Product / ServiceCORPORATE IMAGE
CategoryA06. Typography

The Campaign

Amway is the world’s leading direct-selling business, active in health, beauty, and home categories. Amway Japan, however, suffered from a highly unfavorable reputation, hampering its ability to attract customers and recruit distributors. Direct selling was tarnished by negative perceptions, the result of media sensationalizing pyramid schemes and of Japanese TV refusing to air direct sellers’ ads. The challenge was to communicate Amway truths in a culturally and emotionally compelling way, especially to young Japanese. The communications also had to be visually engaging and feature a fresh angle to drive brand interest in a cluttered advertising environment. The strategy devised highlights how Amway’s business model ties into Japanese culture and social values. It associates Amway’s corporate philosophy—“Good things can be shared”—with the Japanese value of sharing one’s good fortune with one’s community, expressed as osusowake in Japanese. This strategy drove a campaign reminding Japanese that Amway shares their values.

Creative Execution

To bring the concept to life, an original character called O-chan (meaning little O) was designed as the hero and face of the campaign. O-chan’s role is that of associating the Japanese ideal of osusowake with Amway’s corporate philosophy of “Good things can be shared.” O-chan is a lovable character who shares everything with his friends, from an umbrella on a rainy day to a scarf in the cold of winter. O-chan has become a powerful icon, making messages memorable, relevant, and easy to understand in Japanese communications and across touch points. In the face of enormous barriers to direct selling in Japan, Amway launched an unprecedented campaign to rebuild its reputation and image. The Osusowake campaign was launched in November 2014 and includes television commercials, print, digital banners, a YouTube channel, and a microsite. The campaign also incorporated a range of internal communications directed at Amway distributors. The success of the campaign strategy lies in its simplicity. The idea relies on relevant and authentic associations for the Japanese market between Japanese culture and social values and Amway’s philosophy and brand values. O-chan successfully represents the traditional Japanese concept of osusowake and Amway’s corporate philosophy of “Good things can be shared.” This gives a fresh perspective to direct selling and resonates well with Japanese audiences. The positive values portrayed in the advertising, combined with persistent negotiations, convinced most of Japan’s television networks to air Amway’s commercials. This marked the first time Amway had run corporate image ads on television in its nearly 40-year history in Japan. The creation of an original character has provided Amway with a new means of communication. And O-chan and the osusowake concept offer Amway the consistency and flexibility to expand its brand into multiple channels and to strengthen its internal and external brand engagements.


Name Company Position
Isamu Nakamura McCann Erickson Japan Executive Creative Director
Kanta Kumazawa McCann Erickson Japan Art Director
Shun Matsuzaka McCann Erickson Japan Creative Planner
Kentaro Okuda McCann Erickson Japan Business Director
Sayo Fukumoto McCann Erickson Japan Account Supervisor
Eri Yoshida McCann Erickson Japan Account Executive
Yoshi Matsuura McCann Erickson Japan Senior Planning Director
Takamasa Hirai McCann Erickson Japan Planning director
Takayuki Hiejima McCann Erickson Japan Interactive planner
Kaori Mori McCann Erickson Japan Digital media buyer
Ryotaro Yabuki Mediabrands Director
Yasuyuki Tashibu Mediabrands Senior Planner
Ryuta Yokozawa PARAGON TVC producer
Ryuji Shirakoma PARAGON TVC Associate Producer
Beat Suzuki Freelance TVC director
Riz Lau LIKI inc. Animation Director
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