TOKYO: ADK, one of Japan's top three advertising agencies, sees its future as an international consumer activation company that makes use of domestic culture, its president and chief executive officer has said.
"A traditional advertising agency targets a single step of one's communication activities," said Shinichi Ueno. "Our aim is to become an integrated marketing service provider that can actively motivate consumers to take action."
Speaking to The Worldfolio, he outlined the agency's Vision 2020 objective which embraces not just structural reforms to enable "multi-layered content creation" but also investment in intellectual property – specifically in anime, a Japanese style of animation that is hugely popular with both adults and children.
The country's top-grossing movie in 2016, for example, has been Your Name, an anime that has taken more than twice as much as any other film released this year.
"One of our goals is to expand our intellectual property anime business internationally," Ueno explained.
Within Japan, ADK has transferred anime into popular live performances, where a singer or a dancer dresses up as an anime character and performs for the public. "We even successfully turned a mega-hit anime into a Kabuki performance, one of the Japanese traditional cultures," Ueno added.
And he sees opportunities in exporting this anime focus, citing the example of a Vietnamese campaign that used the popular Doraemon character to raise children's awareness of traffic safety.
While the agency's main focus is on China and Southeast Asia it also has its sights set on the US, where it believes its corporate values will mark it out from the competition.
"Our difference maker is our culture of precision and of rigorous attention to detail," Ueno said.
"To be relevant to European and American businesses, we have chosen to embody Japanese corporate values by making them relevant to the US market. We have the power to bring a different perspective on doing business."
Data sourced from The Worldfolio, The Guardian; additional content by Warc staff