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Marketing Featured East Asia

K-beauty brand aggregator B2LiNK acquires skincare app Picky Inc.

Seoul, South Korea – B2LiNK, a brand aggregator for K-beauty products, has announced that it will be acquiring Picky Inc., a community skincare app through a formal agreement set to close this month. Said acquisition follows B2LiNK’s total fundraising to US$23m since being founded in 2014.

The acquisition enables B2LiNK to bolster its leadership position and global lineup of beauty brands and helps Picky to leverage B2LiNK’s network and resources to further expand its strong community base and global reach.

As part of the acquisition, Picky founder and CEO Jihong Lee will join B2LiNK as chief marketing officer and board member, leveraging his career experience that spans international roles with Google and Supercell. 

“In what has been a challenging time for startups worldwide, we’re proud to have gained an avid following of hundreds of thousands of regular users in our skincare community. Our team set our sights on the global marketplace on day one, and the opportunity to keep that momentum going with the resources behind B2LiNK is the perfect match,” Lee stated.

To date, B2LiNK has extended its portfolio to include seven brands that have surpassed US$30m annual recurring revenue in 2021, including its flagship brand Skin1004.

Meanwhile, for Nate Sohyung Lee, co-founder and CEO at B2LiNK, with K-beauty being a global phenomenon, there is a seemingly endless pool of unique indie brands relevant for global beauty consumers. He added that they have access to established distribution channels to meet the demand for K-Beauty products everywhere.

“We’re helping K-Beauty products become much more accessible in more markets through our deep experience in the retail business and world-class global marketing team. With the Picky acquisition, we’ve strengthened our team and firmly established our No. 1 market position in Korea,” he stated.

Picky aims to build on its strong community base of more than 250,000 global users and growth throughout 2021. Its web and mobile app-based community has established itself as an ‘every day’ app for skincare enthusiasts, including those passionate about K-Beauty products.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

AU-based skincare brand Swisse marks Thai skincare market entry with latest TikTok campaign

Thailand – Swisse, an Australian-made skincare brand, has announced that its recent campaign on social media platform TikTok has charged the skincare market in Thailand.

The campaign, which was developed in collaboration with advertising firm Ogilvy Singapore, is a hashtag challenge on TikTok that allows the brand to target young women aged 20 to 35 to create strong brand awareness, engagement, and establish its presence in social media and e-commerce.

Titled ‘#MaskingforbeautywithSwisse’, the campaign centers on the idea that no matter how unique or outrageous one’s current facial regimen is, Swisse’s clay masks are simple to use and give better results that can be felt and seen while using all-natural ingredients.

According to Swisse, the challenge encouraged Thai TikTok users to showcase their most unique home facial treatments. Swisse has offered them beauty products valued at THB100,000 as a prize for the most unique do-it-yourself (DIY) facial treatment submissions. 

“The conversion goal was to drive consumers directly from the link on Swisse HTC page to the Swisse Official Brand stores on Watsons, Shopee, and Lazada,” said Swisse.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Chimp&z Inc. wins social media mandate for skincare brand The Derma Co.

Mumbai, India – Chimp&z Inc., the full service digital advertising alliance from Merge Infinity Network, has recently bagged the social media mandata of The Derma Co., a local-based skincare brand, which was won post a multi-agency pitch and will be handled by the agency’s Gurugram office keeping social communications a notch up to drive digital sales.

Through the mandate win, the agency will also be responsible for social content and product photoshoots, as well as creating, managing, and executing end-to-end digital campaigns and strategies.

Furthermore, Chimp&z Inc will craft social media strategies for a science-backed filter-free communication with the consumers to highlight the brand’s vision, innovation, and offerings.

Speaking about the mandate win, Angad Singh Manchanda, CEO and co-founder, Chimp&z Inc said, “We are elated to work on creating powerful social communications for a brand like The Derma Co., which thrives on making the Indian market vocal, and top-notch in skincare solutions. Their AI-driven methods hold a lot of potential for advancement in the beauty care sector.”

He added, “The dedicated team at Chimp&z Inc is excited to work on their social media amplification front and aspires to achieve game-changing results. This will lay the foundation of a close partnership that can yield phenomenal results in the days to come.”

Meanwhile, Ghazal Alagh, co-founder, The Derma Co., commented, “Skincare has evolved over the years and consumers are looking for specialized products for their skin concerns that are safe and effective. The Derma Co. has a wide portfolio of science-backed skincare solutions with potent ingredients in the right concentration that will help our consumers to heal their skin from within and reveal their filter-free skin.”

She added, “Chimp&z Inc resonates very well with our approach and through this partnership, we aspire to keep our audience engaged on social media and create a paradigm shift in skincare. We are delighted to partner with Chimp&z Inc for handling strategic and creative responsibilities for The Derma Co.”

Chimp&z has bagged several account mandates recently, including the digital marketing mandate of plumbing and piping manufacturer Astral India, as well as the digital communications mandate for cookware manufacturer Vinod Cookware.

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Marketing Featured Global

SK-II’s latest global campaign a movement to empower Tokyo-based women entrepreneurs

Tokyo, Japan – The pandemic has been a tough setback for small businesses globally and especially in Japan with the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The latest data shows that 87% of women business owners globally have been adversely affected by the pandemic. This adds to a preexisting difficult climate in Japan for women entrepreneurs who are among the lowest within the G7 countries (4.4%. Around 22% of women in Japan aspire to own their own businesses but only 5.3% of businesses are actually owned by women.

Such a current state among women entrepreneurs in Japan, especially in Tokyo, has led to global skincare brand SK-II to focus its latest campaign to create a much-needed spotlight on a community that has been highly impacted by the pandemic—women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs in Tokyo.

Titled ‘Beyond The Stadium’, the campaign depicts a much-needed spotlight on a community that has been highly impacted by the pandemic—women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs in Tokyo. The campaign, narrated by long-standing brand ambassador and Japanese actress Kaori Momoi, features the stories of Olympic athletes such as gymnast Simon Biles and surfer Mahina Maeda, as well as select women entrepreneurs in Tokyo, ranging from owners of a flower shop, a Japanese rice ball store, and a jewelry store.

Created alongside creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore, said campaign juxtaposes struggles faced by Olympic athletes in pursuing their dreams with the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and small business owners in Tokyo over the past year which has been amplified by the lack of anticipated visitors for the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Speaking about the creative process, Susanna Fagring, CEO at Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore, stated that in their long-standing relationship with SK-II, they tried to encourage women to stand up for their dreams and fight for their goals in life. Despite that, looking back at the past year with all its challenges, this is something easier said than done, according to her.

“The campaign shows that stories from Olympic athletes are actually not that different from stories of female entrepreneurs in Tokyo. They were all hoping for their big moments, be it inside or outside of the arena, and now they all need our cheering and support. Now we are hoping to create support for the female business community in Tokyo. In the wake of the loss of anticipated visitors to the Olympic Games, they need it more than ever,” Fagring said.

Meanwhile, Markus Strobel, president of skin and personal care at P&G, commented that in these unprecedented times we are in, consumers have a much higher expectation towards brands and businesses, adding that they know that they have an even larger social responsibility to the communities they operate in and be a force for good.

Strobel’s statement echoes the widespread campaign SK-II has launched recently, including a ‘virtual city’ featuring the stores of these women entrepreneurs in Tokyo. Such slew of campaigns lives up to the brand purpose of SK-II: #CHANGEDESTINY.

“#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. With the launch of ‘Beyond the Stadium’ and our virtual shopping street within SK-II City, we are taking yet another step forward in our #CHANGEDESTINY journey,” Strobel said.

He added, “It means a lot to us to be able to continue to support women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs to keep their dreams alive in these challenging times in Tokyo as the Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

In line with this, SK-II dedicates its #CHANGEDESTINY FUND to a program to support women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs impacted by the pandemic in Tokyo. Proceeds from the #CHANGEDESTINY FUND, worth US$500k will go towards a year-long program supporting women-owned small business and entrepreneurs in Tokyo with Shibuya City and MEETALK—a Tokyo-based women entrepreneurship network to equip them with digital and social skills, business networks, and platform to build and keep the business of their dreams alive in these unprecedented times.