Women Are Stamped With an Expiration Date in SK-II's Ad About Marriage Pressure

It's Part of the P&G Skincare Brand's Ongoing 'Change Destiny' Platform

Published On
Jun 22, 2017

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Do women in Asia feel they have an expiration date? SK-II, a skincare brand owned by Procter & Gamble, has explored the pressures China's single women face to marry young, and it's back with another take on the issue, this time for a pan-Asian audience. A new ad shows Asian girls and women stamped with an expiration date on their wrists, a literal representation of society's expectation that they find a husband before turning 30. It's had over 60 million views globally, with 49.5 million of those in China, where it was featured in a popular talk show, U Can U Bibi.

The video, by agency Forsman & Bodenfors, follows girls in China, Japan and South Korea growing up with a date imprinted on their skin, a source of increasing discomfort and shame as they turn into teenagers and women.

"If we haven't ticked all the right boxes, are we worth less after we turn 30?" the voiceover asks. "Or can things be different? Can we decide for ourselves who we are, who we aspire to be, what really matters? Can we change destiny by changing our thoughts?" With those words, the expiry dates start to vanish. SK-II's ongoing message is "Change Destiny," challenging women to pursue their dreams and overcome obstacles.

In China, the brand sparked major discussion last year with a moving spot set in a "marriage market" in Shanghai, a park where parents gather to find spouses for their unmarried children. That video, also by Sweden's Forsman & Bodenfors, was a viral hit inside and outside China.