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Industry Water
Media Design & Branding
Market Japan
Released May 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Sustainable Packaging
Product/Service: I LOHAS WATER
Date of First Appearance: May 18 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: COCA COLA JAPAN, Tokyo, JAPAN
Entry URL:
Vice President / Creative Director: David Elsworth (The Coca-Cola Company Japan)
Executive Creative Director: Yasuaki Iwamoto (Hakuhodo Creative Vox Inc.)
Creative Director: Takako Sasaki (Hakuhodo Creative Vox Inc.)
Creative Director / Art Director: Yuji Tokuda (Canaria Inc.)
Creative Media Planner: Hidenori Kondo (Hakuhodo Inc.)
Copywriter: Keiichi Sasaki (Hakuhodo Inc.)
Research and Design, Package Designer: Kenshi Matsuoka (The Coca-Cola Company Japan)
Art Project Management: Kimiko Woo
Sculpture Artist: Mark Jenkins
Director: Shinji Fukue (The Coca-Cola Company Japan)
Photographer: Kenji Tsuji
Account Director: Masataka Saito (Hakuhodo Inc.)
Account Supervisor: Kenichiro Oonishi (Hakuhodo Inc.)
Communication Director: Nobuyuki Ishii (Frontier International Inc.)
Designer: Hidetaka Matsunaga (The Coca-Cola Company Japan)
Photographer: Norio Kidera
Producer: Sohei Hirao (The Coca-Cola Company Japan)
Chief Producer: Shuzo Yamada (Aoi Advertising Promotion Inc.)
Producer: Tomokazu Kato (Aoi Advertising Promotion Inc.)
Communication Director: Ryotaro Yao (The Coca-Cola Company Japan)
: (Frontier International Inc.)
Media placement: Bottle - Supermarket, CVS,Drugstore, And Vending Machine - 18 May 2009

Describe the challenges and key objectives
Reposition imported bottled waters. But how to topple these icons of style? Imported brands have a huge carbon footprint and cannot compete if we would change the way people looked at the category. What if we elevated the badge of provenance to a statement of your commitment to the planet? 1) Related to bigger issues the Japanese mass consumer cared about 2) Confront the very legitimacy of the imported brands in the market Our challenge was to build a brand based on environmental leadership and sustainability, enabling ordinary people to feel they were making a tangible difference?

Describe the brief from the client
Launch a new water brand. The category equity is owned by imported waters. (Japanese consumers love imported brands). Water is a low interest category, consumers see LITTLE OR NO DIFFERENCE in the waters on offer. The codes of the category are basic, with communication of provenance, natural components and sources. Water has little or no opportunity for meaningful innovation ”Water is water". The brief called for a radical rethink and to “reframe” the stagnant market. Inject the old rules with new energy, and cause consumers to radically rethink the way they choose water. To change the way people shopped products of this category.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
The package is designed to be crushed with a simple twist and become a brand core icon. The ultra-lightweight 12gsm bottle uses 40% less PET. The cap is lightweight with a minimum size roll-label. The VIS rejects category codes (blue, mountains and provenance), the design uses a simple child’s pin wheel motif that looks like a sprouting leaf. The art project helped to celebrate the beauty of the crushed bottle. A crushed bottle - an icon to be recycled not garbage. I-LOHAS named in Japanese い・ろ・は・す is the equivalent of A.B.C. The name reinforces the idea of a simple choice that can help change the world.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
In 6 months over 200 million bottles had been sold (I LOHAS) brand stole the No. 1 rank in sales in all challenges (supermarket, convenience and vending). The first time a new water brand had dislodged the traditional brands. The brand was covered 554 times on TV news etc and newspapers, providing the equivalent of 3.9 million dollars in media value. Japanese government is now quoting the I LOHAS brand as one of the examples of how business can help the country achieve the 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions needed for Japan to make good on their sustainability commitments.