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SK-II Studio Returns With ‘VS’ – An Animated Anthology With A Big Purpose

Teams Up Wit Olympic Athletes Defeat “Kaijus” In Society

Merging animation, live action and story-telling with a big purpose, global  prestige skincare brand SK-II returns with its next SK-II STUDIO installment – ‘VS’, a  groundbreaking animated anthology series to inspire every woman that they have the power to  #CHANGEDESTINY.  

‘VS’ Series by SK-II STUDIO is a collection of six animated films based on the real-life  experiences of six Olympic athletes—Simone Biles, the world’s most decorated gymnast,  LiuXiang, world-record swimmer, Ishikawa Kasumi, table tennis player and two-time Olympic  medalist, Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo, badminton duo and Olympic gold  medalists, Mahina Maeda, surfer and Hinotori Nippon1, the Japan Volleyball team. They each explore what it means to take destiny in their own hands, overcoming societal  pressures which dictates how they should look, act and feel to be perfect. 

The work was created with a high-impact group of talent from across WPP agencies consisting  of hand-picked global talent from Grey and MediaCom, the same group that were responsible for  SK-II Studio’s launch film, The Centre Lane. 

Each film within the ‘VS’ Series by SK-II STUDIO explores different aspects of societal  pressures that women experience: Trolls. Pressure. Image Obsession. Rules. Limitations.  Machine-Like Mindsets. Brought to life in the form of a “strange beast” or “kaiju” in Japanese,  each “kaiju” sheds light on the inner demon each athlete must defeat to pursue their destiny. 

A mix of animation and live action, the ‘VS’ series spans across a broad range of genres  including sci-fi, fantasy, action and sports. Each episode is independent, with its own universe  and style, featuring the work from award winning animation studios—Imaginary Forces,  Passion Pictures, Platige Image and C3 and original music from singer-songwriters like  John Legend and Lexie Liu. 

The ‘VS’ series will be released worldwide on 1 May 2021 with a global premiere in Hainan,  China together with the debut of an immersive social retail pop-up store in Sanya’s Haitang  Bay Duty Free Shopping Centre Haikou in partnership with China Duty Free Group. 

This is not the first time SK-II is entering untapped territory. Following its debut brand docu drama “The Center Lane” by award-winning director Hirokazu Koreeda featuring the inspiring  story of swimmer Ikee Rikako’s return to competitive swimming, the global skincare brand  once again transforms itself into a film production studio, merging entertainment with purpose in  the #CHANGEDESTINY universe. Showcasing, once again, that purpose-led storytelling can  be done in a totally unexpected way. 

SK-II will also be additionally setting up a #CHANGEDESTINY fund, contributing $1 for  every view garnered on each SK-II STUDIO film in support of women in pursuing their  destiny to create positive change as part of its brand purpose this year. Total contribution to the  #CHANGEDESTINY fund will be capped at $500,000 USD. Participating organizations will be  announced at a later date. 

“#CHANGEDESTINY is at the heart of our brand purpose at SK-II. For years, we have  celebrated how destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice through the stories of  courageous women around the world. This year, we want to further and strengthen our commitment towards our brand purpose.” shared Sandeep Seth, Chief Executive Officer,  Global SK-II. “We know from our conversations with our consumers that there are much bigger  issues than skin and beauty that they are concerned about. We also know that from the pandemic  and coming out of it, consumers have a higher expectation towards brands and businesses. With  the release of the SK-II Studio films, we are celebrating a moment in SK-II’s #CHANGEDESTINY  history. We hope these films can give women worldwide the courage to take destiny in their own  hands and be a starting point for us—brands and businesses—to come together and act as a  force for good and growth to create positive and meaningful change.” 

Siddika Dehlvi, Executive Creative Business Director said, “all of us face pressures that hold us  back, and stop us from feeling in charge of our own destiny. By focusing on the stories of these  incredible athletes, we’re showing how even the best of us have to face challenges when chasing  dreams. We wanted to celebrate these journeys in a way that has never been done before,  bringing together elements from Japanese culture through anime, live action, different film  genres and unique soundtracks.” “The Olympic Games have always been a global celebration of unity, which is now more  important than ever. It is rare when a brand’s purpose aligns perfectly with the need of the hour. Not only to highlight the pressures surrounding women in our society, but also to share the  incredible human stories of how 6 women overcame these pressures. It has been a rewarding experience to create and be part of this work”, Nihar Das, WPP Team Lead


Lead Creative Unit: WPP Agencies (Grey and Mediacom)
Other Partners: HUGE, VaynerMedia, Mano, Hogarth Worldwide
Client: SK-II 

Executive Creative Director: Leo Savage 
Executive Creative Strategy Director: Danni Mohammed
Executive Creative Business Director: Siddika Dehlvi
Executive Creative Producer: San Takashima 
WPP Team Lead: Nihar Das 
Integration Lead: Nathan Wilson 
Creative Strategist & Copywriter: Katie Mulligan 
Executive Account Director: Yukiko Ochiai 
Executive Creative Director: Graham Drew 
Creative Consultant: Stuart Harkness 
Creative Directors: Ken Mitani, Ashley Chen, Sudhir Pasumarty
Creative Consultant: Shane Lester 
Strategy Director: Hiroko Matsuo 
Senior Copywriter: Yukika Anan 
Senior Art Director: Yoichai Inamura 
Designer: Amanda Ang 
Project Director: Lorysa Rossnagel 
Account Manager: Eulisa Tan 
Senior Producer: Miwako Yasukouchi 
Senior Producer: Shoko Akutagawa 
Senior Account Executive: Iris Gu 
Business Director: William Godwin 
Senior Project Director: Angelique Malabanan 
Account Director: Sue-Ann De Cruz 
Account Executive: Sneha Basu, ChiewLing Loke 
Art Director: Jerry Li  
Assistant Account Executive: Sho Ikegami 

Executive Media Director: Prajat Khare 
Media Strategy Director: Archana Ram,Varsha Sethia 

Songwriter/Singer: John Legend 
Songwriter/Singer: Lexie Liu 
Music Studio: Eclectic Sounds 
Photographer: Matt Holyoak 

VS Rules, VS Machines 
Production Studio:
Imaginary Forces 
Director: Alan Williams 
Producer: Jon Hassell / Melody Alexander

VS Pressure, VS Obsession 
Production Studio:
Platige Image 
Director: Bartek Kik, Damian Nenow 
Producer: Robert Stasz / Justyna Supernak 

VS Trolls 
Production Studio:
Passion Pictures 
Director: Jon Saunders 
Producer: Rick Bland / Mike Turoff / Ioan Holland / Luiza Cruz-Flade 

VS Limits 
Production Studio:
Director: TAKCOM 
Producer: Yuki Iizumi / Yuto Adachi 

Casting: Gambit 
Hogarth Singapore: Daryl Bryan Lim 
Event Partner: Yucolab

1 The “VS Limitations” by SK-II Studio was filmed in 2019 with the Japan National team Hinotori Nippon of 2019. The athletes appearing in the films share SK-II’s brand purpose of #CHANGEDESTINY and have real-life destiny-changing experiences, often  while under intense scrutiny, pressure and judgement. Their selection is completely independent from the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

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