Product / ServiceWEBSERVICE
CategoryB02. Public Affairs & Lobbying
Idea Creation DENTSU INC. Tokyo, JAPAN
Production BIRDMAN Tokyo, JAPAN
Additional Company DIALOG IN THE DARK JAPAN Tokyo, JAPAN


Name Company Position
Yoshimitsu Sawamoto DENTSU INC. Executive Creative Director
Akira Suzuki DENTSU INC. Creative Director / Planner
Kazuyoshi Ochi DENTSU INC. Creative Director
Togo Kida DENTSU INC. Creative Director
Kenta Isobe DENTSU INC. Copywriter
Masanari Kakamu DENTSU INC. Art Director
Ryota Mishima BIRDMAN inc. Designer
Michihito Nishizaki DENTSU INC. Account Executive
Yohei Takahashi Dentsu Public Relations Inc. PR Planner
Kazuya Watanabe Dentsu Public Relations Inc. PR Planner
Eiko Shimada Freelance Producer
Takuro Ito BIRDMAN inc. Director
Saki Togashi BIRDMAN inc. Director
Takayuki Komatsu BIRDMAN inc. Technical Director
Kazuki Nakata YAMA Frontend Engineer
Masanori Nagamura BIRDMAN inc. Backend Engineer
Mayumi Morioka BIRDMAN inc. Researcher
Koichi Suzuki Yahoo Japan Corporation Producer
Shinya Uchida Yahoo Japan Corporation Creative director
Jun Watanabe Yahoo Japan Corporation Creative director
Masami Goto Yahoo Japan Corporation Engineer
Kazuto Kitakado Yahoo Japan Corporation Art director
Kazuaki Matsumura Yahoo Japan Corporation Planner
Akihiko Maeda Yahoo Japan Corporation Planner
Chikasa Komazawa Dialog in the dark Facilitator
Akira Hiyama Dialog in the dark Facilitator
Yohei Seto Dialog in the dark Facilitator
Hojin Ishii Niban-kobo Productions Corp. Producer
Yoshimune Takamatsu Niban-kobo Productions Corp. Producer
Satomi Inagaki Connection Inc. Director
Ryo Takashima Niban-kobo Productions Corp. Production Manager
Nana Arai Niban-kobo Productions Corp. Production Manager

The Campaign

To present this issue, instead of a PDF, we launched a text-based microsite with every candidate’s information. However, at first glance, this website is in complete darkness with no comprehensible information/hierarchy available. All election information is written in black text on a black background. This site expresses the state for visually challenged, who cannot obtain information despite the information being there. First, the sighted visits the website hoping to obtain necessary election information, but experience inconvenience instead by not obtaining anything. Soon after, the sighted understands this situation "replicates" the current state of the visually challenged, which eventually makes them realize the deepness of this unknown human rights problem. Nonetheless, through special software that vocalizes the non-visually information on the HTML, the visually challenged access the content without difficulty. By switching the positions of sighted and visually challenged, we provided a solution, and raised awareness about this overlooked information gap.


Prior to the Election, the microsite was launched containing comprehensive candidate information. This website has two objectives. 1): Let the sighted people realize this unknown human rights problem. 2): Enable the visually challenged to smoothly access necessary candidate information. To achieve them, we collaborated with various visually challenged people, and their supporting organization, experts in public welfare to ensure usability for the visually challenged. The UX/UI and the “audible experience” of the website improved through numerous discussions and mockups. Moreover, not just the candidate information, but further enriched the microsite experience by adding detailed personal information of the candidates, comparable policy check sheet among various parties, questionnaires obtained from the parties, and specially written columns about the election to ensure pleasant audible experience. <Timeline> June 22(THU), 2017: Microsite launch June 28(WED), 2017: Comprehensive candidate information published July 2(SUN), 2017 Election & vote count July 3(MON), 2017: Preliminary election results posted

This campaign achieved phenomenal results. • Achieved +250 media coverage including a special feature program in "Good Morning Japan"(NHK) which is the most major news program in Japan. Overall media impression totaled +257,300,000JPY(Approx. 2,330,000USD). • After many stories being covered through the media, people voiced their opinion regarding the issue of information disparity of the visually challenged on social media. Pressured by this trending controversy, politicians approved this project and claimed to resolve this information disparity. • Subsequently, every major political party (The Liberal Democratic Party, The Democratic Party, Komeito, Japanese Communist Party, Tokyoites First Party, Seikatsusha Network of Tokyo, Ishin Tokyo) promised to resolve this information disparity regarding the visually challenged people face. This became the first mark to resolve the disparity in election information. • As a result, the voting rate in Tokyo increased by 17.9% than the previous election, and became the highest voting rate in the past 5 years. Early voting rate increased by 51.0% than the previous election. The number of votes casted became the highest ever in history, which exemplifies the success in stimulating voters’ interest in politics. • +1,200,000 page views in 10 days since the launch. • +6349% higher traffic than past similar website released by Yahoo Japan Corporation.

The Situation

The project succeeded in publicly exposing the outdated law, which infringes the most fundamental right: voting. The campaign also deepened the understanding of election rights for people with disabilities and contributed to bring more matured democracy in Japan. The project began when people's attetion was targeted towards the Tokyo Metropolitan Election. Citizens noticed this disparity in voting rights of the visually challenged and protested on social. Many media followed this, stimulating a social debate. Moreover, politicians addressed this issue in election. Ultimately, all political parties agreeed to resolve the problem. The campaign relied heavily on the use of PR.

The Strategy

We targeted this campaign to all internet users, voters, visually challenged, and journalists. By launching the microsite when everybody’s attention is towards the Tokyo Metropolitan Election, we gained interests from everyone including the media and resulting in a huge nationwide discussion. Together with the release, we hosted a media event which demonstrates how visually challenged use this microsite. By showing how the visually challenged use the internet live, we clarified the media what the problem is in reality. Additionally, before launch, by leaking this initiative to one of the most viewed nationwide news programs which has a viewing rate over 12%, the project was specially featured. Eventually, we extensively raised awareness of this invisible online election information gap. Moreover, by designing the overall online experience to let viewers speak up on social media, the project further proliferated regarding the gap which exists between the visually challenged and the upcoming election.


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