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The Japanese cosmetics brand SK-II has successfully built a reputation as a company that uses its ads to speak to and speak up for young single women (also known by the derogatory terms sheng nus, or 'leftover women') in China for some years now. Their latest video, released after Chinese New Year on February 18th, is no exception.
'Meet Me Halfway' is a four-and-a-half minute film by Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore featuring three real Chinese women who describe their trepidation about going home to their families every CNY. Once there, they know they'll be met with a barrage of questions and opinions about their marriage prospects, the importance of being "a good wife and mother" and why they shouldn't prioritise their careers over settling down.
This year, in an attempt to make their parents understand their perspective that "marriage isn't the ultimate goal in life", the three women write to their parents asking them to "meet me halfway" - both in terms of understanding and the physical location halfway between them.
Just like the former ads in SK-II's #ChangeDestiny series - ‘Marriage Market Takeover’ (2016) and 'The Expiry Date' (2017) - this film is thoughtfully crafted and packed with emotional impact. Like the others, too, it has experienced phenomenal success, with over 18 million views on Chinese platforms in the first 24 hours and viewers claiming it moved them to tears.
SK-II should now be seen as a strong role model for other brands hoping to hitch their sales to the women's movement. Understanding all angles of an issue and bringing it out with sensitivity and a positive action attached: once these boxes are ticked, it hardly seems to matter what the product is, but brands can guarantee a positive association.
Sandeep Seth, Vice President SK-II
Kylene Campos, Global Marketing Director SK-II
Creative Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore
Account Supervisor: Susanna Fagring, My Troedsson, Abbe Hale Account Manager: Hongi Luo, Patrik Danroth
Art Director: John Bergdahl
Copywriter: Joakim Labraaten
PR-strategist: Amat Levin
Designer: Jason Feng
Planner: Leo Bovaller
Agency Producer, Film: Alexander Blidner
Production company: Tool of North America Postproduction: Cabin Editing Company Director: Floyd Russ
Producer: Andy Coverdale
Executive producer: Brad Johns/Nancy Hacohen D.O.P: Christophe Collette
Music: Victor Magro/Future Perfect
Editor: Isaac Chen
Sound: Lime Studios
Activation Strategy & Orchestration: Mano Copenhagen Strategy Director: Thor Otar
Client Lead: Jakob Stigler
Orchestration Lead: Liv Sørensen
Distribution Partner: Verizon Media (Ryot Studio) Account Director: Jesper Laumand
Distribution Strategy Director: Yangze Wang Planner: Mads Linnebjerg
Editorial distribution: Sandra Rasmussen Social distribution: Nicklas Fjelsted Holm PR Distribution: Anna Taussi
Researcher: Troels Ringsted
Account Manager: Annie Aa