David Blecken
Apr 4, 2016

Can ad agencies save lives? Possibly

TOKYO – Tanizawa Seisakusho, a producer of safety helmets, has introduced a line of hard hats that double as household objects in an initiative developed alongside J. Walter Thompson.

Plant pots take on a new meaning
Plant pots take on a new meaning

As anyone who lives in Japan knows, earthquakes can strike at any time. In an effort to encourage people to be prepared for the worst, Tanizawa worked with J. Walter Thompson to adapt its technology into household objects.

The +MET Project sees helmets serve as plant pots and lampshades.

Tanizawa asked J. Walter Thompson’s Japan office to develop a strategy to make safety helmets an essential home accessory. The Japanese government encourages people to keep emergency supply kits in their homes, but few people own helmets, according to the agency.

Most importantly, Tanizawa wants people to have the helmets readily accessible, not buried at the back of a cupboard, as is often the case. J. Walter Thompson’s idea aims to achieve that. The lamp model also incorporates a flashlight to help in the event of power cuts.


In a statement, ECD Go Sohara said the agency worked with a professional interior designer as opposed to a helmet designer to create the products. “Our goal is to be sold not in DIY home centres, where you’d normally buy equipment like this, but in home furnishing stores and variety shops,” Sohara said.

According to the statement, Tanizawa plans to introduce further home and office products as part of the range.

“We aim to get this concept to reach people who never had interest in a helmet and onto shelves in the near future,” Miho Kawai, a representative from Tanizawa’s management planning department, is quoted as saying.

Campaign’s view: The idea might raise a smile at first, but natural disasters are of course no joke and anything that can help save lives is to be commended. Of the two products, the plant pot is perhaps the more attractive/least obtrusive, but the flashlight in the lamp is a clever touch. The whole thing is a good example of agencies doing something that's ultimately much more useful than advertising, and a direction we encourage.


Client: Tanizawa Seisakusho
Agency: J. Walter Thompson Japan
Project: +MET
ECD: Go Sohara
Senior art director: Yusuke Mochizuki
Senior copywriter: Norio Okinojo
Account director: Takumi Ichihara
Product designer: Tetsuya Tsujimura (Tsujimura Design Studio)

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