David Blecken
Jan 23, 2018

Technology adds a new layer of realism to Japan promotions

360 degree views of sumo, shrines and Pikachu.

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has brought out a 360-degree, virtual-reality video to showcase the country’s charms to foreign tourists as comprehensively as possible.

Developed by Enjin Tokyo, an independent creative agency, the work aims to show the coexistence of tradition, innovation and nature in Japan from a combined foreign and Japanese perspective.

Imagery ranges from a Zen temple to a training session in a sumo stable, the red gates of a Shinto shrine, a kaiten sushi restaurant, and a UFO catcher in a game centre stacked with plush Pikachu toys. Viewers are encouraged to use their own VR googles to enjoy the video to maximum effect.

In addition to the interactive video, augmented-reality signage has been installed at stations and shopping malls in five European countries, including Spain, England, France, Italy and Germany. The setups give people the chance to virtually try on traditional costumes such as that of a Samurai or Kabuki actor.

Campaign’s view: The video content is well-produced and should appeal to a wide range of potential visitors. The AR costume tryouts are essentially a modern take on cardboard cutouts at a theme park, but should be fun all the same. All in all, this is a decent promotion that uses technology for a clear purpose—i.e. to put the user in the frame.

The imagery will all be familiar to anyone with a rudimentary understanding of Japan, and that’s fine. But it would be good to see this sort of effort used to present a less familiar (dare we say less sanitised) side of Japan, too, especially bearing in mind the fact that many people who visit Japan once are inclined to return with a view to discovering more about the country.

Campaign Japan

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