K's Promo, Case study SMASH

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Industry Musical Instruments
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Japan
Released March 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products
Advertiser: K's JAPAN
Product/Service: GUITAR COMPANY
Creative Director: Jin Saito (Hakuhodo)
Planner: Kenta Ikoma (Hakuhodo)
Copywriter: Hidenori Sakai (Hakuhodo)
Art Director: Kentaro Harano (Hakuhodo)
Creative Producer: Shoko Akutagawa (Hakuhodo)
Producer: Hironobu Nobuta (Hakuhodo Products)
Producer: Rei Owada (ANSWR)
Web Designer: Hiroshi Ichinose (ANSWR)
Producer: Michikazu Sakata (TYO Productions)
Producer: Hirofumi Nobuta (Hakuhodo Products)
Producer: Hiroaki Kawakami (Monstar Lab)
Sound & Visual Content Director: Takashi Matsuyama (GH9)
PR Account Manager: Haruhiko Tanabe (Future Eyes)
PR Account Executive: Natsuki Takahashi (Future Eyes)
Director: Manabu Terao (Manabu Terao)
Director: Tomoyuki Hakamata (Hakuhodo Products)
Director: Takuya Sasaya (Hakuhodo Products)
Photographer: Yusuke Oka (Hakuhodo Products)
Director of Photography: Takahiro Kojima (Hakuhodo Products)
Interactive Planner: Keiichi Motoyama (Hakuhodo)
Producer: Naoya Morisako (Hakuhodo DY InterSolution)
Media placement: Website - Website - 05-02-2010
Media placement: Launching Event - UNIT - 23-02-2010
Media placement: Promotional Tool - Market - 23-02-2010

Summary of the Campaign
Purpose of the campaign was to make K’s JAPAN a small guitar company famous as a cool rock guitar brand. Instead of creating a normal advertisement, we developed to sell an extreme product as a symbol of K’s JAPAN for engagement. We made a guitar born-to-be-destroyed, SMASH!!! SMASH is meant to be destroyed in its structure, price and recycle system as an extraction of the rock spirit, “Destroy to Create.” Destroy rigid systems to create a new world. It caught the attention of not only rock lovers but also people wanting to breakthrough the stress of recession. SMASH generated K’s JAPAN’s PR as an exciting topic in all types of media. In the next phase of our campaign, we put on an extreme smashing event to launch SMASH where charismatic rock bands smashed SMASH. Then to keep building the attention we strategically continued to launch SMASH related news. This rock freak product activated people’s laughter and excitement, and K’s JAPAN’s recognition blasted.

The Goal
The goal and objective of the campaign was to make K’s JAPAN famous as a cool rock guitar brand and make its sales go up. We targeted not only core rock fans but also people that love other kinds of music because rock was not as popular as its golden era and other types of music had become just as popular. We conducted a survey of those who liked other genres more than rock and found out that they had rock spirit in them because we are under recession. So we decided to launch a campaign that would ignite the rock spirit in them.

Include tangible and quantifiable results and show how they can be measured against the original objectives.150 words K’s JAPAN’s sales went up by 400% in Mar. 2010 compared to the previous year in Mar. 2009. $3 million worth of free publicity from 0 media fee. K’s JAPAN became no.1 search word in one of Japan’s biggest search engine, goo. No.1 talked about topic in Japan’s biggest SNS, mixi, more talked about than the Olympics and the ipad. No.1 sales ranking at Amazon’s new instrument category. No.1 in “Things I Want Ranking” in MONO magazine, the most issued shopping magazine. The bounce rate of SMASH’s official homepage hit 1.5% MTV did a 1 week special program on the launching event.

5. Execution 150 words Phase 0 2009-Oct.- 2010-Jan Planning and Product Development. Phase 1 19/01/2010 Product Release Product release and launch of HP. The extreme guitar spread as stimulating news. Phase 2 23/02/2010 Pre-Launch Event Charismatic rock bands smashed SMASH and media covered the guitar and event. We built up expectation for the launch. Phase 3 24/02/2010 Launch. We sold SMASH through Amazon. SMASH was performed on the media in various ways. Ex: Prop on entertainment TV shows, tool in a pro-wrestling match, a game as an iphone application. Every guitar sold created talk in their destined community. Ex: SNS, blogs, SMASH videos created for Youtube and etc. Phase 4 Launched SMASH related news to add to the buzz. SMASHER’s Amplifier and a CG generating SMASH which reads the movement of the guitar to create a visual effect.

The Situation
K’s JAPAN was a small guitar maker diligently making quality guitars with a passion for rock. They had no name value and people in Japan were not enthusiastic about rock like they used to be in the golden era of the 60s and 70s because other music like hip-hop became just as popular and the rock guitar market was shrinking. K’s JAPAN needed to expand its consumers to those who are not core rock fans.

The Strategy
Instead of creating a normal advertisement, we developed to sell an extreme symbolic product to engage people with K’s JAPAN. We made a guitar born-to-be-destroyed, SMASH!!! SMASH is meant to be destroyed in its structure, price and recycle system. We spread our campaign, SMASH through the distribution channel that a new product would go through and generated PR in every step of the process. Product release, pre-launching event, launch of product and launch of related products. SMASH being a performance tool, was used in various media and live-shows and in reverse these shows automatically became factors of SMASH’s PR. SMASH generated K’s JAPAN’s PR as an exciting topic.