Staff Reporters
May 29, 2018

2018 Cannes contenders: 'Sumo Girls 82 Techniques' by Dentsu Design

Hokkoku Shimbun newspaper's campaign to promote sumo wrestling in Japan in a new way won over critics with its aesthetic artistry.

2018 Cannes contenders: 'Sumo Girls 82 Techniques' by Dentsu Design
We asked creative leaders from across the region choose the work they expect (or hope) to see winning at Cannes Lions this year. See all this year's Cannes contenders.

Contender: Sumo Girls 82 Techniques
Agency: Dentsu Design
Client: Hokkoku Shimbun Newspaper

Nominated by

Ali Rez, regional CD, BBDO Middle East and Pakistan

Gorgeous art direction meets the bizarre: Japan never ceases to amaze, constantly showing work that is refreshingly new. 

Ajab Samrai, chief creative officer, Ogilvy ASEAN:

Amongst the young, Sumo wrestling is far less popular than football and baseball in Japan. Hokkoku Shimbun a local newspaper teamed up with Dentsu Design to promote the ancient Japanese sport in a novel way. They created "Sumo Girls" a special group of girls to promote the 101st Kanazawa High School Sumo Wrestling Tournament.

In a series of press executions the "Sumo Girls" are seen performing 82 winning techniques, which include throws, twists and body drops. Reminiscent of the sports card we all grew up with, the images seamlessly bring together dynamic photography against simple graphic gradated backgrounds. Each image is then completed effortlessly with Japanese script.

Japan wins a healthy portion of its awards each year in design and craft – this is art direction at its best and takes the craft aesthetic to its highest levels.

Minoru Yashima, executive communication director, ADK

Amazingly dynamic and eye-catching Sumo wrestling graphics that I’ve never seen before. The impact of this must have outreached its basic role to announce the upcoming annual high school Sumo wrestling tournament (for boys of course). 

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