SK II #ChangeDestiny

Since it is towards the end of the semester and we’re all killing our brain cells trying to come up with suitable “big ideas” for our brands, this blog post may shed some light on your projects.

At the beginning of 2015, a well-known cosmetic brand named SK II launched its new campaign #ChangeDestiny. It is an empowerment campaign with the messages that we all have the power to make our lives better, and no one and nothing can dictate ourĀ lives but us.

From my memory, Sk II used to be labeled as the upscale skin care products for wealthy women. However, as time changes, an increasing number of younger and working women started to use SK II’s products. This younger group of customers has the economic power to treat themselves and the will power to make decisions for themselves.

Since the launch of #ChangeDestiny, SK II has aired a series of storytelling videos. All of these videos tell stories of different people’s life journeys and how they (mostly women) have overcome obstacles.

Recently, SK II added a new video to the series. This video featuredĀ a certain group of women that are labeled as “leftover women”. The phrase “leftover women” describes single women over the age of 25. In the documentary-like video, “leftover women” expressed their wishes of becoming independent and confident women, as well as their stresses of being criticized by society and their parents.

The video soon went viral. Along with popularity and high numbers of views came bipolar comments. Some felt inspired by the video to become strong, independent, and confident women, while others disapproved of the using of the phrase “leftover women”. Since all SK II’s previous videos were about one single person’s life and the new video targeted a stereotypical group, controversies have grown tremendously with popularity.

Please watch the attached video (with subtitle turned on) and share your thoughts on SK II’s newest movement.



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6 Responses to SK II #ChangeDestiny

  1. Camille says:

    Thank you for sharing this post; the video you shared is moving and powerful. I feel this campaign is a stark reminder of how Brandon always said to incorporate culture into your brand. Plus, tackling such a touchy issue was brave of the cosmetic firm as it clearly is a prominent challenge for their target demographic. Though, I am curious what this class thinks about companies getting involved in these controversial issues? Is it appropriate or is it not? I know that sometimes this can help a brand like it did for Dove when they tackled the unrealistic female beauty ideal, but it also resulted in a very negative backlash for Chick-fil-A several years ago. Lately, it seems like more companies are becoming more active in these social issues – for example Disney, Marvel Studios, and AMC Networks, supporting LGBTQ rights and boycotting Georgia (Johnson, 2016).
    I wonder if this behavior is a growing trend and what this means for the brand image of companies. Personally, I appreciate this movement among health and beauty brands. I remember when many of the ads used to create a sense of inadequacy or fear and the product would help you get there, but now the marketing has shifted from a discourse focused on the need to look good to one focused on feeling more confident.

    Johnson, T. (23 March 2016). “Disney, Marvel to Boycott Georgia if Religious Liberty Bill Is Passed.” Variety Magazine. Retrieved from:

  2. nfong says:

    I love this campaign and I love SK II products so it made me really happy to see a brand I love do such an important campaign. I don’t think that they were being stereotypical in this issue because I feel like this is a big issue for women in China. Also, isn’t SK II an asian brand? So I don’t understand why people are criticizing SK II for making a video highlighting women that was the first market. Many people aren’t fully aware of this issue in China and it definitely needs global attention. Everybody deserves to find love, no matter what age!

  3. litingw says:

    I was also paying attention to the debate and talk about this campaign. Personally speaking, i don’t like it very much. It is a typical kind of emotional campaign. And it also tries to summarize/categorize Chinese women with a career into one type. But considering the situation of the Chinese society and how many Chinese view women with a stereotypical perspective, i’d say this campaign somehow helps at least to generate some debate and attention on this issue. I am happy to see people are debating and discussing about this.

  4. tianyue says:

    I love SK2! But I feel a little offended by this campaign. I feel like this campaign is trying to get the emotional connection with a certain group of people. I think the idea have a good motive but I simply don’t like the tone and voice of this advertisement, it is making the women who didn’t get married after 30 feel sad and need to be pity. I like the idea of we should change the perception old women without marriage, but i think the advertisement just deepen such perception by making it in such a pathetic tone and voice. They are discriminating them by showing how pathetic they are. Unmarried women do not need help and some kind of savior like they showed in the advertisement. If they do it in a more positive way, I would love the ad. So, I think thats one of the most important part when we are doing emotional campaigns, we really need to evaluate the values and sentiments carefully, otherwise, it just created opposite effects.

  5. Steffanie Liang says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Even if I don’t like SKII’s products, but love this campaign. I also noticed that this commercial went viral and triggered controversial responses. Personally, I think this is a great campaign, and I don’t feel offended. I believe the message is simply to tell women to be themselves, to stand up against social norms and discrimination, to be brave and independent. I think people who were offended think too much and too deeply about this commercial. I love their tagline that ” don’t let pressure dictate your future”, it is very inspirational. People should evaluate this commercial more objectively and not to relate themselves to “left over girls” .

  6. ruopianf says:

    Hi Stella, thanks for sharing this. I was told about this campaign earlier but hadn’t had a chance to see it. I personally not a big fan of SKII, but I appreciate their creativity in advertising. No matter whatever thoughts people have about this campaign, they did create a lot of buzz about the brand by taking advantage of social issues, in this way, i’d say it a success. However from a consumer perspective, I feel like some of the audience especially the “leftover women” group may somehow feel offended and probably take the message in negative ways such as ” you need SKII to fight against aging and change the destiny of being leftover”…