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Published May 10, 2021
Published May 10, 2021

Augmented reality and gamified skincare experiences come together centered around mobile phones in SK-II’s first-ever “Social Retail” Pop-Up Store in Haitang Bay Duty Free Shopping Centre in Hainan, China. The store 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 contactless product recommendations. The purpose of the shop is to transform beauty and skincare retail experiences in a safe, engaging and meaningful way.

The SK-II “Social Retail” Pop-Up Store is inspired by #ChangeDestiny—SK-II’s brand purpose—and VS, the new six-part animated anthology series by SK-II STUDIO, the brand’s first film studio and content hub that is dedicated to tackling social pressures that women face.

“#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 our commitment towards our brand purpose and bring more consumers in new and meaningful ways,” shared Sandeep Seth, Chief Executive Officer, Global SK-II.

“We are thrilled to launch SK-II’s first “social retail” pop-up in Hainan inspired by our brand purpose #ChangeDestiny and the newest installment by SK-II Studio—the ‘VS’ series. Engagement in the beauty and skincare category has generally been ‘tactile’ in nature—what you can see, touch, feel. In these times of the pandemic, we want to provide our consumers contactless, gamified experience where she can gain inspiration and learn about her skin in a safe yet engaging way.”

Centered around the concept of “The Line is the Ride,” the SK-II “Social Retail” Pop-Up Store immerses visitors in the cinematic universe of the animated anthology series. Through a WeChat Mini Program, visitors will be able to transport themselves into the world of VS with just a click on their mobile phones. They will be able to watch the VS films and participate in a larger-than-life AR experience—battling an underwater “kaiju” alongside their favorite Olympic athlete Liu Xiang as they wait in line.

Upon entering, visitors can enjoy a personalized skin analysis with SK-II’s latest contactless skincare counseling innovation, the Mini Magic Scan. This AI-enabled skin analysis tool allows visitors to gain understanding of their skin strengths and potential, unlock their skin age, as well as receive personalized skin analysis and product recommendations in a mere three minutes. No direct facial contact is needed as it can detect fluctuation of skin at pixel level and assess the stability of skin by homing in on three zones—eye, cheeks, and mouth—using facial recognition. Compared to previous years, it also is smaller in size and more convenient.

Through creating engaging “phygital” skincare experiences, SK-II hopes to take the intimidation and pressure out of shopping for skincare in the offline retail space and give control back to the consumer by giving her options to browse, shop, and learn about her skin at her own pace and on her own terms, in a safe, engaging, yet meaningful way.


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