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SK-II builds on its successful Marriage Market campaign with The Expiry Date

SK-II hopes to encourage a Pan-Asian conversation about age-related pressures on women with the follow-up campaign to The Marriage Market.

The Expiry Date explores the pressure that women in China, Japan and Korea feel around the aging process and the expectations attached to the achievements and milestones women should achieve at certain ages.

The campaign launches with a brand film and is supported by a research study by SK-II which reveals just two out of 10 women in Asia are comfortable with the idea of getting older, with more than half uncomfortable and offended by other people’s view on their status, especially with regards to topics about their age or marital status.

Susanna Fagring, client director at SK-II’s advertising agency, Forsman & Bodenfors, told The Drum, the campaign aimed to challenge the unspoken timelines that society places on women around the world.

“As we talked to women in China, Japan and Korea they told us about the pressure they feel around age and the things they need to accomplish by a certain age. We found that women in Asia experience an immense amount of pressure around these expectations. We wanted to make a campaign that would open up the conversation about the expiry date that women feel.”

The new campaign aims to build on the powerful work SK-II achieved with last year’s The Marriage Market campaign, which explored China’s “leftover women” and the stigma of single women aged over 27.

The campaign, which featured an online film that achieved global fame, helped the brand to increase awareness in the China market and boosted brand equity from sixth place to second in the skincare category.

Sandeep Seth, global brand director for SK-II, said the “Overwhelming interest and response to [The Marriage Market] campaign from women all over the world led us to discover that age-related pressure was not just an issue concerning women in China alone, but indeed a universal one.”

“With “The Expiry Date” film, we made the proverbial expiry date many women feel into a real one to illustrate the growing internal and external age-related pressure women face. SK-II hopes to encourage a global and Pan-Asian discussion to promote the message that everyone should be able to feel proud of what they’ve achieved and who they are, regardless of age and gender and should not be constrained by artificial timelines and expiry date labels placed on them by society,” said Seth.

Fagring said the Marriage Market campaign helped SK-II to establish the brand with a strong point of view and created emotional connections to its target audience of women aged 25 – 40 years. SK-II hopes to build on these connections and encourage a regional social media movement, using the hashtag #INeverExpire to drive the conversation and share the content.

“The Marriage Market campaign really helped women to feel less lonely and many said they were relieved to be able to talk about it with their parents,” said Fagring. “It helped to start discussions and we are hoping to achieve similar results with The Expiry Date. Our aim is to encourage conversations and to bring this topic into the open and help to get rid of the stigma.”

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