Product / ServiceMARUGAME UDON
CategoryB10. Brand Voice & Strategic Storytelling
Idea Creation 2 DENTSU ISOBAR Tokyo, JAPAN
Production 2 SPICE GROUP Tokyo, JAPAN
Production 3 SIGNAL Tokyo, JAPAN


Name Company Position
Katsuaki Nagumo TORIDOLL Holdings Corporation Executive Producer
Maki Daido TORIDOLL Holdings Corporation Creative Planner
Satoshi Yoshida TORIDOLL Holdings Corporation Creative Planner
Ryosuke Kamiya TORIDOLL Holdings Corporation Growth Planner
Makiko Sakurada TORIDOLL Holdings Corporation Communication Planner
Shinsuke Naito TORIDOLL Holdings Corporation Strategic Planner
Takafumi Aihara Dentsu Isobar Creative Director
Yuki Nishihata Dentsu Isobar Copy Writer
Michiyo Tsumura Dentsu Isobar Strategic Planner
Atsushi Yoshioka Dentsu Isobar Agency Producer
Masakazu Hinoishi Dentsu Isobar Agency Producer
Tomoaki Yuasa Dentsu Isobar Account Executive
Yusuke Kubo Tribal Media House Senior Communication Designer
Katsunori Hara Tribal Media House Communication Designer
Shinya Taneichi Tribal Media House Creative Producer
Shinobu Kakizaki SPICE Art Director
Yuka Shimada SPICE Designer
Yumiko Yamamoto SPICE Web Designer
Miku Masuda SPICE Web Designer
Shuhei Suzuki SIGNAL PR Director
Mizuha Matsuka SIGNAL Media Promoter
Shinnnosuke Furukawa SIGNAL Media Promoter
Kento Kurahashi Dentsu Isobar Account Executive
Takeshi Bamba Dentsu Isobar Agency Producer

Why is this work relevant for PR?

1spoon Innovation is a service design-focused Brand campaign, and essentially an appreciation towards the Japanese food culture, through a collaboration between the soul food ‘udon’ and the beloved food brand known for its savory staple seasonings dedicated to rice. In-store promotions were held in about 800 stores in Japan for a month. Marugame Udon customers who would normally order a set menu and do not eat udon frequently also joined the Momoya Topping Festival, trying and enjoying all the personalized recipes. As a result, the variations in the menu expanded, increasing the average spend per customer.


How to wow while preserving tradition? Japanese traditional soul food, udon. Since it has been loved for hundreds of years from the Samurai times, it has established a solid position as a traditional food and is no longer a food culture that provides freshness or surprise. Marugame Udon is a brand with a bold mission and responsibility to maintain traditional udon-making methods. At the same time, it strongly believes in expanding the possibilities to diversify the way udon is served and enjoyed, in order to conquer the Japanese food scene.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Tradition x Tradition = Innovation Marugame Udon's new endeavor combines two traditional Japanese foods. Rice as a staple food deeply rooted in the culture and udon noodles, another big player in the local cuisine to innovate their flavours and create new ways to enjoy them.

Describe the strategy (30% of vote)

For the Japanese, rice is a fundamental staple, eaten 365 days a year. To add some variety eating it every day, a variety of condiments to enhance its taste have been developed. Meanwhile, soul food udon is popularly eaten by enjoying the simple flavors of the soup and the toppings placed on it. Marugame Udon collaborated with Momoya, a centenary brand that has produced seasonings dedicated to rice, making it a savory staple in every Japanese household. By combining it with the taste of udon, we had the ability to infinitely expand udon’s flavors and create a new way to appreciate this dish.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

In-store promotions were held in about 800 stores in Japan for a month. Momoya’s seasonings dedicated to rice, are beloved Japanese flavors and were presented as udon toppings. We designed the campaign to spark one‘s imagination of what makes “tasty”, allowing customers to explore the infinite possibilities of flavors. Inspired by a spoonful, a variety of unique combinations were produced, including udon with multiple toppings titled “Fuji Mountain of Tempura”, and the “Whirlpool of Umami Udon ft. a pinch of sea salt air” with dried seaweed. Another example of an unexpected combination was the “Refreshing Curry Udon”, an experimental piece that added Japanese sour plum to curry, which gave it a fresh aftertaste. Many customers participated in the one-spoon recipe invention phenomenon, sharing their masterpiece via social media.

List the results (30% of vote) – must include at least two of the following tiers:

The launch of these original one-spoon udon toppings led to creativity and imagination of customers to run wild, generating approximately 60,000 recipes of their own. Marugame Udon customers who would normally order a set menu and those who do not eat udon frequently also joined the Momoya Topping Festival, trying and enjoying all the personalized recipes. This was revolutionary in comparison to previous campaigns focused on offering discounts, or post-purchase promotions and toppings. At $0.3 per spoon, this effort impacted not only sales but also marketing. Customers posted their own recipes on Twitter, turning it into a library that generated over 30 Million impressions and ranked 2nd on Twitter Japan’s Top 25 trends ranking. By combining the two, and taking an approach that produced a range of high quality udon variations, we encouraged not only sales for Marugame, but also an evolution of traditional food within itself.


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