Anime Takeover: Why Anime Is Advertising's Next Frontier


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Anime Is Lord And Savior

Anime has gone corporate. Or at least, the corporate world is finally beginning to understand the power behind this style of animation. More and more brands are gravitating towards incorporating anime into their branding of advertising campaigns.

At the moment, the country that is capitalizing on this medium the most is (not surprisingly) Japan, the birth place of anime. With a growing demographic of anime appreciators (10-29 years of age is the sweet spot), Japanese animation studios are finding themselves called for work on corporate-owned branded content. That’s why, in this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses how Anime is becoming advertising's next frontier, and what brands need to know about the Anime audience. 

Anime Takeover_ Why Anime Is Advertisings Next Frontier

The Demand Is Greater Than Expected

According to the Dentsu Web Quantitative Survey conducted in December 2018, young people aged 20-29 showed a 64.3% interest in anime. 15-19 years olds showed a 72.4% interested; and even more surprisingly, 40-49 year olds showed a 48.4% interest in anime.

This survey sampled 20,000 respondents nationwide in Japan, which is well over the number needed for a significant statistical study. The fact is, young people are overwhelming interested in anime, and so are middle aged individuals - the medium has far and expansive influence. Anime should not simply be viewed as a minor interest, but rather a natural cultural phenomenon that has always been apart of the young to middle aged Japanese citizens lifetime. And this interest, with time, will extend to the United States.


Started From The Bottom

For young people in Japan, anime has already made the transition from subculture to the mainstream. This is key for any marketers who find it difficult to develop a younger customer base - and who are looking to align with trendsetters (as again... it's only growing in the United States!) With the medium increasing in overall relevance, anime should no longer be overlooked by marketers. To do so would be to negate its successes within the global marketplace and the popularity of Japanese anime overseas.

A large reason why anime has become so popular not just in Japan but overseas is due to the successes of various anime blockbusters. Just take a look at the 2016 box office smash, Your Name. The film was made for roughly ¥370 million ($3.4 million) and grossed $358 million! 2018’s Dragon Ball Super: Broly grossed $114 million globally while having a budget of $8.5 million. The popularity of anime overseas is at an all time high.

In 2018, Dentsu conducted a survey in 20 countries and territories. Of the 6,6000 respondents, 34% cited “anime and manga” as Japanese things that they consider to be excellent.” These stats fell just below Japanese cuisine and Japanese robotics as other things "considered to be excellent."

From Agencies To Animation Studio

Popular Japanese agencies are already actively providing clients with marketing solutions that partner them with Japanese animation studios. Some agencies, like global advertising giant Dentsu, have even created their own studios specifically designed to provide their clients with marketing solutions through collaboration with Japanese anime studios.

The company has stated that their solutions are not only targeting Japanese companies, but clients worldwide. By partnering with 10 different prominent Japanese animation studios, Dentsu plans to become the authority on marketing anime both nationwide and internationally.

Dentsu Japanimation studio, or DJS for short, has already begun the process of creating original short-length anime that is optimized to communicate branded messages as anime stories.



These stories will of course have a strategic PR and marketing bend, designed to be highly sharable amongst consumers as web content. These anime short are typically 3-minutes in length, lending ample time for a strong storyline to be developed as opposed to the limiting 15-30 second timeslots of television. Not too short to be forgotten, but not too long allowing digestible viewing times and easy shareability.

Furthermore, anime fans are actually uniquely sensitive to information and are more prone to share content. Yes, anime fans are the battery fueling the machine of internet content virality. Throw some subtitles on the video, and you now have a easily sharable catalyst for spreading information.

It's Anime Not An Advertisement 

It’s important to understand Dentsu’s approach to this global marketing campaign initiative. To produce anime advertisements is only their secondary goal. Their primary goal is to create original anime works. This philosophy comes from an evaluation of a projects influence after completion.


Even if the client’s product or service lacks strong focus or attention, viewers are still more likely to gain a positive feeling about the client’s company or brand if the content launched through their platforms can stand on its own merit. In other, less complicated words, Dentsu’s main concern is developing awesome content that resonates with viewers. That alone may be enough to garner positive feelings about the brand or company.

It’s a simple philosophy based on our current cultural moment. If a person watches an original short length anime on the web, and they are moved by this content, they will share the video regardless of who it is associated with. They’ll then look to see who is responsible for this dynamic viewing experience, shout-out the brand, and the brand’s image becomes enhanced as customers begin to associate their positive emotions with the brand itself. Of course, methods for verifying the effectiveness of the campaign are still utilized and prioritized.

Onwards To The Future

From now on DSJ will continue recruiting more and more animation studios to their list of partners to garner as much knowledge surrounding the anime industry as possible. Inevitably, more advertising agencies will follow in their footsteps as the world continues to adopt anime into the mainstream of culture.

Marketing agencies within the United States will no longer be able to deny anime’s global influence and will surely begin exploring options to creating original anime works for marketing initiatives as well. The world is becoming a much smaller place, and shared media will most likely be the link that establishes like minded cultural norms. This will also unite the marketing processes that prove ultimately successful overseas.

Check out a few links below that delve even deeper into the world of Anime and Marketing. 

If you've read through the above and still can't get enough, then check out our exclusive product placement courses that are available to download now!

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