Product / ServiceSO
CategoryA01. Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Idea Creation DENTSU INC. Tokyo, JAPAN
Production 2 TOW Tokyo, JAPAN


Name Company Position
Noritaka Kobuse DENTSU INC. Creative Director
Junta Yoshikawa DENTSU INC. Communication Planner
Satoshi Takahashi DENTSU INC. PR Planner
Takashi Koyama DENTSU INC. Planner
Daisaku Maeda DENTSU INC. Art Director
Tatsuhiro Nagashima DENTSU INC. Planner
Yumi Fujisawa DENTSU INC. Copywriter
Kosuke Fukui DENTSU INC. Copywriter
Yaichi Kubo DENTSU INC. Account Exective
Ryo Ito DENTSU INC. Account Exective
Ruriko Kikuchi DENTSU INC. Account Exective
Koji Abe DENTSU CREATIVE FORCE INC. Creative Producer
Takashi Maeno Keio University Graduated School Professer
Eisuke Tachikawa NOSIGNER Social Product Designer
Daisuke Sugyo NIBAN-KOBO Productions Corp Producer
Wakana Shibata NIBAN-KOBO Productions Corp Production Manager
Nobuya Imai NIBAN-KOBO Productions Corp Director
Kazuki Ohata FREERANCE Photographer
Takayuki Tonegawa Wicky.Records Record Producer
Takanori Inagaki HITO TO HITO Producer
Tomoki Nozawa Material Inc. PR Planner
Takashi Kibe TOW CO.,LTD Interactive Producer
Yuzuru Suzuki TOW CO.,LTD Event Producer
Yuichi Shimazu TOW CO.,LTD Event Director
Tunemi Kobayashi TOW CO.,LTD Event Director

The Campaign

Research shows that the simple act of looking up can increase one’s level of happiness—a fact that today’s professionals may not be aware of when they spend so much time looking down at their computers and smartphone screens. That is why we developed the S? Laid-Back Bench—an ordinary-looking bench that has no back legs. Simply sitting down on the bench causes it to bend back until the sitter is looking straight up at the sky—a perfect moment of bliss for the busy professional.


We didn’t want to produce a bench and claim that it would make people happy without evidence to prove its effects. Therefore, we co-developed the bench with an expert in happiness studies, as well as a famous social product designer. We then invited our co-developers to the bench’s launch event, where they explained the science behind the bench. We also created a video explaining how the bench worked and streamed it online. We followed up with bench-sitting events in seven of Japan’s largest cities, and promoted the bench to corporations via seminars led by our two co-developers.

The campaign was widely covered on TV, on over 130 online articles and blogs. Of those surveyed, 83% said they felt happier after sitting on the bench (?Based on an independent survey taken during the development period). Over 35,000 people attended the bench-sitting events. S? enjoyed a year-on-year shipping increase of 120% (?The figure includes not only the campaign period but also the whole survey period). Furthermore, a number of Japanese firms and co-working spaces that are tackling work reform and health-based initiatives agreed to place the S? Laid-Back Benches in a dozen locations. We successfully convinced some key players in Japanese work reform and, as a result, the S? Laid-Back Bench started to spread as a new type of social architecture.

The Situation

The project started with an ice cream maker wanting to contribute to corporate efforts at tackling work reform and health-based initiatives, and eventually led to the development of a bench that was accessible to anyone. Of those who sat on the bench, 83% said they felt happier —a statistic that even led some of Japan’s top companies and co-working spaces to place the benches in their own offices.

The Strategy

We targeted business professionals, a demographic that makes up a significant portion of ice cream buyers. However, instead of promoting ice cream, we decided to focus on happiness to evoke our “SO HAPPY” tagline. In doing so, we wanted to show that we, too, were serious about increasing the mental well-being of today’s Japanese professional in the same way as companies tackling work reform and health-based initiatives. We also decided to keep the design as simple as possible—apart from its missing back legs, the S? Laid-Back Bench looks indistinguishable from a typical bench—to make it easier to place the bench in a variety of locations across Japan.