Friday, April 22, 2005

:: adgruntie :: Interview with ADK's pres

+ Asatsu-DK Inc (ADK) is Japan's third largest ad agency. JapanToday has an interview with its president Koichiro Naganuma. Here are a couple interesting bits from the interview:
What are ADK's strengths?

Because WPP has a 20% stake in ADK, we have direct influence from a Western company. That makes ADK a Westernized, transparent agency. Also, unlike many other Japanese ad agencies that are merely an extension of media organizations, we represent the client.

Another strength is our emotional branding, or Ex-Branding philosophy, in order to make a product attractive to consumers. To succeed in this business, you have to appeal to the senses, and we do that by taking a 360-degree approach, involving the full spectrum of media to get the consumers to feel an emotional response. After all, consumers judge your product through the final TV or print commercial.

What percentage of your clients are foreign companies?
About 25% of our billings come from Western companies in Japan.

What are some unique features of the Japanese advertising industry?
Most Japanese agencies get commission from the media, not the client, because they are extensions of the media organizations. Some media owners, instead of selling certain time slots to clients, might use them to advertise their own networks.

Another difference is the length of ads. Japanese TV commercials are generally only 15 seconds, so I think this lowers the quality. The only thing you can do in 15 seconds is mention your name and create basic awareness. That's one reason why foreign celebrities are used. They are an attention-getting device.

You said Japanese ads aren't very good. What's wrong with them?
I've seen a lot of ads from overseas and I think the fatal weakness of Japanese TV ads is lack of humor and simplicity. Japanese advertising concepts won't succeed overseas like that. Cute is OK but not in an international market. That's why I tell our people to be more creative.

How much potential do you see in new media?
I think the Internet has lots of potential. So do i-mode and cell phones. Clients cannot neglect the importance of the Internet. Of the time Japanese people allocate to the various media, No. 1 is TV, but the Internet is 2nd already, above newspapers and magazines.

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