Kashiwa Sato experimented new communication strategy. Denying traditional advertising campaign, he introduced a cool campaign method for the 10th anniversary project of SMAP, one of the leading Japanese pop groups. Bringing the new perspective that ‘a pop group is the brand’, Kashiwa re-positioned SMAP and created a communication strategy with a unique visual identity used on the CD jacket design and a variety of concert merchandise.Kashiwa blanketed Shibuya with banners hung from the street lamps and with special designed covers for the buses in addition to newspaper ads and a poster campaign.

He modified the position and red/blue/yellow ratio in the base design, which recalled a three-colored flag. The creation of the symbol to identify the pop group went beyond the usual production of CD jacket and concert merchandise, tapping into the trend of global companies increasing their corporate value through the power of visual identity.

Witnessing the decline in the power of mass media, Kashiwa decided to forego the traditional route of heavy mass media advertising. Instead, he created a buzz through a variety of street activity; he flooded Shibuya with SMAP’s logo just before the CD launch and then ran newspaper ads featuring the tricolored flag logo.

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