Swedish advertising agency Forsman & Bodenfors last year created 'Marriage Market Takeover' for skincare brand SK-II’s ongoing campaign #ChangeDestiny (see "China’s “leftover women” stand up to marriage pressure and #ChangeDestiny").
The ad was polarising, to say the least. A Swedish agency knowing the Chinese market better?! Educated, marraige-ambivalent women feeling understood and yet exposed!
This year's follow-up ad, titled 'The Expiry Date', and looping in women from Japan and South Korea who also face the same age-related pressure as their Chinese peers, is equally controversial. Only two out of 10 women in Asia feel comfortable with the idea of getting older, according to a May 2017 study by P&G. Japan and Korea emerged as the two most extreme countries in Asia where women feel unhappy about getting older—almost six out of 10 Japanese women and more than half of South Korean ladies are feeling this way.
While turning 30 is a source of anxiety for many, the milestone is another reminder that their biological clocks are ticking, and a common colloquial phrase refers to women of that age as "drying up".
SK-II is more classy than the discomforting remarks of Ad Nut's human friends' scary aunties, of course, and goes on the reverse-psychology offensive by stamping women with a unremovable 'expiry date' on their inner arms.
There should not be such artificially created deadlines imposed on them, states SK-II. The relentless pestering by parents and relatives to get married before "it's too late" is in fact, alluding to the loss of female fertility which nobody dares to speak openly about. Ad Nut likes how the brand, again, manifests this taboo topic so hauntingly and creatively.
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