny – a campaign designed to inspire women to shape their skin destiny. The creative idea wanted to elevate the campaign to include “life destiny”. To achieve this we (F&B & Be On) traveled to China to conduct interviews with women in the target group. The Sheng Nu label, meaning “leftover woman”, and the pressure to marry, sometimes at the expense of their careers and independence, emerged as a big issue in their lives.
The objective was to change the perception of Sheng Nus and challenge the way we view single women all over the world.

To do this we said that we needed to create a movement not only in China, but outside of China as well - as a way to mobilize voices across cultures to support the idea that "as a woman, no matter where you are from, you should be able to marry for love and not out of pressure".

On top of this, the pressure to marry and the concept of Sheng Nu is widely stigmatized in China - so we faced a huge challenge in opening up conversations about this to facilitate an actual response from Chinese women - and no brand had previously dared to talk about this controversial subject.


To truly create a movement that would open up conversations about the pressure to marry we needed to understand our target group from every angle. Based on our research in Beijing and Shanghai we worked integrated, F&B and Be On, to build the creative solution in tandem with the media strategy. We surveyed opinion and online behavior among our target audience, and build specific messaging/stories to connect with different types of women - those that were progressive, those that were not, and all the women in-between. We also found out that many Chinese women circumvent the "great Chinese firewall", blocking access to Facebook, Twitter, Google etc., by using VPNs. The women who did this were generally more progressive and followed a lot of influencers from US and Europe. These women were looking for inspiration outside of China, and were very much influenced by western culture.

We also knew that in China, word of mouth is integral, as 48 percent aren’t likely to view branded content unless it comes from a trusted circle.

The answer was an inside out/outside in approach, meaning that the outside world had to be made aware of the Sheng Nu issue and that the people of China had to be made aware that the outside world had taken notice.

Based on this knowledge and our understanding of the Chinese social media landscape, we utilized influencers to spread our messages across five of the biggest social media platforms in China. And to reach the Chinese women who follow influencers outside of China, we worked together with opinion leading influencers on Twitter and Instagram who was proven to have followers from China.

We wanted to avoid a demonization of Chinese culture, instead raising an important topic and using it to kick-start discussions on every continent, as pressure being put on women is a universal problem.

This approach resulted in a map containing 600 social media influencers in China, and 400 outside of China - and through them we were able to reach our target audience and orchestrate conversational momentum to scale awareness and engagement. This was combined with a PR strategy reaching both influential media inside and outside of China - and more than 800 titles and influencers were mapped and reached with PR.


To this date, the film has over 44 million views from around the globe, with the vast majority coming from China (Youku and Tencent Video).
It was over 2000 editorial pieces including features in everything from Forbes, BBC and CNN to Buzzfeed, Mashable, Huffington Post and Elle.

The story spread to 54 countries on all continents and proved to be a huge success in China - as it was the first ad ever to become the most popular story on Weibo, one of the biggest social networks in China with over 650 million users. The campaign received over 7 million social actions, and SK-II’s YouTube subscribers have more than doubled in the campaign period. Altogether the campaign reach exceeded 4 billion.

Most importantly, hundreds of thousands of women in China responded to the campaign using social media - talking about how the content resonated with them and how they felt like SK-ll was the first brand to really understand them. As part of the strategy we also mobilized user generated content, with women delivering hand-written personalized messages through selfies - which caused a movement of women sharing their personal opinion e.g. saying that they are "Proud to be Sheng Nu". This truly opened the door for women to openly discuss the stigma around the pressure to marry before turning 27.

We ended up creating so much buzz that the state- owned media (CCTV - biggest TV broadcaster in China) promoting the Sheng Nu term couldn’t ignore addressing the campaign and featured it live.

In the time after the campaign sales exploded and sales from e-commerce three time doubled, department store sales reached an all time high, and the SK-ll China recorded a record growth in new users.

SK-ll / P&G Singapore

Kylene Campos

Brand Director, Global SK-II

Forsman & Bodenfors, Be On / AOL

Thor Otar Nielsen

Head of Planning & Strategy, AOL

Jakob Stigler


Susanna Fagring

Account Supervisor, F&B

Sophia Lindholm

Art Director, F&B

Karina Ullensvang

Art Director, F&B

Tove Eriksen Hillblom

Copywriter, F&B

My Troedsson

Planner, F&B

Floyd Russ



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