Adtech Tokyo: Event Wrap Up

The 2nd annual Adtech Tokyo took place this week in Tokyo at the Prince Park Tower for marketing and agency professionals. The conference aims to gather leading thought-leaders to share insights and trends in digital marketing. This years programme featured 12 dedicated tracks, 36 individual sessions, and 5 keynotes. This article will summarize some of the speeches and panel discussions that happened for those who missed it.

Panel Discussion: Brand Content. What does it mean? How do we manage it?

The Brand Content panel was themed around defining brand content and strategy that stimulate consumers to share. The panel was comprised of Jessica Greenwood, director of Contagious, Kazuki Nishiguchi, CMO of Rhoto Pharmaceuticals, Lance Shields, Digital Marketing Director of MRM Worldwide, and moderator Satoshi Ohashi, Innovation Director of ADK. The concensus among the panel revolved around the idea that brand content must be either entertaining, useful, or insightful – and does not necessarily need to contain the product within the given content. Jessica Greenwood from Contagious proposed several case studies of branded content including the Gatorade Replay project, as well as Volkswagen’s recently successful Fun Theory project. Kazuki Nishiguchi introduced his branded content campaigns I Want Chu as well as an upcoming iPad promotion for eyedrops aimed at young men featuring a virtual girlfriend that requires regular attention and eyedrops. Nishiguchi said the I Want Chu campaign had roughly 1.5 million hits – but admitted he has no idea how the I Want Chu campaign affected sales. He let slip that men inside the company loved it and are planning to extend the campaign.

Panel Discussion: Creative Solutions and Advanced Innovations for Multiple Platforms

The Multi-platform panel was themed around understanding the best use of platforms through advertising, as well as creative development that is flexible for any platform. The panel was comprised of Jonny Shaw, Founding Partner at Naked Communications Tokyo, Teiichi Ota, Technical Evangelist for Adobe Systems, and Akihito Abe, Creative Director for Ogilvy One Japan, and moderator Naoto Oiwa, Senior Creative Director at Dentsu. This panel differed on their conceptions on the state of multi-platforms. Akihito Abe stated that as the growth of platforms becomes increasingly more complex, the creative and execution would have to become more simpler. He defined fancy flash websites as elephants – large and interesting but ultimately unable to reach through different platforms, while text based messages like Twitter were nimble, but unable to bring innovative levels of interactivity to the user experience. Jonny Shaw outlined his frustrations in the poor level of interactivity within brand communications or websites when compared to the gaming industry – and told attendees to get their heads out of their silos. He argued that the gaming industry has not only grown to tremendous proportions, but is currently leading innovation in interactivity that can stretch across differing platforms while the marketing industry, especially the Japanese marketing industry, has lagged years behind. Akihito Abe introduced his work with Castrol for the World Cup, where they built a robotic leg to kick a football at world record speeds of 200 km per hour. The concept was to use this central, interesting idea to spread brand awareness. This promotional robot was covered across various media channels without spending media budget. While this was not necessarily an example of multi-platform more than it was multimedia, Abe asserts the same principles apply.

Keynote: ‘The Advertising Revolution: How consumer evolution is shaping our industry’

Carolyn Everson, VP of Global Advertising Sales and Trade Marketing at Microsoft Advertising, kicked off the first keynote by speaking about the changing nature of the consumer these days and how the consumer holds a lot of power, deeming that while ‘companies make the products, the consumers make the brand’. She also touched upon the necessity to have seamless brand presence across multiples mediums but customizing each experience to fit the consumer expectation/use of that particular medium. For example when purchasing a car, what you expect to receive from a 60 second spot, is different from what you are looking to find when you actively go online in search of more detailed information.

Follow-up Panel Discussion: ‘The Advertising Revolution: How consumer evolution is shaping our industry’

A number of issues were raised during the panel discussion between Carolyn Everson, Anna Kirah, an Innovation and Design Anthropologist, Hiroto Ebata, Coca Cola’s Director of i Marketing, Marketing and New Business and Victor Misawa, VP Marketing of Unilever Japan Customer Marketing KK. Anna Kirah firstly spoke about how the most important thing she learnt about marketing was something she learnt at kindergarten. As someone who grew up in Taiwan, China and Japan, as a kid, she learnt that in order to make friends, she needed to understand things from the other side; in other words, as a marketer you need to put yourself in the shoes of your consumers. Mr. Ebata discussed Coca Cola’s needs to not only have a multi-platform brand presence, but for these to be more closely connected and integrated, whilst making sure that each mediums is specifically catered to. Carolyn Everson and Victor Misawa discussed how the content of each medium also differs according to the product as, whilst purchasing a car is a high involvement purchase which may require the consumer to expect more detailed information about price and quality, Unilever’s typical products would instead focus on product and brand experience. To this end Misawa spoke about Unilever’s latest success with an event for the male grooming products brand Axe, which utilized Twitter and Ustream to expand its audience and impact.

Keynote: ‘ Revolutionizing Digital Publishing For Consumer Demands’

The next keynote speaker, Kenneth Estenson, Senior VP and General Manager of, spoke of how over the years the change in the way in which the public consumes media has affected news reporting. With the rise of social media and consumer involvement with brands CNN has had to modify, not only the format of their online site by giving over large sections of the home page to videos and incorporating Facebook, but they have also had to fundamentally shift their view of what ‘journalism’ entails. This has predominantly come about by their ‘iReport’section which allows anybody to upload to the site, any video footage or photo from their phone which they deem news-worthy. On receiving these submissions, the CNN editorial team of journalists will get in touch with the ‘iReporter’ to verify what they have sent in. This form of crowd-sourcing news reporting has meant that CNN is able to get live, immediate news coverage from all over the world (there are now over 6000 iReporters across the globe) in some cases, from places where CNN reporters are not allowed or cannot get to. For example during the Haiti disaster CNN was able to get a group of volunteer iReporters on the ground at Haiti to set up a Google Docs Spreadsheet with all the available information about people who were missing or found, integrating it with Google’s People Finder, and information from the databases of the Red Cross, and the US State Department, enabling people to get information about their loved ones.  While Estenson admitted that this form of reporting has meant that news reporting companies are now less in control of what and how news is broadcast, he sees it as an exciting and necessary step for any news networks which want to stay relevant to the people in this day and age.
The presentation files for other presenters can be found below.
Marvin Chow, Google APAC Marketing Manager
Jonny Shaw, Founding Partner of Naked Communications

Thanks to Matilda Ruffle for contributing on this article.

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