ADK has established a standalone creative agency, Cherry, in an effort to provide more flexible service than can be found in traditional advertising agency environments.
The new company began operations today with a staff of six, including CEO and business producer Akinori Suzuki, three creative directors, an art director and a PR director. All members are existing ADK staff. The team is located in an office near ADK’s headquarters in Toranomon Hills, Tokyo.
In a statement, ADK said Cherry aims to connect brands and people by looking beyond traditional advertising. The statement noted that changes in lifestyles and the way people gather information mean advertising is often “ignored or dismissed”.
ADK said advertisers are starting to "emphasise brand continuity and consistency rather than simply creaing points of contact through conventional advertising methods". It indicated that Cherry’s work will centre on creating brand “fans” and “providing newsworthiness”.
A spokesperson for ADK said clients include startups, local governments, cosmetics and drinks brands.
The name 'Cherry' is based on the potential exemplified by the blooming of cherry blossoms, and also symbolises a fresh outlook, ADK said.
The move is the first major development that ADK has announced since Bain Capital bought ADK last year. ADK’s sale to Bain suggested that the company recognised the limitations of its existing operating structure. In an interview in March, executive officer Noriyuki Nakai said greater flexibility and more robust data services were central to the company’s future.
ADK has been quiet regarding its activities since then. The company's spokesperson said there had been progress in developing new strategy in the "creative and solution area" and that further announcements would be forthcoming in the near future.
Last year, both Dentsu and Hakuhodo launched consulting units designed to cater to briefs outside the regular advertising sphere, although as part of the agencies' main operations rather than as separate entities.
This article has been updated.