KABUKE

TitleKABUKE
ClientELI LILLY
Product / ServiceWORKSHOP
CategoryA09. Environmental Design
EntrantMcCANN HEALTHCARE WORLDWIDE JAPAN Tokyo, JAPAN
Entrant Company McCANN HEALTHCARE WORLDWIDE JAPAN Tokyo, JAPAN
Advertising Agency McCANN HEALTHCARE WORLDWIDE JAPAN Tokyo, JAPAN

Brief Explanation

First, we interpreted the “unparalleled customer experience” vision in creative terms. Our key message was “Rise Above”—to transcend the day-to-day by being bold and creative, rejecting premises, and pushing beyond ordinary limits. Enter kabuki. Kabuki may be traditional Japanese theater, but its very premise is transcendent—in fact, the word means to transcend. Kabuki has had an enormous impact on the avant-garde. It’s fascinating and strange, beautiful and uncomfortable. Exactly what we needed to shake up a bunch of frustrated marketers. Then we booked an underground nightclub for 2 days, and designed a full immersion kabuki-punk experience.

The Brief

In Japan, the standard product presentation is a “setsumekai”—an “explanation meeting” with free lunch. Although thousands of them take place each year, they’re definitely less than effective. The doctors ignore the canned slide show, eat quickly, and leave. Lilly knew this had to change. Their vision is to provide an “Unparalleled Customer Experience”. Our challenge was to design an event that would change the way they think, so they’d change the way they act.

How the final design was conceived

Our esthetic was cutting edge kabuki. The main visual was the word “Lilly” in kabuki makeup; this was also digitally applied to the speakers’ faces on a montage poster (plus a couple on the bathroom mirrors, so people could try it on themselves). The event space was full of Japanese lanterns featuring the logo, atmospheric lighting in traditional kabuki colors, synched videos on three screens, and massive kabuki-punk collages across the open walls. Entering the venue meant entering another world—one that was unfamiliar, dangerous, sensually overwhelming, and just plain transcendent.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

This was an internal event to shatter conventions among marketers and medical representatives, so it’s hard to measure its impact in numbers. However, we are currently working with Lilly’s Musculoskeletal Franchise to completely reengineer their sales call experience. Options in testing include “choose your own adventure” style film, “find the mistake”-style presentations with points and prizes, and inter-facility digital debate with the rep acting as facilitator rather than lecturer. We are also in negotiation to hold follow-up events for other departments at Lilly. So, according to these softer (but, to an agency, extraordinarily important) measures, Kabuke was a giant success.

Credits

Name Company Position
Tomohiro Chida Mccann Health Japan Account Executive
Grant Foster Mccann Health Japan Senior Planner
Jun Kai Mccann Health Japan Copywriter
Yusuke Takeda Mccann Health Japan Designer
Masahiro Sasaki Mccann Health Japan Art Director
Tomoyuki Chikada Mccann Health Japan Art Director
Hajime Nakazawa Mccann Health Japan Creative Director/Copywriter
Adam Weiss Mccann Health Japan Executive Creative Director