CategoryB04. Business Citizenship / Corporate Responsibility & Environmental
Idea Creation 3 DENTSU INC. Tokyo, JAPAN
Production AMANA Tokyo, JAPAN


Name Company Position
Yoichiro Mitsui Mitsui Co., Ltd. Producer
Ayumi Takashima Mitsui Co., Ltd. Art Director
Shunichi Shibue DENTSU INC. Creative Director
Naoyuki Ogino DENTSU INC. Planner
Takaaki Koshiba DENTSU INC. Planner
Akihiko Fuchi DENTSU INC. Producer
Yohei Nemoto Dentsu Public Relations Inc. Planner+PR Planner
Hiroshi Sawamura Dentsu Public Relations Inc. PR Planner
Hidehito Iwai Dentsu Public Relations Inc. PR Planner
Tomoko Nishizawa Dentsu Public Relations Inc. PR Planner
Saori Kohama Dentsu Public Relations Inc. PR Planner
Nana Matsuzawa Dentsu Public Relations Inc. PR Planner
Naoka Maruoka Dentsu Public Relations Inc. PR Planner
Yuki Hiiro amana inc. Producer
Yoichi Sakata Rizing inc. amana group Movie Director
Namiko koizumi UN inc. amana group Photographer
Kohei Sugiyama ZEAL Associate inc. Event Producer
Ayana Hidaka ZEAL Associate inc. Event Producer

The Campaign

Since the Kumamoto Earthquakes of April 2016, the restoration of Kumamoto Castle has become a symbol for the recovery of the region as a whole. But, though the one-year anniversary of the disaster brought renewed media attention and widespread donations, there is a risk that continual coverage of such contributions may lead the public to wrongly assume that the castle’s restoration is already complete. The idea behind this initiative was to leverage the expertise of packaging firm Sakura Paxx by selling cardboard models of Kumamoto Castle, with 100% of proceeds to be donated to the restoration of the castle itself. The underlying aim was to attract active participation from the general public, thereby helping to generate an ongoing source of funding, as well as to keep the restoration of this historic structure near the forefront of the public consciousness.


The act of purchasing and assembling the model, before using it as an ornament in the home or office was framed as a “Build-your-own donation” to the restoration of Kumamoto Castle. The challenge of assembling the model in the quickest time possible was used as the theme for a promotional video, while a charity event aimed at the general public was also held at Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills retail complex. The promo video and footage from the event were shared online, and presented to various media in a freely editable format in order to stimulate steady coverage that extended beyond the launch and the period of the event itself. Aside from one local newspaper advertisement in Toyama Prefecture, where Sakura Paxx is based, the campaign chose to forgo conventional advertising in favor of earned, owned, and shared media.

The story was run in several news media and created conversation on social media, and offshoot activities and collaborations continue to expand. These include the decision by one budget airline based in Kumamoto’s neighboring prefecture of Miyazaki, to offer the kits as part of its in-flight shopping range. Positive exposure for the initiative has attracted overwhelming demand, both within Japan and from 10 other countries and regions around the world. The initial run of 3,000 units sold out so quickly that production had to be increased. As of June 2017, 5,000 kits have been sold, generating approximately 10 million yen in proceeds. In 2017, the resulting boost in the profile of Sakura Paxx saw the company receive twice the usual number of applications for graduate positions from final-year university students. Unusually for a local BtoB company, Sakura Paxx received offers of collaboration from 20 other businesses and organizations, and five requests for public speaking appearances by the company president. Even after the online launch of the promotional video and the charity event in April 2017, exposure via both mainstream and social media has continued to build, with related videos published as distributed content reaching over one million views, attracting numerous comments that were overwhelmingly positive in tone. One tweet about the initiative from the mayor of Kumamoto received over 1500 reactions.

The Situation

This creative CSR initiative saw Sakura Paxx, a firm specializing in cardboard and packaging, leverage that expertise to support the restoration of Kumamoto Castle, which suffered extensive damage in the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes. The sale of cardboard Kumamoto Castle model kits aimed to sustain both donations for, and awareness of, the restoration, leveraging earned, owned, and shared media. Through framing that resonated with the public both in Japan and overseas, as well as with other businesses and organizations, this initiative brought positive outcomes both in terms of recovery-related objectives and for Sakura Paxx as a business.

The Strategy

Packaging firm Sakura Paxx decided to launch an initiative designed to promote the restoration of earthquake-hit Kumamoto Castle (and, by extension, the recovery of Kumamoto as a whole) in two key ways: by raising funds; and by fostering a lasting interest in the castle and the local recovery among people across Japan and even overseas. Leveraging its experience and expertise with cardboard, Sakura Paxx launched cardboard Kumamoto Castle model kits. Not only would all proceeds from sale of the kits be donated to the castle restoration fund, it was also hoped that spending 30 minutes or so building the models would create an emotional investment that was reinforced on a day-to-day basis as buyers displayed completed pieces in their home or office.


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