Product / ServiceKDDI BRAND
CategoryA09. Best use or integration of digital or social media
Entrant Company HAKUHODO Tokyo, JAPAN
Contributing Company HAKUHODO Tokyo, JAPAN
Contributing Company 3 TIMERS Tokyo, JAPAN
Contributing Company 2 KAYAC Kanagawa, JAPAN
Production Company VANILLA Tokyo, JAPAN

The Campaign

In Japan, branded content is considered a major brand communication method and is common on TV, on the web, in short films and at events. In recent years, many web users anticipate the release of highly entertaining branded content on April Fools’ Day, which has become the one day branded content is most likely to go viral. On April Fools’ Day, we took on the challenge of drastically altering au’s image from a conservative mega company with top-class size and history to a soft and approachable cutting-edge company. We did this by providing surprising content on April Fools’ Day for users with an experienced eye for such content.


Challenge: Make au a topic of conversation as the most fun and entertaining brand on April Fools’ Day. Purpose: Give the high-tech company a more stylish, less conservative image. Strategy: As a brand with a sense of humor that does new things and responds to user needs, au researched Japanese “otaku” who have a strong, opinionated presence on the Web and conceived of an imaginary mobile phone product that would entertain them and complement their unique relationship with their mobile phones. Measures: Announce the “launch” of this product on April Fools’ Day on au’s official website. Create a product page launching an imaginary bed smartphone. Present the product as if it were real, with detailed descriptions, a developer’s interview and a button for product pre-orders. Give away the joke later in the day when interest is waning to keep the conversation going.

We launched an imaginary bed smartphone on the official au website on April Fools’ Day that suited the lifestyles of “otaku”, who always stay home. The web page presented the product as if it were real and included humorous content, unique product information and a developers’ interview movie. A pre-order button on the product page presented a ridiculous product receipt date, far in the future, that further involves users in the joke.

The campaign page and movie quickly spread and many visitors enjoyed the imaginary product. Despite the page being live for just one day, it generated 50,000 tweets, 600,000 site PVs and 150,000 movie views. It was also taken up by non-web media such as newspapers and tabloid TV shows. In fact, it was the most tweeted about site on 1st April in Japan and successfully softened au’s conservative image. Users felt proud that au was their brand.


Name Company Position
Masayuki Iwamoto Vanilla Inc. Movie Director
Tetsuji Hasegawa Kayac Copy Writer
Yuji Takahashi Kayac Web Director
Hiroo Suzuki Kayac Web Producer
Kentaro Muraishi Timers Inc. Director
Toshimasa Takahashi Timers Inc. Creative Director
Ayaka Morimoto Hakuhodo Inc. Account Executive
Masayuki Cho Hakuhodo Inc. Account Executive
Hirotaka Tanabe Hakuhodo Inc. Account Executive
Emi Matsuzawa Kddi Senior Staff/Web Communications Department
Isao Maruta Kddi Manager/Head Of Web Communications Department