Cannes Case Study: P&G’s controversial ‘leftover women’ documentary gets 2.5m views

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Chinese Skincare brand SK-II took on the controversial subject of China’s ‘leftover women’ who feel pressure to marry before 27. This case study looks at how the video campaign got over 2 million views, winning a Cannes Lion award in the process.

Case study summary

• Skin care brand wanted to find a new way to reach women in China
• Identified controversial trend of ‘leftover women’ to tackle with powerful video campaign
• Wins Cannes Lions award and attracts 2m views

The challenge

Proctor and Gamble wanted a new and localised way to reach women in China with its Skincare brand SK-II. It identified a turned in China called “leftover woman”, referring to a woman remains single past the age of 27. The brand wanted to create a new documentary-style commercial to remove the stigma from this term—and empower the country’s unmarried women to find pride in their careers and devotion to finding real love.

The solution

The Marriage Market Takeover ad revealed the pressure on Chinese women to get married before turning 27 – or they would be called “leftover women.” The skincare brand, whose slogan in China is “Change Destiny,” helped change the perception of those women from pitiable to powerful.

The four-minute video, which includes English subtitles, introduces us to several of these “sheng nu,” who talk about the riot of emotions they feel around their status as single women: sadness that are disappointing their parents, frustration with the search for a mate, and pride in their independent lives and accomplishments.

The results

This video campaign got over 2 million views, winning a Cannes Lion ‘Glass’ award in the process for promoting gender equality.

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