Clarifying a cookware brand’s advertising strategy for Japan

Providing semiotic analysis around Japanese lifestyles and product usage context for a leading global cookware brand

SignSalad Tefal

We provided:

  • Timely semiotic analysis, comparing French and Japanese users
  • Easy-to-understand observations and actionable recommendations
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What was the brief?

Semiotics agency Sign Salad wanted to ensure that Tefal’s advertising campaigns are perceived positively in the Japanese market. As they didn’t have in-house knowledge of the Japanese market, they regularly turned to Tokyoesque to analyse and provide insight into the brand’s proposed TV ads.

How we approached things

  • Identifying subsets of Japanese society where scenarios such as men in the kitchen and non-Japanese food are a positive addition.
  • Pointing out that certain commonplace terminology in Western households (babysitter, roommate, etc.) can have negative associations if not used carefully.
  • Demonstrating that striking a balance between exotic & cool whilst being relatable would be key.
  • Always bringing discussions back to one, simple question – how would a Japanese consumer use these products?

Methodology

We employed a combination of existing cultural knowledge and additional desk research.

Results

Tokyoesque consistently added value for Tefal’s campaigns through:

  • Hands-on experience: Our bilingual, multi-cultural team was well placed to perceive even the subtlest of cultural differences between France and Japan.
  • Case studies: We demonstrated how similar products (both domestic and international) have been advertised in Japanese media as a point of cultural comparison.
  • Ad-hoc support: Our team was always available to further provide clarification when necessary.

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