Product / ServiceSK-II
CategoryA01. Consumer Goods
Idea Creation MEDIACOM Singapore, SINGAPORE
Idea Creation 2 GREY Tokyo, JAPAN
Media Placement MEDIACOM Singapore, SINGAPORE
Production BLUE ONE INC. Tokyo, JAPAN
Production 2 ENNET INC. Tokyo, JAPAN


Name Company Position
Leo Savage Grey London Creative
Graham Drew Grey Malaysia Creative
Siddika Dehlvi Grey Singapore Creative Business
Danni Mohammed Grey London Creative Strategy
San Takashima Grey Tokyo Creative
Nihar Das MediaCom WPP Lead
Sudhir Pasumarty Grey Singapore Creative
Ashley Chen Grey Singapore Creative
Ken Mitani Grey Tokyo Creative
Katie Mulligan Grey London Creative & Copywriting
Nathan Wilson WPP Global Integration
Stuart Harkness WPP Creative
Yukika Anan Grey Tokyo Copywriting
Yuta Kudo Grey Tokyo Copywriting
Shoko Akutagawa Grey Tokyo Producer
Angelique Malabanan Grey Singapore Project Management
Shane Lester Grey Tokyo Creative
Sue-Ann De Cruz Grey Singapore Client Relationship
Iris Gu Grey Tokyo Client Relationship
Hiroko Matsuo Grey Tokyo Strategy
William Godwin Grey London Business
ChewLing Loke Grey Singapore Project Management
Prajat Khar MediaCom Singapore Media
Daryl Bryan Lim Hogarth Singapore Producer
Hirokazu Koreeda BUN-BUKU Director
Wataru Togashi ENNET, inc. Director
Naoki Morita ENNET, inc. Producer
Eiji Kitahara ENNET, inc. Producer
Susumu Kawasumi BLUE ONE inc. Producer
Yuta Nakajima BLUE ONE inc. Producer
Ryuto Kondo N/A Creative
Masanobu Hiraoka CAVIAR Creative
Akira Kosemura SCHOLE Creative
Matt Holyoak Matt Holyoak Creative
Yuko Matsuda N/A Producer
Choei Suzuki Gambit Casting

Why is this work relevant for Media?

SK-II is a premium, Japan-born, global skincare brand and a Tier-One sponsor of the Tokyo-Olympics. The brand took what could have been a standard athlete sponsorship and turned it into a media event the entire nation talked about, expanding its relevance beyond the stadiums and arenas to inspire and instill hope amongst a wide audience. This campaign acknowledges the craft of smartly orchestrating and distributing content as a key responsibility of the media function of marketing communication and as a crucial factor in the success of marketing ad campaigns.


SK-II had signed a host of inspirational female athletes for their Olympics campaign – set to define the brand’s purpose of ‘#changedestiny’ for a whole new generation. Then for the first time in history outside of wartime, the Olympics was postponed, leaving Japan devastated by both the pandemic and the impact of the Olympic-games potential cancellation. SK-II aimed to restore hope to its homeland whose dreams had been shattered. So SKII turned to another of their athletes, one who was fighting a far bigger battle. Rikako Ikee was a Japanese swimming-sensation and Olympic favorite – until in 2019 she was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Passionate about wanting to share her story to the public, SKII gave voice to her recovery, an extraordinary story of hope & determination that would eventually in an unplanned manner come to define the brand’s #ChangeDestiny purpose unlike any other.

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

#CHANGEDESTINY is at the heart of SK-II’s brand philosophy, celebrating how destiny is a matter of choice not chance. SK-II believes in the power of storytelling to influence culture and create positive change. So when the Olympics were rescheduled, SK-II partnered with Ikee to give voice to a powerful human-story of beauty in strength and resilience – a much needed antidote to the tough times Japan was experiencing. In Japan, illnesses and sensitive personal topics aren’t talked about openly. There’s the cultural tradition of Honne (public-face) and Tatemae (private-face) that keeps people from sharing their true feelings. 70% of female users even have additional fake social media where they can feel more authentic. We realized that Ikee’s personal story could become an example for the entire nation. A real-life account of not surrendering to the difficulties and trying to overcome obstacles in life in order to change one’s own destiny.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

SK-II and Ikee had one aim: to inspire hope during unprecedented times through the power of storytelling. Ikee’s story was commissioned to be directed by renowned film-maker Hirokazu Kore-eda. But we didn’t stop there and turned inspirational storytelling into action by setting up a unique viewership based #CHANGEDESTINY Fund, the first ever views-based charity, contributing $1 for every view in support of women pursuing their destiny to create positive change. A significant segment who needed assistance were small-business owners as 87%(!) of women business owners have been adversely affected by the pandemic. Viewers of “Center-Lane” would also gain access to a virtual shopping alley --#CHANGEDESTINY STREET within a virtual city (SK-II CITY) featuring virtual versions of real stores owned by women in Tokyo. Visitors will also be able to join a virtual masterclass, listen to entrepreneurs’ story and shop in the stores as if they were in Tokyo.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

“Center Lane” is a powerful message of hope and resilience that did not end with the closing titles, with each view the #ChangeDestiny Fund was activated and funds were contributed to support women entrepreneurs. In partnership with Shibuya City, Facebook, Google and MEETALK - a Tokyo-based women entrepreneurship network, we equipped women with digital and social-media skills as well as business networks/platforms to build and keep the business of their dreams alive. The program used a three-pronged approach to tackle the biggest challenges women-owned small businesses faced: • “Learn” - tailored training bootcamp and business consultation (building digital presence, social commerce and international expansion). • “Connect” - connecting entrepreneurs to a wider network and matching them with relevant role-models. • “Access” - giving women-owned-businesses access to a wider audience and unique brand building experiences via “SK-II CITY, a Tokyo inspired virtual city.

List the results (30% of vote)

“Center Lane” became the most watched SK-II video in history garnering more than 49 mn Views with the launch premiere livestream witnessing a 1.2 MM audience (a record for the industry in Japan). Even more importantly it created an unprecedented engagement from the Japan audience and Media with positive consumer sentiment reaching highest ever levels (99%). Our entrepreneurship support program was joined by more than 550 businesses 88% of them women owned small businesses affected by the pandemic and suffering a major drop in sales. Program participants found that it led to their acquisition of business know-how, and the building of networking among women entrepreneurs (based on post program survey). All of the above led to SK-II sales growth in Japan of +30 pts ahead of FY 20-21 growth. New users (penetration) grew +7 pts ahead of FY20-21 growth.


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