Product / ServiceMOTORCYCLES
CategoryA02. Non-Fiction: series or film
Contributing Company HAVAS WORLDWIDE JAPAN Tokyo, JAPAN
Contributing Company 2 HAKUHODO Tokyo, JAPAN
Production Company EXTREME Tokyo, JAPAN
Production Company 2 RIGHTUP Kawasaki-Shi, Kanagawa, JAPAN


Name Company Position
David Morgan Havas Worldwide Tokyo Executive Creative Director
Atsushi Ishiwata Havas Worldwide Tokyo Creative Director
Kazuya Mori extreme inc. Executive Producer
Shinya Kobayashi extreme inc. Director
Atsushi Shouda K5 Cinematographer
Hiromitsu Ito RIGHTUP Inc. Cinematographer
Masayoshi Yamaguchi Freelance Cinematographer
Yoko Matsuda K5 Sound Engineer
Hiromitsu Yamanaka K5 Sound Engineer
Shinya Kobayashi extreme inc. Editor
Osamu Araya Freelance CG Visual Effects
Ken Takayanagi Freelance Photographer
Sachiko Hori Freelance Hair & Make Up Artist
Tsuguyo Hori Freelance Stylist
Susumu Fukuda Canyon Service Transport Service
Tadaashi Kono Freelance Coordinator
Peter Moody Havas Worldwide Tokyo Managing Director
Kosuke Mizutani Havas Worldwide Tokyo Account Director
Noriyoshi Nagane Havas Worldwide Tokyo Account Executive

The Campaign

For the most part Branded Entertainment in Japan is relatively free from regulations. Consumers largely want and anticipate brands playing the role of entertainer*, and many large national brands have started to use the format more and more, making it very hard to cut through. This is because the dominant ad format is 15 seconds, and it’s tough to tell a story in that short period of time. But for fans, finding high quality stories produced in a branded entertainment that allows them to explore their passions more deeply is a smart and viable way to create deeper engagement. This was evidenced by the popularity of the project online and the resulting PR that was generated organically from it. (Supporting)* Prosumer Report “The Selfie Generation”November 2014 published by the agecy. 57% of Prosumers surveyed expected brands to play the entertainer role in Japan


The agency invited four underground motorbike custom builders to reimagine and fully customize the new BMW Motorrad "R nineT”model. The story begins with Ola Stenegard, Head of Vehicle Design, BMW Motorrad, being introduced to the custom builders. They were given a bike each and 5 months in which to fully redesign it in their own particular style. We followed each individual design journey from initial concept, reconstruction and new bike creation - capturing the essence of BMW's quality engineering and build. In the final chapter, we captured the “Reveal Day" as the finished bikes were presented for the first time to an emotional and speechless Mr. Stenegard. Along with the 6 films, we created a dedicated online site and SNS content to report on regular “customise status updates,” and exhibited the four finished bikes at a variety of events in Japan and in overseas. The project would go on to gain enthusiastic exposure in over 9 countries across all media including PR, TV, magazines and online - inside and outside the biking community. The project sparked a modern day "Easy rider" momentum that spread from Japan to the world, and the ‘R nineT’model sold out in all showrooms across Japan. Challenge: To highlight the engineering expertise of BMW by exposing it to Japan's custom bike culture. Objective: Make BMW Motorrad Japan the centre of the new wave of biking culture, increase awareness within the biking community and beyond, whilst driving sales. Strategy: To ‘reignite’the motorbiking scene by a series of unique and engaging collaborations - "German BMW Motorrad engineering expertise" meets “Japans’underground passion for custom built bikes” Execution: A series of documentary-films, each tells the story of the custom builders creative intention, the re-engineering of each bike and the final reveal of the finished, beautifully crafted machine.

We succeeded in appealing to the intended audience through the engagement of the four specialist custom builders, each had his own unique style, methods and motivation for participating in the project. The four very different characters have a deep connection with their followers, with current trends, the lifestyle and Japanese biking culture. From this base of passionate followers the word spread beyond these tribes online, and ultimately PR, TV and magazines from around the world. The final bike designs were also displayed and exhibited at key cultural and fashion venues, events and galleries in Tokyo and abroad.

Following the project, the sales of BMW Motorrad Japan increased by an unprecedented 7.2%, and the ‘R nineT’model sold out in Japan. BMW Motorrad Japan as well as BMW Motorrad worldwide experienced record-breaking sales in 2014. The project also generated widespread free PR and media exposure in Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam. - creating an equivalent ad coverage value of 41,149,564 yen. Following the project, the four custom bikes and builders were invited and attended numerous biker exhibitions and enthusiast events around the world as well as Japan.

An industry first and a unique collaboration between BMW Motorrad and four independent, world-renowned motorcycle custom builders. Presented in a documentary style format and aimed squarely at Japan’s huge market of bikers and bike fans, the project showed off the engineering prowess and standards of an established brand like BMW in a way that was far more believable than a tagline or print ad. This brave exercise paid off as it not only increased attention from within Japan, but the project itself was picked up and featured around the world. The story and creation of four highly individual, highly desirable and beautifully crafted motorbikes made an impact in this format that would not have been possible in other mediums.