THE SECRET IDOL

Silver Spike

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TitleTHE SECRET IDOL
ClientEZAKI GLICO
Product / ServiceICE NO MI
CategoryA10. Best Integrated Content Campaign
EntrantENGINE FILM Tokyo, JAPAN
Entrant Company:ENGINE FILM Tokyo, JAPAN
Contributing Company:DENTSU KANSAI Osaka, JAPAN
Contributing Company:THREE AND CO. Osaka, JAPAN

The Campaign

In Japan, branded entertainment is a popular way of advertising. Entertainment, such as short films or TV dramas, animations, and movies, are financed or supported by corporations. Product placement is not so popular but it is still done on TV programs or in games. As many forms of branded entertainment exist in Japan, we wanted to challenge the advertising with a ground-breaking idea of new branded content that is ‘an idol’, who has the name of a product.

Results

Despite its long selling history of 25 years, the fruit gelato ice cream product, ‘Ice no Mi’ was suffering in sales. Our mission was to break this trend with a revolutionary campaign. Therefore, we came with ‘the secret idol’, to create a CGI idol with the same name as our product, and to make her the biggest sensation in Japan. To jump-start her career, we looked to the most popular girl group in Asia, AKB48. Thus, she became a brand new member of AKB48. As for her appearance, we combined the faces of 6 popular members of the group, and created the ultimate charming idol, Aimi, whose name we took from ‘Ice no mi’. We designed her career very carefully, from her debut as a cover girl of the popular magazine. Her interview was written in the article, a complete profile, just as a human ‘idol’ would have. On the same debut day, her posters were posted all over town, and her recorded voice on AKB audition was released on the AKB48 website, next to other members’ to give her existence the reality. The news of a rising star of AKB48 made a big media impact, driving people to look forward to the new Ice no Mi TV commercial. Then, TV commercial was finally aired. The effect was great and immediate, making Ice no Mi, a household name, and giving Aimi a social phenomenon. After we revealed her identity on Ice no Mi poster, and in the second TV commercial, we launched the ‘Oshimen Maker’ website that allowed people to make their own idol composed of the different facial parts of AKB48 members. 2.3m new idols were born of this website. Our campaign was so successful that the sales of Ice no Mi doubled from the previous year.

To attract our the young generation, we created the CGI idol named ‘Aimi’ (from the scrambled words of Ice no mi). We let Aimi join AKB48, the most popular idol group in Japan, to guarantee her sensational debut. Aimi's first appearance came as a cover girl of the popular magazine. Then, Aimi was on the Ice no mi posters, posted where young people hung out. Driven by a mysterious new member of AKB48, the media made her a star even before a TV commercial was aired. The TV commercial became a long waited debut event for our idol, Aimi.

TV news reports, 94 programs News and magazines reports, 270 articles News websites reports, 1,158 sites 58,000 tweets, attracting 1m followers The Ice no mi website received close to 74m views or 60% of the population of Japan. The promotional value of this campaign has come to roughly ¥3bn. Because of the campaign, sales doubled from the previous year. In the end, we've succeeded in rewriting Ice no Mi's old image, which was ‘outdated ice cream products’ to a new, exciting and challenging product with positive energy.

Credits

Name Company Position
Yasushi Akimoto Executive Producer
Tomoaki Tsuji DENTSU INC. KANSAI Creative Director
Takatoshi Nakao DENTSU INC. KANSAI Copywriter/Planner/Director
Kosuke Matsushita DENTSU INC. KANSAI Copywriter/Planner
Taichi Sayama DENTSU INC. KANSAI Art Director
Masaki Fukumori Three & Co. Art Director
Hidehiro Shimizu Director
Shinji Yuki Cinematographer
Keisuke Nishitani Three & Co. Photographer
Michiru Kobayashi ENGINE FILM Inc. Film Producer
Susumu Kawasumi ENGINE FILM Inc. Film Producer
Yuki Mori DENTSU TEC INC. KANSAI Web Producer
Makoto Sometani ENGINE FILM Inc. Film Production Manager