Silver Spike

Case Film

Presentation Board

Product / Service100% ORGANIC SOIL
CategoryA03. Best Product Launch/Re-launch/Shopper Marketing
Entrant Company TBWA\HAKUHODO Tokyo, JAPAN
Advertising Agency TBWA\HAKUHODO Tokyo, JAPAN


Name Company Position
Miki Matsui Tbwa\hakuhodo Chief Creative Officer
Kazoo Sato Tbwa\hakuhodo Executive Creative Director
Tomoki Harada Tbwa\hakuhodo Creative Director / Copywriter
Takahiro Miura Tbwa\hakuhodo Pr Planner
Keisuke Shimizu Tbwa\hakuhodo Art Director
Nozomi Imaoka Tbwa\hakuhodo Art Director
Chino Yamaguchi Tbwa\hakuhodo Copywriter
Kaoru Ootani Tbwa\hakuhodo Agency Producer
Takeshi Kasuga Pyramid Film Producer
Miho Majima Initial Pr Planner

The Brief

Protoleaf is a Japanese gardening soil brand. Home gardening is very popular in Japan; however, concerns about nuclear radiation from Fukushima had caused consumers to question soil safety – even in store-bought products. We wanted to communicate the surprising quality and safety of Protoleaf to all soil users, including existing customers and competitor users.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation

What if the soil was so safe, you could actually eat it? To convincingly showcase our soil quality and safety, we opened “The Soil Restaurant” with a Michelin 3-star chef who created a full course meal using Protoleaf Soil as the main ingredient. The restaurant was open to the public and charged $100 per person for the special course.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results

Customers and Media ate it up: Media flocked to the The Soil Restaurant, resulting in massive coverage not only in Japan but in nearly 20 countries throughout the world as well, including features on CNN, CBS, BBC and even the Discovery Channel. This simple idea racked up approximately US$8,900,000 in media exposure with zero media investment. Using only the soil itself, we definitively proved the safety of our product, and of Japanese soil, to the world. As a result, consumers felt safe to buy soil again as sales surged to 130% versus the previous year. People could return to gardening and producing their own food.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service

Most Protoleaf customers grow vegetables in their own gardens. Therefore, the issue of soil safety was highly personal – it affects what they eat, their health and their lifestyle. So, we believe there is no better way to prove the safety of soil that grows vegetables to eat than actually eating the soil itself. Further, without the constraints of media budget or schedules, this campaign and last indefinitely, as long as the restaurant keeps soil on the menu.