The Japanese Advertising Industry in a Nutshell #2

The Japanese advertising industry is not well understood from the outside. In fact, I am not sure it is that well understood from the inside. In a post I published in 2014 called “The Japanese Advertising Industry in a Nutshell” I tried to sum up what makes it unique, the characteristics of the advertising itself, and explain why it has remained dominated by domestic agencies. In the context of my readership the post "went viral", still gets a lot of traffic, led to a bunch of speaking offers, and sparked off a lot discussion among my peers who work in advertising here in Tokyo. From all of this I learned a tremendous amount and it helped to solidify the ideas, and hence this post is an overdue follow up that aims to: Summarise the original article’s assertions Describe the … [Read more...]

Why US brands are investing in Japan today

This post is based on a speech I gave on March 18th at an event to celebrate the opening of my network MullenLowe Profero's new San Francisco office, attended by friends and clients.  There is a lot written about Japan and it’s basket-case economy in the US press, and most of it is wrong. The reality on the ground is quite different, and I would like to tell you about a few of the smart American brands that understand this and are profiting. In doing so I am going to try answer a pretty simple question: Why do some great American brands choose to double down and invest in Japan today, while others pull out? Is it hard to do business in Japan? Well, it’s not yet a vassal state of California, but it is a relatively easy country for brands to get up and running in, with the … [Read more...]