Ganbatte 365 NPO Promo, Case study GANBATTE 365 (STAY STRONG 365) by Vanten

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Industry Public awareness
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Japan
Agency Vanten
Released March 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Charity and Not for Profit
Advertiser: GANBATTE 365 NPO
Agency: VANTEN
Chief Executive Officer: Neil Van Wouw (Vanten KK)
Video Producer: Yu Iwasaki (Vanten KK)
Creative Manager: Hideo Ohshima (Vanten KK)
Executive Director/Media Planning Division: Ikutarou Miura (Cross Ocean Media)
Chief Executive Officer: Shunichi Nasu (Others)
Chairman: Bob Kerwin (Dentsu Y&R)
Business Development Director/Head Of Jm Network: Daniel Wong (Jm Network)
Vice President and General Manager: Rob Hunt (Pattison Outdoor)
Chief Executive Officer: Michael Q Todd (Abundance Marketing)
Chief Executive Officer: Dave Haynes (Pressdooh)
Chief Executive Officer: Jerome Boudot (Tripnity (
Media placement: Outdoor Digital (1 Billboard) - Yodobi (Akihabara, Tokyo) - July 1, 2011
Media placement: Outdoor Digital (1 Billboard) - Yodobi (Umeda, Osaka) - July 8, 2011
Media placement: Outdoor Digital (3 Billboards) - JM Networks (Hong Kong) - July 30, 2011
Media placement: Outdoor Digital (300 Locations) - Tokyo Media (Tokyo) - Sept. 17, 2011
Media placement: Outdoor Digital (5 Billboards) - Pattison Outdoor (Vancouver) - Feb. 28, 2012
Media placement: Outdoor Digital (1 Billboard) - PR Newswire (Times Square, NY) - Mar. 8, 2012
Media placement: Outdoor Digital (1 Billboard) - American Eagle (Times Square) - Mar. 10, 2012

Summary of the Campaign
Once the world press had left, the devastated Tohoku region of Japan suffered a communications void, affecting both its community and its support network. This threatened the unity of purpose Japanese people had discovered in the disaster, as well as the motivation of those faced with the heavy task of rebuilding.

Ganbatte 365 ('Stay Strong' 365) was formed as an NPO to address this void, seeking to foster hope within the Tohoku community and maintain engagement with concerned outsiders.

Starting a 2-phased approach, Ganbatte 365 captured stories of hope from the affected areas on video, using the Web and Digital signage in Tokyo and Osaka to share these stories. Having created content, the NPO relied on voluntary Media sponsors to spread the stories to over 4.5m people each week.

In the second phase, popular blogs and Social Media were used to elicit messages of hope addressed to the people of Tohoku. The campaign was extended globally through the borderless use of social media, as well as prominent digital outdoor sites in Hong Kong, Vancouver and New York (Times Square). As the anniversary of the disaster approached, thousands of translated messages of support were shared with the people of Tohoku, with digital screens set up in 3 of the hardest hit Tohoku prefectures, cumulatively reaching over 12m people during this emotional milestone.

The campaign won the endorsement of the Japan Tourism Association, a first for an online campaign.

And the people of tohoku knew they were not alone.

The Situation
The tsunami that devastated coastal areas of Tohoku provided a focal point for the World’s Press for about a month. The near meltdown of the nearby Fukushima nuclear reactors, threatening Tokyo, provided a new focus for the press, while international attention shifted elsewhere (e.g. the Arab Spring). The severely damaged Tohoku area was left out of the public eye in a virtual communications void, relying in some areas on ham radio for any news. Concerned parties created an NGO to mount a PR campaign to reconnect the people of Tohoku to each other and to the outside world.

The Goal
The NPO was assembled quickly in response to an urgent situation, without the benefit of research. The primary target audience was the people of Tohoku, who were still feeling great despair from the tragedy, and looking for motivation and leadership to go on. Secondary, but equally important, were the people beyond the region itself who could provide both actual and moral support to a large population looking to find its feet and rebuild its future, many who were still suffering extreme deprivation. Our objectives were simply to provide motivation and engagement for the struggle ahead.

The Strategy

As the web and social media had asserted strong roles in crisis communications during and after the disaster, we decided to pursue a digital platform for our campaign. We also believed that digital content would open an avenue to outdoor media once we had secured content that met requisite quality standards.

Anticipating few media barriers, and in fact anticipating a willingness to help, we first focussed on the logistics of entering the devastated area with a video crew to secure ‘stories of hope’, without disrupting rescue efforts or drawing on supplies needed by others. We initially concentrated on sharing emerging content through the Web and digital outdoor within Japan, eventually opening focus to include blogs and social media with a more global footprint once our platform was established. The impending anniversary of the tragedy was our cue to shift to a second, broader phase.

Our plan was by necessity flexible. We had little idea of what we would find in the area of devastation, spending 3 months videoing the first ‘stories of hope’, frequently travelling back to Tokyo for editing and supplies. We worked from a loose template, with everyone feeling an urgency to rapidly produce content capable of fueling hope and outsider participation.

Within a month, we had our first work on the big screens in Tokyo and Osaka, which did as much to spur us on as to motivate our intended audiences. 3 months in, we began to use Social Media more consistently. At this point, we began looking for the sponsors that would eventually accelerate our efforts beyond Japan, but this proved to be slower work.

Once it became clear that the first anniversary of the disaster would coincide with the intended global expansion of the campaign, we planned accordingly.

Documented Results
By producing 275 videos covering 34 stories, we kept the focus on the stories rather than Ganbatte 365 itself. At the peak of phase 2, the total reach was over 12m weekly. The coordination of social, outdoor and earned media elicited over 155,000 responses, and the volume of communication steadily raised the profile of Ganbatte 365.

As a result, we received the endorsement of the Japan Tourism Agency, a first for any kind of online campaign. Another endorsement from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan has given us an ongoing PR role in projects supported by the chamber’s Tohoku Initiative, and expanding to initiatives by other foreign chambers and the Japan Society of New York.

Along with providing much needed support, Ganbatte 365 has forged an ongoing PR mission in the reconstruction of Tohoku.