|Title||RECLAIMING THE CROWN OF HIGH QUALITY JAPANESE CHOCOLATE|
|Brand||MORINAGA & CO.|
|Product / Service||CONFECTIONARIES|
|Category||C01. Fast Moving Consumer Goods|
|Entrant||DENTSU PUBLIC RELATIONS Tokyo, JAPAN|
|PR Agency||DENTSU PUBLIC RELATIONS Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Production Company||DENTSU CREATIVE FORCE Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Entrant Company||DENTSU PUBLIC RELATIONS Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Hidetoshi Kuranari||Dentsu Inc.||Executive Creative Director|
|Tomoyuki Torisu||Dentsu Inc.||Creative Director|
|Moe Furuya||Dentsu Inc.||Creative Director|
|Tomoyuki Torisu||Dentsu Inc.||Copywriter|
|Nadya Kirillova||Dentsu Inc.||Copywriter|
|Kenji Ozaki||Dentsu Inc.||Planner|
|Masami Oshio||Dentsu Creative Force Inc.||Planner|
|Tadashi Inokuchi||Dentsu Public Relations Inc.||Chief Pr Planner|
|Ai Higashikawa||Dentsu Creative Force Inc.||Pr Planner|
|Yumi Izawa||Dentsu Public Relations Inc.||Pr Planner|
This Japanese consumer campaign to strengthen the reputation of Morinaga & Co as a maker of high quality chocolate was built on the firm’s “Hi-Crown” chocolate brand launched fifty years ago. Morinaga had lost market leadership to cheaper private brands and classy chocolataries, and wanted to remind consumers that it still makes fine quality chocolate. To achieve this, a temporary “pop-up” store was opened in the iconic Tokyo Station building to revive the brand and boost its value. Conveying Morinaga’s long history, the store’s size and design replicated the original Morinaga outlet and the rebranded products incorporated the original Hi-Crown recipe. For the brand’s older consumers, the product packaging was in retro style, while younger consumers were attracted to innovative new flavors. Despite its restricted size and limited 40-day opening period, the store attracted 17,000 visitors and sales were more than double those initially forecast.
The Japanese chocolate market has become dominated by low-priced private brands including supermarket own brands. Conversely, high-priced chocolates made by private chocolatier brands have been extremely successful. Confectionary maker Morinaga, Japan’s pioneer in mass-production of chocolate and with a history dating to 1899, wanted to reposition itself as an established yet modern company. With Morinaga’s president Arai expressing a desire to revive a great band of his predecessors, the chosen product was Hi-Crown chocolate. Morinaga hoped to effectively communicate its status as a chocolate innovator and dispel the public’s misconception that major manufacturers could not make high-end chocolates.
Despite its restricted size and limited 40-day operating period, the “pop-up” store attracted some 17,000 visitors and sales from the store were 55% above those initially forecast. Coverage of the initiative was featured on two television networks, 22 newspapers and magazines, and 156 online media for a total of 180 media outlets. News of Morinaga’s success at Tokyo Station also led to requests from upscale department stores Isetan in Shinjuku and Ginza Matsuya to participate in their limited term chocolate promotional sales events. Sales at the “2015 Salon du Chocolat”, a festival of chocolates hosted by Isetan, were 25% above initial projections while 118% of targeted sales were achieved at the event hosted by Matsuya. Though the new “Hi-Crown” series was sold for a limited time only, the collection has proven so popular Morinaga is now exploring ideas for the next new initiative to further excite and surprise consumers.
For a limited time, a store was opened within Tokyo Station to sell the newly rebranded Hi-Crown products. Made according to the firm’s original recipe, these showcased the high quality of Morinaga and were developed in collaboration with Saga Prefecture in Kyushu, home of company founder Taichiro Morinaga. Unique new chocolates were created and sold in original pieces of hand-crafted Arita porcelain for which Saga is also famous. The Tokyo Station shopping complex was chosen to host the store as the iconic station building built in 1914 had been designed by renowned architect Kingo Tatsuno, also from the same hometown as Taichiro Morinaga. The station building was used as a design motif on an original Japanese jubako, or multi-tiered food box, baked as Arita porcelain and packed with Morinaga chocolates. As such, the product epitomized the company’s spirit of “innovation and tradition” for chocolates.