4 creative online marketing campaigns from Japan


Yesterday we wrote about how Japanese beverage company Suntory is leveraging Facebook to collect user feedback to develop new products. Many other Japanese companies are using online tools in interesting ways as well. And here is a short list of a few of the more creative examples we have found.

1. Build your own ice cream cake

Suica card is an IC card that many Japanese people use for payments on their commute. View Card, the company behind these pass cards, has collaborated with Lotte Ice for a one-day promotion. Recently, there was a Twitter campaign where users combine 18 Suica Bar watermelon slice popsicles to create a whole watermelon 1. On July 27th View Card gave consumers who signed up for a Suica card (with a credit card feature) 18 popsicles to create this unique ice cream cake (see photo below).


2. A year’s worth of burgers

Mos-BurgerMos Burger is a popular hamburger franchise in Japan. The company differentiates itself from other fast food chains with its made-after-order fresh food. Beginning on August 1st, the company started a Twitter/Facebook photo contest asking people to post photos that make them smile. Winners will receive various awards, including a Mos Card which you can use to buy a year’s worth of Mos Burgers (a signature burger at the franchise). 320 yen per burger times 365 days would total 116,800 yen (or about $1,175) worth. Not bad!

3. A life supply of snack bars

This is a campaign currently being held on Japan’s biggest online mall, Rakuten, asking consumers to decide on their favorite two snacks. If you were to chose one snack for the rest of your life, which one would it be? The two snacks competing are both a very popular among Japanese people: Happy Turn and Umaibo. In fact, Umaibo is so popular that there are even Umaibo mobile games. Anyone who has liked the Rakuten Facebook page can participate, and one winner will be chosen for each snack. For a bag of Happy Turn, the appropriate consumption per month according to the manufacturer is three bags, so the winner will receive 3,600 bags, or enough to last for 100 years.


4. More heat, more money!

Georgia Coffee is manufactured by Coca Cola Japan, and the brand recently held a campaign on Twitter, awarding a daily winner with a cash prize and a box of Georgia coffee. The company launched a special website where it posts Georgia- and summer-related topics per day, such as ‘What words would you use to toast with a super cold can of Georgia?’ The amount of cash awarded is decided by the hottest recorded temperature in Japan that day, with 10,000 yen being awarded for every additional degree over 30 degrees celcius. So if the hottest temperature is 36.6 degrees, the winner will receive 70,000 yen (or $700).


  1. ‘Suica’ means watermelon in Japanese, and this is a popsicle that takes the shape of a watermelon slice.