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brands media social media TV

Japan brand management: Saatchi & Saatchi Japan CEO Philip Rubel talks about Lovemarks in Japan

Japan brand management: brands often work differently in Japan. Saatchi & Saatchi Japan CEO Philip Rubel explains Lovemarks in Japan

Japan brand management: Saatchi & Saatchi Japan CEO Philip Rubel talks about Lovemarks in Japan
Japan brand management: Saatchi & Saatchi Japan CEO Philip Rubel talks about Lovemarks in Japan

by Gerhard Fasol

Philip Rubel, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Tokyo KK gave a talk about “Lovemarks”, a concept in branding developed by Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts.

To understand Japan’s media landscape read the “Japan’s media” report.

The argument is that traditional “brands” are losing relevance because in our advanced “post-industrial” societies, function and technology are given, and can usually be rapidly reproduced or overtaken by competitors. Therefore, advertising based on function or technology does not work anymore. Another factor is the shift from traditional one-way media such as TV and print, to social media and peer-to-peer interactions, where anyone can publish anything about “brands” and “brands” cannot do anything about it directly. Thus traditional brands are dead. So, how can we get people to attach irrationally, beyond reason? Lasting relationships are not based on rational thinking.

Japan brand management: Lovemarks create loyalty which goes beyond reason

“Lovemarks” counter these effects: the concept of Lovemarks is to “create loyalty which goes beyond reason”. To create love for the Lovemarks. To get there, Saatchi & Saatchi believes in the “unreasonable” power of creativity: creativity can create loyalty beyond reason.

Philip Rubel showed us several examples of campaigns, mainly in Japan, which were successful far beyond expectations. These campaigns are based on creativity, incorporate surprise, appeal to emotion, and aim to exploit viral sharing on social media such as facebook and YouTube. Creativity is used to replace expensive traditional top-down one-way media such as TV and print, by social media, internet, YouTube and viral sharing and engagement. Here are some examples:

BMW films by Fallon

The issue was to develop the BMW brand in USA with limited budgets. BMW Films was a series of films created by famous directors and famous actors, which was uploaded to the BMWfilms.com website for download. BMW Films became famous, actors volunteered to appear, and download figures were far beyond plan.

SONY Bravia balls in San Francisco

Making of SONY Bravia balls

SONY Bravia paint

Godiva Love & Hug project for Valentine’s day 2013

For Valentine’s day 2013, Saatchi & Saatchi built a hugging robot, which people could hug, and the hugs were measured, rated, and photographed, and the results could be displayed on social network sites etc. The campaign is explained here on Saatchi & Saatchi’s website.

https://www.facebook.com/GodivaLoveandHug

De’Longhi coffee campaign: Michelangelo’s David

De’Longhi had the issue of competing with much more powerful Nestle’s campaign centered on George Clooney. De’Longhi decided to use Michelangelo’s David, who is immensely popular in Japan – and who does not require actor’s fees…

Reebok Rajio Taiso

Radio Taiso is a morning gymnastics series, which Japan’s national radio and TV system NHK started back in 1928. Saatchi & Saatchi created an imitation of Radio Taiso using professional acrobats, and relied on viral marketing. The advertised brand name appears only very briefly at the end of the video clip – enough to create response far beyond expectations:

T-Mobile “Life’s for sharing” campaign

T-Mobile “Life’s for sharing” Royal Wedding episode currently has 27,539,402 views on YouTube:

Understand Japan’s media and advertising industries

Report on Japan’s Media (approx. 200 pages, pdf file)

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Disaster

Impact of the Fukushima and Tohoku triple disaster on Japan’s economy (AlJazeera TV interview)

AlJazeera live TV interview about impact of the disaster on Japan’s economy

Watch Aljazeera interview video clip and read article here

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Internet media Mobile TV

Evolution of TV and social TV (Keynotes at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea Sept. 10, 2009)

Two keynotes on “Evolution of TV” and “Social TV” and chaired session at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea, September 10, 2009

Evolution of TV and social TV (Keynotes at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea Sept. 10, 2009)
Evolution of TV and social TV (Keynotes at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea Sept. 10, 2009)

Evolution of TV and social TV (Keynotes at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea Sept. 10, 2009)
Evolution of TV and social TV (Keynotes at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea Sept. 10, 2009)

Evolution of TV and social TV (Keynotes at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea Sept. 10, 2009)
Evolution of TV and social TV (Keynotes at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea Sept. 10, 2009)

Evolution of TV and social TV (Keynotes at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea Sept. 10, 2009)
Evolution of TV and social TV (Keynotes at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea Sept. 10, 2009)

Evolution of TV and social TV (Keynotes at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea Sept. 10, 2009)
Evolution of TV and social TV (Keynotes at BCWW2009 Global Media Forum, Seoul, Korea Sept. 10, 2009)

Categories
M&A media Mobile TV

Japan media landscape restructuring

Japan’s broadcasting is a US$ 40 billion/year industry

There have been many attempts over the years for Japan media landscape restructuring

by Gerhard Fasol

Japan’s broadcasting markets (commercial TV + NHK + CATV + satellite + AM & FM radio) have annual combined revenues on the order of US$ 40 billion. The main players in this market are five large commercial TV groups and the semi-public NHK.

Media Group TBS attracts uninvited merger proposals

One of these five TV and media groups – TBS – has received an uninvited merger proposal by it’s largest shareholder – the internet portal Rakuten – and in parallel also attracted the Murakami-Fund as an investor.

TBS media group under pressure? and why?

Earlier this year Japan’s Murakami Fund acquired about 7% of the TBS Media Group, and declared that TBS was undervalued and should sell non-core assets, such as real estate and other non-TV / non-media related properties.

Recently, Rakuten acquired about over 20% of TBS shares, making Rakuten the largest shareholder of TBS. Rakuten announced a business plan for a merged Rakuten-TBS Group integrating Rakuten’s internet businesses with TBS’ TV and media operations. Since Rakuten’s stock market valuation is about 35% higher than TBS’ valuation (as of October 24, 2005), Rakuten’s management is expected to dominate a potentially merged group.

TBS’ management is not delighted with the prospect of losing control in this way. In response, three things happened:

  1. TBS management announced cooperations with “stable shareholders” Dentsu, Mitsui Bussan, and Bic-Camera, and non-shareholder Amazon.co.jp, and other Japanese corporations.
  2. The Murakami Fund proposed a management buy-out, which would lead to a delisting of TBS by the Tokyo Stock Exchange, taking TBS private. This possibility was voted down by TBS management.
  3. Livedoor offered support as a (very unlikely) white knight. Given Livedoor’s record of a failed hostile take-over attempt of the Fuji-Sankei media group earlier this year (for details see our report on Japan’s Media industry), it seems to be more than unlikely for TBS to go for Livedoor as a white knight – however no one knows for sure.

At this time the acquisition battle for the TBS Group is in full swing and the final outcome is difficult to estimate. In parallel to the take-over battle, a public discusson by Japan’s industry leaders is examining the desirability of hostile take-overs in Japan.

Japan media analysis report:

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Categories
M&A media TV

Livedoor and Fuji TV take over battle via Japan Radio

New economy player Livedoor attempts takeover of “old economy” media conglomerate Fuji Television Group

Livedoor and Fuji TV: Takafumi Horie “Horiemon” attempts to exploit an overlooked loophole in Fuji Televisions shareholder structure to gain control of the very much larger Fuji media group

Livedoor and Fuji TV: New economy (Livedoor) is knocking at the door of old economy (Fuji-TV) (for details see our “Japan’s Media” report):

Fuji Television headquarters building in Odaiba
Fuji Television headquarters building in Odaiba

Below is an outline of the take-over battle raging right now. The complex cross-shareholding is puzzling, and the reason for it is surprising to the uninitiated: a long time ago there was no radio and no TV, only newspapers. Radio in Japan was born as babies of newspaper companies, and TV stations were born as babies of the Radio stations. So at the beginning Fuji-TV was a tiny in-company venture subsidiary of Japan-Radio (Nihon Hosou). The cross-share holding structure dates from these pioneering days of TV in Japan and has not been touched since – until Livedoor’s Takafumi Horie came along.

Schematics of Livedoor's attempt to take control of Fuji Television Media Group via the radio station Nihon Hosou
Schematics of Livedoor’s attempt to take control of Fuji Television Media Group via the radio station Nihon Hosou

Takafumi Horie’s nickname in Japan is Horiemon. Why? Because many people think that Takafumi Horie looks similar to Japan’s cartoon character Doraemon.

By the way: some media falsely report that Horie is the founder of Livedoor. This is not the case. Horie-san founded a website design company called “Livin’ On the EDGE Inc” in 1996, later renamed EDGE, and many other companies. In 2002 he acquired the free email/ISP company Livedoor.

This battle stimulated us to release our “Japan Media” report.

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