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[Exclusive Interview] Global SK-II CEO Sue Kyung Lee Spoke With MIA To Discuss Their First Self-Directed Film Series, PITERA™ & Me

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Sue Kyung Lee, Global CEO of SK-II, has been invited to share and discuss the current campaign for the global prestige skincare brand with MIA. Sue Kyung’s remarkable track record of creating outstanding business and organisational results is based on her deep consumer understanding, game-changing approach to brand building, significant omnichannel industry expertise, and enthusiasm for people. We are thrilled to have her with us today! Let’s take a look at what she has to say about SK-II’s recent PITERA ™ & Me campaign.

SK-II recently launched a new campaign which is called PITERA ™ & Me, and what caught my attention is that this is the brand’s first-ever self-directed film series, featuring worldwide Gen-Z personalities. How did you come up with the campaign’s concept or inspiration?

At SK-II, we are always looking for new and meaningful ways to tell the story of PITERA™ and PITERA™ Essence through real, authentic stories of skin transformation.

Authenticity is always at the heart of what we do. We know our consumers, especially Gen-Z consumers, resonate deeply with this as well.

Taking inspiration from the importance Gen-Z places on being authentic and real—both in the way that they present themselves online and the type of social media and entertainment they consume, SK-II’s PITERA™ and Me campaign featured the journeys of our four SK-II Gen Z ambassadors—MINA (Twice), Zhang Zi Feng, Dou Jing Tong and Ayaka Miyoshi as they went on a self-care break with SK-II. Filmed 24/7 in a vacation house, our brand ambassadors went completely bare-skinned and got up close and personal in ways that are authentic to their interests and personalities. They tried PITERA™ Essence and filmed their own experiences, unscripted and self-directed—very much like how they would on their own social channels.

MINA of K-POP group TWICE in SK-II’s first self-directed “PITERA™ & Me” film series

Also, we incorporated the concept of ‘self-care’, which is a topic of interest among Gen-Z that was particularly elevated during the pandemic. We know taking a moment for self-care to recharge, relax and refresh is important, and we married this with our brand ambassadors experiencing PITERA™ Essence for the very first time as the main theme of the PITERA™ & Me films.

Lastly, the concept of having our brand ambassadors film their own self-care break in a vacation house was also partly inspired by the authentic style of reality shows like Terrace House that are popular among viewers today, as well as by the type of content that Gen-Z posts on social media platforms like Tiktok, Instagram and Douyin.

Can you give us a brief background about the ingredients that can be found in the product?

PITERA™ is SK-II’s exclusive and naturally derived ingredient crafted from a proprietary fermentation process of a unique yeast strain that only SK-II owns. Packed with over 50 micro-nutrients like vitamins, amino acids and organic acids, PITERA™ resembles the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factors, which is why PITERA™ Essence penetrates quickly and deeply into the skin to provide inner skin hydration and strengthen the skin’s barrier function to protect against external stressors. Containing over 90% PITERA™, PITERA™ Essence (SK-II Facial Treatment Essence) is SK-II’s signature and most awarded-bestseller. Nicknamed “Miracle Water” in Asia, it’s loved by millions of women worldwide for its visible transformation to Crystal Clear Skin with regular use.

I believe this is the first time SK-II has committed a campaign to connect with Gen-Z consumers by enlisting global Gen-Z celebrities such as Mina from Twice and award-winning movie star, Zhang Zi Feng. So, why did you decide to target Gen-Z consumers?

At SK-II, our consumers are at the heart of all that we do. Understanding and engaging with Gen-Z consumers is very important to us as they represent the next generation of prestige beauty and skincare consumers.

How do PITERA ™ & Me contribute to the development of SK-II’s brand, businesses, and marketing strategies for the next generation of beauty consumers?

At SK-II, our consumers are at the heart of all that we do. Gen-Z is a very important audience for us as they represent the next generation of prestige beauty and skincare consumers.

Through engaging with her via campaigns like PITERA™ and Me and other brand content and experiences we are learning about her—her preferences, wants and needs—so we can best serve her with superior products, brand content and experiences that are even more relevant and meaningful to her.

Given that the brand has a large number of devoted consumers among women in their early 30s and above, will it be a difficult task for you and your team to keep Gen-Z consumers committed to the brand?

All audience demographics are unique, so it’s essential to understand what each generation expects from brands and how they make their purchase decisions to build a lasting relationship between them and the brand.

At SK-II, consumers are at the heart of all that we do. Keeping her interested is not an easy task, but it is a fulfilling one. We are always actively listening and learning about her, engaging with her to understand her preferences, wants and needs so we can best serve and delight her with superior products, brand content and experiences that are both relevant and meaningful to her.

The launch of PITERA ™ & Me demonstrates the brand’s dedication to reaching out to Gen-Z consumers. What do you believe is the best skincare product now marketed for them, and why?

I believe the best SK-II product for Gen-Z consumers would be the product that PITERA™ & Me is centred on, our signature and most-awarded best-seller—the SK-II PITERA™ Essence.

Containing 90% PITERA™-a SK-II exclusive and naturally derived ingredient crafted from a proprietary fermentation process of a unique yeast strain that only SK-II owns, PITERA™ Essence penetrates quickly and deeply into the skin to provide inner skin hydration and strengthens the skin’s barrier function to protect against external stressors.

Formulated for all skin types and addressing multiple skin concerns such as dryness, dullness, texture (pores, fine lines), firmness, SK-II PITERA™ Essence, nicknamed Miracle Water” in Asia, is loved by millions of women worldwide for visible transformation to Crystal Clear Skin with regular use. It’s the best product for Gen Z consumers to try.

Photo by SKII

Can you share with us your personal favourite among SK-II skincare products?

This is a hard one. Definitely our iconic best-seller PITERA™ Essence but also, our #1 Brightening Essence—SK-II Genoptics Aura Essence and multi-award-winning anti-ageing cream—Skinpower Cream.

In your opinion, do you believe that the pandemic has an impact on the preferences and buying patterns of SK-II consumers?

Yes—definitely. The pandemic has accelerated new ways of consumption, especially with e-commerce. Online shopping has caught up with physical shopping because of the way we’ve stayed at home for the larger part of the last two years, and consumers in many parts of the world are now more likely to make an online purchase as a physical one.

However, after so much social distancing and virtual connection, consumers also look out for closer human connection without losing the benefits that technology has brought to us in physical retail experiences. So, our aim for omnichannel retail experiences is to harmonize the use of technology with in-person brand experiences that are not only safe but meaningful for her.

What would be your ultimate dream to achieve with SK-II?

For every person in the world to experience the miracle of PITERA™ and Change Destiny for Skin, Life and Planet with SK-II.

That is great, Sue Kyung! I’m also curious as to what recommendations you would give to consumers looking to get the most out of the SK-II skincare line.

PITERA™ is in every single product of our SK-II skincare line and is what makes SK-II products so efficacious.

PITERA™ is SK-II’s exclusive and naturally derived “miracle” ingredient crafted from a proprietary fermentation process of a unique yeast strain that only SK-II owns. Packed with over 50 micro-nutrients like vitamins, amino acids and organic acids, PITERA™ resembles the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factors, which is why PITERA™ Essence penetrates quickly and deeply into skin3 to provide inner skin hydration and strengthens the skin’s barrier function to protect against external stressors.

I would definitely recommend consumers to start with our iconic best-seller PITERA™ Essence. Formulated for all skin types and able to address multiple skin concerns such as dryness, dullness, texture (pores, fine lines), and firmness, SK-II’s PITERA™ Essence has been nicknamed Miracle Water” in Asia, its loved by millions of women worldwide for its visible transformation to Crystal Clear Skin with regular use. I would also recommend our #1 brightening essence- Genoptics Aura Essence as well as our multi-awarded anti-ageing cream—Skinpower Cream.

Are there any exciting upcoming launches that you would want to give us a little sneak peek at?

This year, we’ll be focusing on PITERA™ in a big way. Consumers will really get to learn, understand, and immerse themselves in our exclusive and naturally derived signature ingredient—PITERA™ which is at the core of SK-II. Stay tuned!

Lastly, is there any beauty or wellness advice that you would like to share with our readers?

At SK-II, we believe less is more. Beauty can be achieved with less, and by focusing on the few things that your skin essentially needs—PITERA™.

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