SINGAPORE: A campaign for Japanese prestige skincare brand SK-II, by Forsman & Bodenfors Sweden, was last night awarded the Grand Prix in the 2017 WARC Prize for Asian Strategy.

The Marriage Market Takeover, which addressed the societal stigma faced by unmarried women in China, also won the Research Excellence Special Award.

“The boldness of SK-II in taking a position very distinct from a market saturated with defined category norms is what made their strategy stand out amongst some very strong peer entries,” said Nicole McMillan, Vice-President, Marketing of The Wrigley Company, Asia-Pacific and chair of the judging panel.

“Taking a taboo subject can be fraught with danger; however SK-II managed to navigate these complexities to construct a strategy and narrative that has struck a chord with consumers and judges alike,” she added.

The Prize, which offers a $10,000 Prize fund for the best evidence of strategic marketing thinking in Asia, attracted almost 200 papers, with a total of 16 campaigns for global and local brands selected as winners.

In addition to the Grand Prix, the jury awarded five Golds, five Silvers and five Bronzes.

Among the Golds was When embracing dirt became an act of faith, a campaign by MullenLowe Lintas Group in India and Pakistan for Unilever-owned detergent Surf Excel.

The next-gen is ready, by Ogilvy & Mather for mobile telco Vodafone Business Services in India, took the Market Pioneer Special Award as well as a Gold.

Pre-natal multivitamin brand Elevit was awarded a Gold for The First Hello, a campaign by PHD China that used emotional video content and targeted digital ads to increase sales to expectant parents.

From Japan, ADK Tokyo’s Making shampoos an office supply in Japan won a Gold and the Local Hero Special Award.

Finally, the Asia First Special Award and a Gold went to The Job Switch, another Ogilvy & Mather campaign in India, this time recruiting teachers for The Akanksha Foundation, an education NGO.

Full details of all the winners are available on the Prize website.

Sourced from WARC