Japan National Tourism Organization | JAPAN - Where tradition meets the future - INBOUND TOURISM

A branding campaign for Japan combining Japanese and European sensibilities.


Establishing a brand image for Japan in Europe.

This project was JNTO's first large-scale promotion in Europe. Covering 15 European nations with a focus on mid- to long-term results, it required the development of a brand image with universal and enduring appeal. We started by conducting qualitative and quantitative surveys in Europe about travel to Japan. The quantitative research revealed that Japan attracts less than half as many European travelers as China or Thailand. In fact, Japan doesn’t even rank among the top five Asian destinations. The results also showed that lack of information on what can be experienced in Japan was the main reason for the low numbers. After conducting qualitative surveys (group interviews) in the U.K., Germany and France to find solutions to various issues raised by quantitative survey results, we developed a new campaign concept.

Where tradition lives alongside the future

When we researched what Europeans found appealing about Japan, we found it matched our “chaos of tradition and innovation” slogan created out of our findings. We simplified our latest research to the concept of “fusion of tradition and innovation” which served as the foundation for our promotional content. We also made sure to cover Japan’s rich nature and hospitality to make the content specific to Japan.

Seeing Japan through European eyes

We led all planning and production of this project, from concept to film, website, graphics, event booths and novelty goods. We aimed to blend European sensibilities with the essence of Japan, bringing Japanese creators and a German filmmaker together to capture footage in 45 locations (including Tokyo, Kyoto, Kumano and Ise) to create a 3-minute movie. The mix of Japanese insight and European objectivity presented Japan in a totally new light. The movie used time-lapse techniques to portray the endless opportunities for experiencing tradition, modernity and nature while traveling in Japan. The movie was shot from a first-person perspective to give the viewpoint of a traveler moving through rapidly changing scenes.

Every click takes you deeper

Most tourism videos fail to show the deeper insights of how to experience the destinations and cultures shown. With this in mind, we created an interactive brand movie that let users display additional details about any of the destinations shown on screen. By simply clicking on the scene, the movie displayed the name and address of the destination along with a summary and still image. We believe this innovative presentation attracted interest and gave a deeper understanding of the destinations. The website was also made to be viewed in Europe’s five major languages (English, German, French, Spanish and Italian).

Won over 160 million yen in advertising value. Exposure from 580+ media outlets worldwide.

The brand movie was viewed over 16 million times, became a hot topic in Europe and was posted on over 580 media outlets worldwide. This amounted to media exposure worth over 160 million yen in advertising value. The movie also became a major topic on SNS and earned 80,000 likes and 67,000 shares on Facebook.