Takashi Fukuda, creative director at Dentsu Japan, has departed the agency after 26 years to take on a four-year secondment as a public-school principal in the Ibaraki Prefecture. Fukuda joined Dentsu as a marketing executive but moved to the creative department four years later and climbed the ranks to become a creative leader.
“I’m leaving advertising now, but I’m not leaving the creative industry,” Fukuda told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “Being in a school also requires a range of creative skills. Customer experience will now become the student experience.”
When Fukuda’s daughter was born six years ago, he became interested in education and launched the Education Scrap and Build Project within Dentsu in 2019. As part of the project, he spoke about education in various forums and performed pro-bono work for education organisations. When the opportunity to become a school principal came knocking at his door, it was fated for him.
Fukuda already has a few ideas in mind on how to apply his learnings as a creative to his new role. For example, every Friday evening, he plans to call upon his colleagues at his school as ‘talk show guests’ and have students tune in as spectators. Topics they would cover are the ups and downs of working life, how to earn money, and lived experiences as adults in Japan.
And because Fukuda believes that every student has in-built vocational abilities, he wishes to launch an independent project where students have the freedom to learn independently. This project would partner with Dentsu staff and clients, as well as community members.
“I believe that my creative skills can be put to great use to create something interesting that supports students in finding something they like or are good at,” said Fukuda.