Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tokyo Highlights - OOH Advertising

According to a March 2012 ZenithOptimedia forecast, Japan's adspend has grown by 3.1% in 2012 from 2011 - this is a rosy outlook from its decline in the previous years.Japan is the second largest ad market in the world with China trailing a close third place. 

We had blogged about the advertisements around the Shijuku area before and it is evident that Out-of-Home OOH advertising in Japan remains vital to a populace that works hard, plays hard (and drinks hard).

OUTDOOR advertising = OOH formats are balanced with static billboards still taking a good dominance of OOH outdoor spaces in the key city areas like Shinjuku, Harajuku and Akihabara etc. Selected prime areas are developed into digital formats especially on buildings with fashion dominance or music and movie entertainment. These digital formats are dominant in size, excellent quality with minimal or no blockages for maximum impact

Akihabara - Electronics and Comics (otakus' haven)

Takeo Kikuchi Shibuya Store
OUTDOOR advertising = OOH formats are innovative, and good shop frontages are powerful media for the retail outlets. Even the Takeo Kikuchi global flagship store in Shibuya which was still under renovations when we visited was a key OOH platform. The Takeo Kikushi store is a success of Japanese Minimalist architecture and it is well documented by Dezeen and Mooponto

Depending on advertisers' needs, the lighted mobile billboards are an effective medium for short term targeted messages. However, this is not a mainstream form of advertisement and most advertisers are events or music and movie entertainment targeted.

Mobile Billboards roaming around Shibuya

Shibuya Crossing - plethora of OOH formats
TRANSIT advertising = OOH formats are small to allow for efficient and frequent change visuals by a labour force that cannot afford a large number of workers.  The displays are changed even on a weekend display basis and the materials used are based on PP (polypropylene “paper") which is light weight and potentially recyclable. 

Shinagawa Station and its digital screens
TRANSIT advertising = OOH digital usage is less pervasive than we thought. This is a good thing since OOH digital usage has high fixed and variable costs, the hidden costs from equipment breakdown and compensation can also be an unpredictable factor in the decision to invest.

Nonetheless, OOH digital usage is well used in a multiple installation: Shinagawa Station - digital screens were installed on both sides of a long commute corridor which serves as a thoroughfare for tonnes of commuters. Tokyo Station had 4 exits within a rounded hall and the digital screens were unobtrusive and synchronized in their displays. The digital and the recently restored traditional facade and interiors were well matched. 

Roof of the newly restored Tokyo Station

Digital screens above each exit of the Tokyo Station
What are your thoughts on Out-of-Home advertising? If the location is right, then is the format right? What about the creative? Any opportunity for interaction? What's the frequency and duration of exposure? Is there a "So what's next?" for your target?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tokyo Highlights - Advertising Musem and LED Art Gallery

Was recently in Japan for a short trip; the food is great, the scenery is stunning and the people are charming and warm. But what really touched my geeky heart and my love for advertising was...

1. ADMT - Advertising Museum Tokyo is the first advertising and marketing museum in Japan. The museum houses an exhibition space and a library on advertising and marketing. The permanent exhibition features the history of advertising. Guided by the concept that "Advertising is the mirror of society" the exhibition chronicles advertising in Japan from the Edo Period (1603-1868) till today on the 21st century wall and explores new developments in advertising. 

I was struck by the advertisements from the eras: The influx of foreign brands during the Meiji, the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the eco-drive themes of the 21st century. The advertisements from events and periods were clear markers of history and the changing mindset of the society. This was really fun even for the non-advertisement geeks.

2. SCAI The Bathhouse Inspired by 10 of the best contemporary art galleries in Tokyo complied by Ashley Rawlings for the Guardian UK, I set off for the Mori Art Museum but it was closed for the Aida Mako's Monument for Nothing. So I set off to the SCAI The Bathhouse instead. Getting to the SCAI The Bathhouse from the Ueno station was half the adventure in itself as it was tucked away in an old neighbourhood of traditional wooden houses and temples. The transformation and restoration of the SCAI The Bathhouse is also another piece of art on its own too.

After viewing Teddy Lo's MEGAPOV during the Marina Bay's iLight 2012 in Singapore earlier this year, I have been intrigued by LED lighting art. The concept MEGAPOV is a light installation using a new digital light format to produce a news flash effect showing symbols. The symbols are seen as "flashes" from rapid eye movement which I have yet to figure out HOW (?!)

Anyway, Tatsuo Miyajima "LIFE I-model" was the featured solo exhibition during my visit at SCAI The Bathhouse. Using digital counters based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) which operates in an unpredictable and a random rhythm, Miyajima's illustrates this thinking which based on three concepts—"Keep Changing," "Connect with All," and "Goes on Forever." So the digital counters were flickering counting up and down in a random fashion to symbolize human's adaptability and the paradox of time.

If I lost you there in the above paragraph, please do not be put-off. I was feeling the same when I walked out of the gallery and the feeling was even more accentuated  because there was only 2 or 3 pieces of exhibits. But a good art piece sets you thinking for a long time. And this was one of those art.  

Will put together other photos of Tokyo in the next post. No yummy sushi photos though.