After spending 16 years leading the creative teams of AKQA globally from London, Masaya Nakade is headed home. The creative veteran has been hired by R/GA Tokyo to be its executive creative director.
Masaya brings with him over two decades of experience globally. As ECD at AKQA he led work for some of the agency’s biggest clients, including Forevermark, VSCO, Ford, Bvlgari, Verizon, Kotex, Muji, and a global suite of Nike cross categories such as The Olympics, Global Nike Women, Nike Training Club and Nike Run Club. He’s won multiple awards at Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, CLIO, LIA and Eurobest.
"I’ve enjoyed being an alien in the other side of the world," Masaya told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "It gave me an opportunity to see the world differently. After 20 years in Europe, I wanted to see if I could see Japan differently."
He will bing back to Japan an appreciation of London's diverse culture, where people express their thoughts openly and directly in order to affect change. "I’d like to open up conversations here in Japan with respect to the culture I know well," he added. "But TV programs are generally patronising and fake. Brand voices are not too far from it. This needs to change." In terms of his priorities, Masaya lists quality of work, people and life as his focus areas.
Masaya reckons that he is making this shift at a delicate time for the industry—it has been disrupted by consultancies, the tech might of GAFA (Google Amazon Facebook and Apple) and internalisation of work. Big agencies are struggling, but nimbler agencies are embracing the change. "Luckily, R/GA Tokyo is made up of a small and nimble team, and that’s part of the reason I’m here," he explains. "It’s refreshing to see their work and thinking constantly evolving and adapting. It’s an exciting time to be back in Japan and now with R/GA. I look forward to getting started with the team.”
His bosses believe that as R/GA Tokyo continues to grow, Masaya will be a handy addition to the top management roster. “We have been experiencing exponential growth and success since we started in 2017, working with Japanese and global clients alike,” says Yosuke Suzuki, managing director of R/GA Tokyo. "Masaya’s addition to R/GA Tokyo is sure to give our clients a distinctive edge in this competitive landscape."