Promo, Case study HIBI NO NEIRO by HAL & MASASHI & MAGICO & MASAYOSHI, Masashi Ito Advertising Office

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Industry Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Director Hal Kirkland, Masa Kawamura
Creative Director Hal Kirkland, Masa Kawamura
Agency Masashi Ito Advertising Office
Director Hal Kirkland, Masa Kawamura
Creative Director Hal Kirkland, Masa Kawamura
Released July 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media Marketing
Product/Service: SOUR (INDIE BAND)
Date of First Appearance: Jul 1 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: HAL & MASASHI & MAGICO & MASAYOSHI, New York, USA
Entry URL:
Director/Creative Director: Hal Kirkland
Director/Creative Director: Masa Kawamura
Director/Editor: Magico Nakamura
Director/Editor: Masayoshi Nakamura
Media placement: Music Video - FIlm - YouTube - 1st July 2009

Results and Effectiveness
Within six months of the video’s release, Sour penetrated both US and European music markets, a previously unimaginable achievement for a non-English speaking Japanese band. They currently have 2.5 million views on YouTube, 2.5 million views on, the video is featured on 2.8 million websites, it became the #1 top-rated and top-favourited film and animation in Japan of ‘All time’, the band has been featured in countless publications and appeared on news networks in over 52 countries. The band has since become one of the world’s most well-known Japanese bands.

Creative Execution
The Hibi No Neiro music video is filmed entirely via webcams. Not only did they overcome the lack of budget, and the fact the band had to be shot remotely, but they enhanced the video’s theme, being an everyday tool that the target audience used to connect with one another. The 80 plus cast members were sourced from the band’s international fan base via social networking platforms and blog posts, which strategically bolstered the concept’s mythology. The video was exclusively launched on YouTube to appeal to an audience that would instantly relate to the use of webcam medium thus increasing the likelihood of it being shared with others. Also, the videos aesthetic suited the kind of content that the viewers would already be consuming on this media channel. Seeded blog and Twitter support drove the promotion of the video at an early stage, however it spread organically almost immediately.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Sour, a little-known Japanese indie band needed an international presence in order to increase their legitimacy on the local Japanese music roster. Unfortunately they had zero budget and their lyrics were in Japanese. What they needed was an idea. Their single, ‘Hibi No Neiro’ spoke about the importance of embracing your individuality in order to positively contribute to the rest of the world. From this theme stemmed the overall concept of individuals coming together to create one universal communication. This was achieved by filming the entire video with webcams. The idea to source the band’s actual fans was added to enhance the integral story behind the execution. The overall aesthetic and the lo-fi nature of the footage spoke directly to the online audience, people who readily used webcams as a means of communication and expression. Hence, why YouTube was the prefect medium in which to release the film.