W+K Tokyo

A rainy and fruity day in Tokyo

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Nothing quite like a bunch of fruit to brighten up a rainy Spring day! “Fruit Day” has become a once-a-month tradition here in the Tokyo office thanks to the initiative of the lovely Yuka, Miho and Mai. According to the website Fruit Expert, you should eat at least 5 pieces of fruit a day to maintain both physical and even mental health … and to get the full benefits of fruit, you need to eat a wide variety. So there you have it people — dig in to the smorgasbord of fruit that awaits you in lobby! (For those of you who don’t like fruit, apparently a bottle of tequila has also made its way into the fruit display.)

In a few weeks we will report back on “Sweets Day”, the other once-a-month tradition that has no proven medical benefit other than creating a sugar-induced high throughout the agency.

JAXA

JAXA, the most incredible & newest client of ours!

W+K東京の一番新しいクライアントはJAXA=宇宙航空研究開発機構。
日本で唯一、宇宙開発に携わる独立行政法人です。

日本の宇宙開発は、ここにきて目覚しい進歩を遂げ、着実に成果を積み重ねています。
昨年、月周回衛星「かぐや」を打ち上げ、先月は超高速インターネット衛星「きずな」を打ち上げ、日本人宇宙飛行士の土井さんを国際宇宙ステーションに送り込み、そしていよいよ日本製の宇宙実験棟「きぼう」の実現が見えてきています。そのJAXAの産学官連携部から、宇宙のブランディングの仕事を頼みたい、という依頼があったのです。昨年の、11月中旬のことでした。

これまでいろいろなブランディングに携わってきたW+Kのメンバーにとっても、今回のスケールは前代未聞。だって、なにせ価値定義するのが「宇宙」ですよ「宇宙」。正確に言えば、宇宙開発に伴う先端技術の民間転用モデルに対するブランド開発、ということなのですが、ひらたく言えば、今後どんどん生まれてゆく、宇宙の技術を応用した新しい商品たちのアンブレラとなるブランドのアイデンティティ開発とPR戦略企画。これが今回のミッションなのでありました。

こんな、冗談みたいに夢のある、素敵な話に目を輝かせない者はW+Kにはいません。そして、気合を入れた提案で、僕らは見事に競合をクリアできたのでした。とはいえ、我々は実際の宇宙開発についての知識などほとんど持っていないわけで。STAR WARSマニアやトレッキーが束になってもらちがあきまへん。

そこで活躍したのが理科系プランナーのサリー。二週間にわたってJAXAへの潜入インタビューを敢行し、驚くべき素晴らしい話をどっさり持ち帰りました。主なメンバーで、「きずな」を積んだロケット発射を、種子島まで見に行ったりもしました。

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JAXAには、本当に素敵な人たちがたくさんいるのでした。そして、日本製の、H2Aロケットの打ち上げは息をのむほど美しいものでした。(写真ではあの感動は伝わりませんね。ぜひぜひ、肉眼で見に行くことをお勧めします。)

とにかくすべてがすごいすごいの連続で、僕らはその感動を核に据えたブランドコンセプト企画を立案しました。ネーミングは社内公募の形をとり、数百案が寄せられて、楽しい響きのある名前が選ばれました。 3月21日、大阪で開催されたシンポジウムの会場で発表されたその名前は、”JAXA COSMODE PROJECT”。

COSMODE=COSMOS+MODE。生活を宇宙モードにしてゆこう、という運動体としての思いが、PROJECTという言葉にこめられています。ロゴデザインも社内公募され、数十案の中から、最終案がほぼ決定。これは残念ながらまだお見せできませんが、来月後半には、ここでもご紹介できると思います。 ご期待下さい!

Gyre-O-Matic

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CREATIVITY
Gyre-O-Matic
Online shopping enters a whole new dimension.
By: Kiran Aditham Published: Mar 25, 2008

Its offbeat, stacked-box structure alone is enough to entice visitors, but inside, Tokyo’s Gyre building presents a more enticing proposition: an innovative interactive shopping experience that could reshape the way we view a mall. Located in the city’s Omotesando fashion district, Gyre (meaning “swirling vortex”), is an ambitious two-year collaboration that leverages the architectural designs from Rotterdam firm MVRDV, concepting and creative direction from Wieden + Kennedy, Tokyo and interactive/web execution from Tokyo-based Suitmen Entertainment. Housing name-brand luxury retailers like Chanel and Bulgari, a MoMA store, restaurants and a design gallery, the six-floor building, which opened in November 2007 and was commissioned by realtor Mitsubishi Corp UBS, is tethered to a socially-themed concept called “Shop and Think” and attempts to provide customers with a truly connected shopping environment.

“We wanted to give shopping a new meaning,” says W+K, Tokyo art director Gino Woo. “It is not only about being in tune with the latest trends but also about being aware of what is going on in the world around us. Shopping consciously is a worldwide trend but combining luxury with the search for solutions for social and environmental issues is something new, something we called ‘conscious luxury.'” Wieden + Kennedy, Tokyo developed the “Gyre” theme as well as logo, signage and advertising, inspired by artists like Alex MacLean, Bernhard Edmaier and Miwa Koizumi.

Suitmen Entertainment built and implemented the site’s Gyre World Reflector—which consists of large digital screens that serve as part art installation, part communicative hub that grabs random excerpts of dialogue from blogs and chat rooms and lets Gyre patrons interact via mobile phone. The company also set up a network to enhance the connectivity between the customers and the stores and eateries housed within the center, via a series of mobile phone readers, located on each floor. Visitors swipe their handhelds over the readers and become part of a channel that links them to the dialogue and other content swirling in the digital screens around the venue, whose spiraling interfaces were designed by the inimitable Yugo Nakamura.

We’re using a FeliCa-based system, a Sony product that they’re pushing globally,” explains Suitmen President Alejandro Lopez. “It’s a microchip embedded in a phone that carries personal data and then recognizes it through what’s called a FeliCa reader. People use phones here in Tokyo as what’s called an electronic wallet. If you go to the train stations, you simply put your phone over the reader there and then it charges you money for the ticketing. That’s being ramped up and a lot of vending machines and retailers are going that route now.” With FeliCa technology Suitmen developed its own “click and mortar” platform for mobiles called CREaM. “It stands for Connected Retail, Entertainment and Marketing,” says Lopez. “Once you register [to CREaM] and put all your data in, when you go into Gyre, you put your phone over the reader and it recognizes you immediately. You don’t have to enter anything else and it enters you into the system which then becomes a retail pipe.”

Suitmen is currently in phase three with Gyre, executing interactive brand channels for Chanel, Bulgari and others. Shopkeepers can send recommendations and background info directly to customers once they’re hooked in, but Lopez says, “We’re trying very hard to steer our clients away from doing e-coupon stuff. We’re really pushing more for entertainment. MoMA could [offer] designer interviews on different products they have, it could be the latest stuff coming in, the latest trends from New York and just a whole content platform. We believe in more than ‘15% off today if you swipe twice.’ It should be about really great content where you go in, like music you can only download from that shop or interviews from really great people.” In the works is “a more direct feed using customers’ purchase data in the store tied to a response mechanism and collaborative filtering service to strengthen the front line retail staff upon the customers’ next visit,” he says.

Suitmen is also focusing on the restaurants and other enhancements. “We’ll have reservation systems in the restaurants—you go into the building and swipe on any floor, you can get their daily menus, critic reviews and most importantly, you can make reservations. You can keep shopping, and it’ll have a countdown to when your table’s ready. We’re trying to get rid of lines.”

Not only is shopping and dining made more convenient. Social consciousness is too. “The system is linked to a point redemption plan where users are given points for initial registration into the CREaM system,” Lopez notes. “Upon each visit and phone ‘swipe’ they are awarded points. Purchase tallies are also linked to the point system. The points are changed into monetary contributions to socially conscious causes like Medecins Sans Frontieres.”
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World Pillow Fight in NYC

2 very successful bank robbers, Ted and Hiromi, did not miss the big mosh at the International Pillow Fight in Union Square.
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New Yukawa City

Ted made it to NYC for the Nike Innovation shoot, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough budget to put him up in a hotel.

Don’t worry though, he’s a pretty resourceful dude, so he found a nice cardboard box to sleep in.

For breakfast he found a half eaten veggie burrito, SCORE!

Then he got chased by an agent from the INS (immigration naturalization service).

He had to climb a fire escape to evade capture and being shipped back to Japan. But he slipped and broke his leg.

But don’t worry about Ted. We got him a tent and he found a nice spot in Central Park to spend the night.

written and directed by Blake Forrest
executive producer/set designer Michel Gondry
produced by Hiromi Shibuya
shot at Deitch Projects NYC