AKB48 Promo AKB48 PROJECT by Dentsu Inc. Tokyo

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Industry Publishing, streaming & media
Media Promo & PR
Market Japan
Agency Dentsu Inc. Tokyo
Producer Kazuhiko Abiru, Akihiro Makino, Hiroyuki Fujita, Kumiko Isono
Released March 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Experiential Marketing in a Promotional Campaign
Advertiser: AKS
Product/Service: BAND
Agency: DENTSU
Date of First Appearance: Mar 1 2010
Entrant Company: DENTSU, Tokyo, JAPAN
Senior Producer: Yasushi Akimoto (Akimoto Yasushi)
Executive Producer: Yasushi Kubota (AKS)
Producer: Akihiro Makino (AKS)
Producer: Kazuhiko Abiru (Dentsu)
Producer: Hiroyuki Fujita (Dentsu)
Producer: Kumiko Isono (Akimoto Yasushi)
Assistant Producer: Takahiro Kumagai (Akimoto Yasushi)
Assistant Producer: Jiro Yoshida (Dentsu)
Assistant Producer: Shin Kijima (Dentsu)
Assistant Producer: Daisuke Matsushita (Dentsu)
Assistant Producer: Go Bando (Dentsu)
Media placement: Exclusive(With Admisson) Event-Everyday - AKB48 Theater At Akihabara - 1 March 2010
Media placement: Shake Hands Event - Ajinomoto Stadium In Tokyo - 11 December 2010
Media placement: Shake Hands Event - Kyosera Dome In Osaka - 18 December 2010

Describe the objective of the promotion.
Create a mechanism to capture fans that share the same passion, generating business for the music industry in an era when the conventional business model is losing effectiveness. Our target was young males who no longer follow female pop idols, influenced by the indifference of the times, but buy music by downloading and actively communicate via the internet. The objective was to encourage the target to be more proactive and to bring pop idols back to the center of Japanese youth culture.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
AKB48 has 48 female members, who also perform in smaller teams (AKB indicates Akihabara). Unique methods maximise direct fan contact.

-Fans decide member rankings.
Annual popularity polls by fans determine rankings in the group. Higher-ranking members perform as main singers and gain TV exposure.

-Personal contact.
Each CD sold includes a hand-shake session ticket. After concerts, group members high-five departing fans.

-Minute-by-minute communication. Alternate members perform every day at the group’s Akihabara theater (performances totaled 400 in 2010). All members blog their activities constantly, so updates are literally by the minute (each gets thousands of comments).

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
The AKB48 project gives young people of the internet era an opportunity to get excited about real-world events as an extension of their online lives. This is an unprecedented “real-time documentary”. Fans are no longer mere observers; both the idols and the fans become “performers”, map out the future of AKB48 and share that future. This is powerfully engaging for fans and directly contributes to CD sales while giving the fans more satisfaction than from just owning a CD. A mechanism for pop idol performers and fans to interact and grow together had never existed before in the music industry.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
-First and second place in annual CD singles sales, with four in the top 10. Total sales of 3.31 million copies.
-Around 1,500,000 fans attended hand-shake sessions nationwide (Dec. 11: 18,000 fans at Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo. Dec. 18: 20,000 fans at Kyosera Dome, Osaka).
-Theater (capacity, 250): 400 performances in 2010, attended by around 100,000 fans.
-Over 400,000 votes cast in 2010 AKB48 popularity poll.
-Advertising sponsors: 17 companies in the year.
-Biggest result: young people found a new means of interacting with pop idols as they became successful, sharing this as their own achievement.