W+K Tokyo

Naoki in the news

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Naoki was just featured in an Ad Age article on “creatives you should know.” Here’s what they had to say …

Naoki Ito, executive creative director at Wieden & Kennedy, Tokyo, has little regard for boundaries when it comes to advertising. To wit, some of his branding projects have included music-making shoes, boy bands outfitted in cameras and dragons lurking on the walls of a high-rise building.

The latter is an assignment Mr. Ito worked on as a top creative at Japanese shop GT Inc, called “Big Shadow.” The interactive outdoor experience allowed passersby to turn their own shadows into massive beasts, to promote Xbox’s “Blue Dragon” game. For Nikon, he strapped multiple cameras onto members of the band Helicopter Boyz until they looked like cyborgs, in an outlandish on-stage demonstration of the camera’s projector feature.

Ito’s path through the agency world might help to explain his approach. He started as a promotional planner at Japanese agency ADK and eight years later shifted to the creative department. He eventually launched the agency’s interactive group and “from there, I wanted to seamlessly fuse mass media, interactive, PR and promotion, so I moved to GT in July 2006,” he said. “It may be hard to believe, but at GT I was playing the role of a creative director, art director, copywriter, interactive and PR.”

That mishmash of skills is coming in handy now that he’s an executive creative director at Wieden Tokyo, a post he’s held since joining the agency in November. Currently, he’s juggling some 40 projects for clients such as Nike and Google, including the recent “Music Shoe” video promoting Nike Free Run Plus.

“It’s important to find a [point of view] before finding taglines and visuals,” Mr. Ito said. “In an integrated campaign, it’s necessary to integrate ‘experience’ and ‘structure.’ The internet exists for not only information, but to provide interactive experiences; that interactivity leads advertising to the next level.”