- Skincare brand SK-II opened its first pop-up shop centered around mobile phones at a mall in Hainan, China, according to a press release. The store, which embodies a format the brand calls "social retail," offers augmented reality (AR) and gamified experiences for shoppers through a WeChat mini program, allowing them to use an AI-enabled skin analysis tool to receive personalized information and product recommendations in a contactless manner.
- The shop is grounded in enabling visitors to interact with the brand in a number of ways throughout their shopping experience — even while waiting in line to pay, an approach the brand refers to as "the line is the ride."
- This pop-up continues the Procter & Gamble brand's #ChangeDestiny purpose-driven platform and directs visitors to explore SK-II's new animated series showcasing how six Olympians, including Simone Biles, Liu Xiang and Ishikawa Kasumi, have addressed a variety of societal pressures. SK-II is an official global sponsor of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
SK-II's pop-up shop this month is part of the P&G brand's ongoing foray into innovating how it engages skincare shoppers around the globe through mobile technology and creative marketing.
By more deeply integrating mobile into its in-person experiences, SK-II is looking to modernize the shopper journey for customers who may prefer to explore products and information at their own pace. These types of experiences, sometimes referred to as "phygital," can elevate engagement within a brand's store and reduce the intimidation around browsing endless rows of products, SK-II noted in its announcement.
The pop-up shop builds on the P&G brand's purpose-driven platform, titled #ChangeDestiny. On May 1, SK-II debuted a six-part animated series addressing social pressures women face through the lens of six Olympic athletes. The "VS" video series is the brand's second work from its film studio that launched in March. The first original film, directed by award-winner Hirokazu Koreeda, premiered on March 29 to depict Ikee Rikako's return to competitive swimming. SK-II is the latest brand to open an internal content studio in a move to meet consumers' appetite for ad-free programming.
Tying the pop-up shop to a creative effort on WeChat can extend SK-II's reach among consumers in China. About 1.2 billion smartphone owners in the country use WeChat, Statista predicts, giving SK-II the chance to connect with a broad audience of people looking to view empowering content from a familiar brand.
Through the WeChat mini program, visitors of the pop-up can unlock a content hub built around SK-II's new "VS" series. The content hub takes the form of a virtual city — a first for the skincare brand — in which users can watch the six new films in a virtual cineplex and participate in an interactive AR experience alongside Olympic athlete Liu Xiang.