Dentsu iButterfly Experiments AR and Location Based Coupon Service

Dentsu Inc., Japan’s largest advertising agency, announced that they started experimental coupon platform iButterfly with free iPhone application.

The application “iButterfly – Coupon Entertainment” can be downloaded for free until the end of March 2010 (requires iPhone 3GS).

On the mobile application, user can look through the iPhone app to the town and find butterfly flying around. By shaking iPhone like using butterfly net, user catches the virtual butterfly carries coupons and contents related to the location.

During the experimental period, three companies or shop group provide the butterflies.

  • Tokyo Music Map Group – shops offering good back ground music provides discount coupon
  • Yamada Denki – Japan’s biggest electric store chain will offer coupon at its Ikebukuro branch
  • Tokyo Gas – regional gas provider will offer a coupon for free novelty at three showrooms

Chou (butterfly in Japanese) is used here in double meaning, with another same sound “Chou” which means “collection book”.

Dentsu is planning to add more “Chou” such like “Nationwide local mascot characters collection book”, “All Yamanote Line stations collection”, “Today’s Fortunetelling”, “iPhone App recommendation”, etc.

[Update] The movie how it is played,

Ad Agency Giant Lets Publishers Digitize Their Business, Now More Than Ever

Dentsu, the world’s largest ad agency, announced today it would join forces with Yappa, an iPhone/iPod software developer which is strong in developing e-publication online reader, and launch a marketplace dealing with digital periodicals this summer.  Twenty publishers will put their thirty magazines on sale at the marketplace called Magastore[J].

Magastore uses an original DRM technology which has been developed by Dentsu, and the participating publishers include Asahi Shimbun Publication[J], Kodansha, Shinchosha[J], Diamond[J], Toyo Keizai[J] and Fusosha Publishing[J].

As the giant company joins e-publication business, it may add momentum to digitization of Japanese publication industry.

Magastore's Website

Giant Partnership of Game and Ad Sets Off New Wave Of Video Broadcast

Nintendo's Logo Dentsu's Logo

Coincidentally I write up several stories featuring video services using media other than terrestrial TV broadcast system in this Japan’s serial holidays season.

Nintendo and the world’s largest advertising agency Dentsu started Friday a video broadcast service on a 3D virtual world designed for Nintendo’s game platform Wii. The new service is named “Wii no Ma”, meaning a living room of Wii, and it is broadcast video programs expecting to be viewed by family audiences, that’s why it will have no PG-rated titles.

Wii no Ma

In contrast to the private broadcasters that need to bring programs which can commit high viewing rate and the sponsor’s satisfaction, Nintendo’s new service allows to put programs that producers want to present on experimental basis.

The service is entirely free, and the program viewers can comment on what they’ve watched and send it directly to the producer. After each program is viewed, you will be taken to the chatroom presented by the program sponsor. As of this writing in early May, there’s only one program of African elephant’s ecosystem, which is sponsored by Seven & i Holdings owning Seven Eleven convenience stores, Ito Yokado supermarkets and Japanese division of Denny’s restaurants[J]. After you finish viewing the program, Seven & i will give you a simple yes/no question in the chatroom: “Would you like to go shopping to Seven & i Store?”

Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata emphasized the following points making differences from traditional advertising revenue based media. (link to Mr. Iwata‘s presentation[J], 24 min 43 sec)

  • The service is based on ad revenue business model.
  • The service never compete with CGM video sites like YouTube in terms of content volumes in its number and variety.
  • The service gives sponsors the opportunity to get opinions directly from those who viewed the program sponsored.

Advertising agencies and large-sized enterprises, which used to sponsor top-rated TV programs, are seeking for a new media allowing them to appeal their products to consumers because…

  • Japanese business leaders do not like private broadcasters and their programs. They prefer public broadcaster NHK and TV Tokyo which is a relatively business-oriented private broadcaster owned by Nikkei Business Daily. (Source: J-Cast News[J])
  • In the latter half of 2008, the average viewing rate given for NHK exceeded that for private broadcasters, despite NHK is broadcast conservative and anti-entertaining programs. (Source: Naigai Times[J])
  • The consumer product manufacturers can no longer describe their products in depth, in such a small unit of spot commercial film which is as short as 15 seconds or 30 seconds.

You’re allowed to copy video titles from Wii to a tiny game device DSi, and it makes you possible to watch them even not at home.

The following is a video introduction provided by Nintendo, which tells you how to enjoy the new service. (Narrated in Japanese, 3 min 33 sec)

Paticipating program production studios are East[J], D: Complex[J] and TV Man Union.