David Blecken
Dec 9, 2015

Japanese healthcare brand aims to make Americans "whole"

TOKYO - Mitsui Chemicals, a Japanese manufacturing company, has launched a branding initiative aimed at a US audience to promote its entry into the healthcare space and build its presence internationally.

Whole You products include devices to cure sleep apnea
Whole You products include devices to cure sleep apnea

The campaign is designed to promote Whole You, a recently-launched healthcare solutions service for people with sensory and mobility challenges.

Led by J. Walter Thompson Japan, the work centres on the concept of living a complete, fulfilling life. It features Bruce Hall, a photographer who has been blind since birth. Hall took part in a festival in Los Angeles, CicLAvia, in which roads are closed to motorists to enable pedestrians to experience the city in a new way and make the most of their senses and the ability to move.

Hall documented the day transported by Damon Roberson, a professional cyclist who had overcome a serious accident. The pair’s activities are presented in a documentary, Whole Day, along with Hall’s photographs.

Photo by Bruce Hall
Photo by Bruce Hall

The campaign includes online, radio and print components, the latter promoting the company’s initial product, a device to combat sleep apnea.

Mitsui established Whole You after acquiring Dentca, Respire Medical, and PixelOptics and Panasonic Healthcare electronic eyewear technology. In a statement, Hiromi Inagaki, the brand’s chief innovation officer, said the aim was to “redefine health as the ability to enjoy life to the fullest, revolutionising what human health looks, sounds and feels like”. Inagaki said the documentary was a reflection of that vision.

Takumi Ichihara, general manager of J. Walter Thompson Japan, said in the statement that Whole You was different to the norm for Japanese companies in that it had concentrated its brand identity, rather than on marketing its products.

“Whole You didn’t grow out of a product, which is the usual route for Japanese companies,” Ichihara said. “Instead, it started thinking about the identity of the brand and how it should serve a higher purpose in society. This was an exciting and rare opportunity to get on board at the very start and create a brand that would define a company.”

The agency was also involved in establishing an innovation centre, the Whole You Living Lab, that uses crowdsourcing and collaboration with various partners to develop new product ideas.

Other WPP companies that worked on the campaign as a team assembled by J. Walter Thompson include Mindshare, Mirum and H+K Strategies.



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