One of the things I like about the way Japanese brands (and agencies) approach digital marketing is the fact that blogs (and bloggers) are always on their mind. If you pay attention to most campaigns recently launched on the Web, you will notice that the “share/embed in your blog” functionality is always there. But it’s not just a simple copy & paste of some content offered on the website. What bloggers can put on their blog is actually the outcome of their own interaction/experience on the brand website. And this the cool part, because it activates mechanisms self expression and generates spontaneous but conscious word of mouth where consumers are endorsers of a personalized brand message.
The latest example I’ve found of this interesting approach is the website launched by Casio to promote its CA001 mobile phone model. If you visit the Urban/Feel/Harmony section you will be able to compose your own music session mixing sounds taken from a series of instruments.
In Japan Sony has launched a new, beautiful website to promote its Cam recorder. It’s a virtual experience of a child’s growth documented with a Handycam.
The video experience is somehow poetic and sligthly interactive. While you watch the video, you can select your favorite moments and record them. The ending of the movie will be different depending on the scenes you’ve selected.
I think this campaign called Love Distance that they created last November for Sagami Original is fantastic too. Sagami produces the thinnest condom in the world (0.02mm thin) and to promote this they created a story about two lovers living in Fukuoka and Tokyo respectively, separated 1000 kilometers from each other. To prove their love, they run to meet on Christmas Eve.
I know my opinion in this case doesn’t count as I’m talking about a Nike project, but I really like what my Japanese colleagues have done to promote the Blazer shoe on NIKEiD.
Everything starts with a white city, represented in a drawing like the ones you find in kids books that they then have to color. You click, and the experience begins… three manga style characters start running across the screen bringing colors and life to the city.
The latest minisite by Uniqlo is all about colors.
Simple, pleasant and effective as usual, the site presents a virtual travel through a colorful landscape populated by merino’s pullovers. The video is interactive, meaning that when you see a color that you like, you click and discover the full range of products available in that tone.
I very much like the interface, that makes the navigation first inspirational and them extremely concrete and practical.
I like the interface of the website launched in Japan by Volkswagen to promote its new Tiguan model. The car is at the center of the stage, while all around you find questions (and answers) about its characteristics. This is definitely not the usual way to present a car, it requires a bit of effort from the user and therefore more engagement.
Of course this choice has also a negative side as it might result annoying to the less intuitive and patient users. I would have rather chosen this path for a car with a younger audience (eg. Smart).
Introducing Nescafe Charge, directly from Japan, a product that, at first sight, looks absolutely useless or, better, superfluous: a recharge for your Nescafe stock.
However, as usual, it’s important to go beyond appearances. If you have a better look around, you smile watching an Einstein look-alike who explains you the brilliance of Nescafe Charge, and then you realize it’s all about being eco-friendly (I still have a lot to learn in this field).
Don’t miss the “try charge” section. It’s so amusing (and weird) that they make you play with the product to understand how it works. Learning by doing also online. Why not?
If you are a fan of Japanese cartoons you can’t miss this advergame launched in Japan by Toshiba. I have no idea of the products it aims to promote, but it’s fun to play and, most of all, is fun to watch & listen to. With all the animations and sound effects that accompain the gameplay, you really feel like you are watching a cartoon.
The anime characters in the game are inspired to the Yatterman series that was broadcasted in Japan back in the Seventies.
If you enjoy bubbles and screensavers, make sure to check out this website launched by Honda in Japan. I don’t understand what’s its final purposeis (promoting a car? just branding for consumers with kids?), but the “build your screensaver” functionality looks nice.
And a free screensaver to customize and download is definitely a very good reason to visit a site. PS: do I really have to specify that I’m kidding?
Palette, the new car by Suzuki, is really ugly, but the Japanese site to present it is really nice (and weird). It’s something between Mary Poppins and Charlie Chaplin, with animations and a story telling sweet and definitely unusual.
As usual, I don’t speak Japanese, so I don’t understand a word, but I like to point out the different communication approach chosen by Suzuki to present its new family car. I can imagine kids sitting at the PC with their parents browsing through the site to discover the animated stories.
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