|Title||THE SO LAID-BACK BENCH|
|Brand||LOTTE ICE CREAM CO., LTD.|
|Product / Service||SO|
|Category||B12. Brand Voice & Strategic Storytelling|
|Entrant||DENTSU INC. Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Idea Creation||DENTSU INC. Tokyo, JAPAN|
|PR||MATERIAL Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Production||NIBAN-KOBO PRODUCTIONS Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Production 2||TOW Tokyo, JAPAN|
|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|
|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|
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 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.
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.