Short List
Product / ServiceSK-II
CategoryE05. Influencer / Talent
Idea Creation WPP BLACK OPS Singapore, SINGAPORE
Idea Creation 2 GREY TOKYO, JAPAN
Media Placement MEDIACOM Singapore, SINGAPORE
Media Placement 2 VAYNERMEDIA Singapore, SINGAPORE
Additional Company HUGE Singapore, SINGAPORE


Name Company Position
Leo Savage WPP Black Ops Executive Creative Director
Stuart Harkness WPP Black Ops Creative Consultant
Danni Mohammed WPP Black Ops Executive Creative Strategy Director
Siddika Dehlvi WPP Black Ops Executive Creative Business Director
San Takashima WPP Black Ops Executive Producer
Nihar Das WPP Black Ops WPP Black Ops Lead
Yukiko Ochiai WPP Black Ops Executive Account Director
Graham Drew WPP Black Ops Creative Consultant
Katie Mulligan WPP Black Ops Creative Strategist
Sudhir Pasumarty WPP Black Ops Creative Director
Ashley Chen WPP Black Ops Creative Director
Ken Mitani WPP Black Ops Creative Director
Yukika Anan WPP Black Ops Copywriter
Erina Uchiyama WPP Black Ops Art Director
Sue-Ann De Cruz WPP Black Ops Account Director
Iris Gu WPP Black Ops Account Executive
Nathan Wilson WPP Black Ops Global Integration Lead
Hiroko Matsuo WPP Black Ops Strategy Director
Miwako Yasukouchi WPP Black Ops Senior Producer
Prajat Khare WPP Black Ops Media Director
Eric Lim WPP Black Ops Senior Account Manager
Matt Holyoak Matt Holyoak Photographer
Simon Elms Eclectic Sounds Executive Music & Sound Producer
Daryl Bryan Lim Hogarth Singapore Producer
Yuko Matsuda N/A Print Producer
Takeo Kusaba N/A Hair & Make-up Stylist
Choei Suzuki Gambit Casting


As a Tier One sponsor of the Olympics, SK-II signed a range of female talent from across sport for their planned Olympics campaign, their first time working with influencers from the world of sport. In 2019, Rikako Ikee, a young swimming prodigy in her home country of Japan, was diagnosed with leukaemia, leaving the nation in shock. But whilst in recovery, Rikako Ikee chose to partner with SK-II, in order to show a new side of her and tell the true story behind her. With the challenging climate in Japan, SK-II and Rikako Ikee had a key aim: to inspire hope during these unprecedented times. We had to give voice to a story of strength and resilience in a way that could be effectively communicated across SNS.

Describe the strategy

Japanese consumers tend not to reveal their true selves publicly across social media. It’s common for Japanese people to have secret social media accounts where they drop their guard, that there’s a word for it: 裏垢 ura-aka. And with 70% of all female users (our primary target) holding more than 1 Twitter account account in Japan, we wanted to do something unusual on this platform; present something real. Something that would cut-through the constant noise of glossy, filtered images and sanitised stories that the YEs (young entrepreneurs) in Japan are confronted with. Where Ikee’s other brand work post-recovery saw her photographed in a wig and wearing her typical training tracksuit, we chose to show Ikee as she had never been seen before; without her wig, without her muscles. We needed this to be a confronting image, something that would stop a user from scrolling past.

Describe the execution

Working closely with SK-II and their partner agencies, the ‘This is Me. Rikako Ikee’ film was launched in May 2020 and posted by Ikee and SK-II on their social channels, together with three striking and personal portraits of the new Rikako Ikee. It was brought further to life on a dedicated brand microsite with personal messages and letters from Rikako Ikee, and an interactive photo diary—in hopes of providing positivity and strength in these times.

List the results

FIRST TIME IN 28 YEARS a female solo athlete and our brand was on the front page of sports newspapers in Japan. 41 TV NEWS COVERAGE: Spots across top 5 TV stations (NHK, Nippon TV, TV Asahi, Fuji TV, TBS)
 TOP TRENDING TOPIC across Top 3 key digital platforms on
Line News, Twitter, Yahoo! News BRANDS INSPIRED BY IKEE & SK-II: Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Takashimaya & Rakuten & SK-II Beauty Influencers HIGHEST ORGANIC VIEWS: 300k on video across SK-II's Instagram, Twitter & Youtube HISTORIC HIGH ENGAGEMENT on SK-II Japan Twitter account with positive comments; 5x vs the average: - Total exposure on our BRAND KPI increased to 345%. - 41 programs of exposures on TV. Vs KPI, 8 programs. - 45 exposures on NP/MG. Vs KPI, 2 exposures. - 647 exposures on digital media. Vs KPI, 180 exposures. 100% ORGANIC EARNED COVERAGE across TV, Newspaper, Publications and Social Media.

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