From uninhabited islands and remote villages, to the busy streets and sparkling lights of Shinjuku, Japan is a country of opposites and extremes. This expands beyond the country's landscape into its pop-culture, its art and, of course, its media (especially on social).
While working in Japan’s advertising industry, I’ve witnessed some dramatic changes in client expectations in recent years. Quality over quantity - reaching smaller, more niche groups of consumers - has become the marker of success when it comes to the audiences brands are looking to connect with. The evolution of the internet and its culture has brought concerns over how brands are discussed externally and, in particular, over how they engage with and respond to sensitive issues within society.
The Japanese consumers have also become wiser to traditional marketing tactics. They are no longer fooled by glossy, colourful adverts selling empty promises. Instead they are opting for trustworthy products, reading reviews and asking for recommendations.
As such, it’s not easy to stand out in Japan today. But that only makes our challenge even more exciting as we open We Are Social Tokyo, the fourteenth international office in the group.
The new opening builds on the previous launches of We Are Social Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong over the last few years, all of which has helped to solidify our presence in the region and grow our collective headcount to over 200 people.
The move into Tokyo now gives our group a presence in both the largest (China) and second largest (Japan) economies in APAC, and is also the next step in our global strategy to offer our clients on-the-ground insights and access to all major markets. Through this, we aim to help brands across the region to establish and grow their presence, as they help us to do the same.
If you want to take part in this adventure with us, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Masayuki Tono is Managing Director of We Are Social Tokyo and reports into North Asia Regional Managing Director, Pete Lin.