11．Making society better through ideas as a "Social Design Company"
For example, there is a large Nike shop in Santa Monica, but it doesn't just sell shoes. If you go there at about 8 in the morning, there are a number of professional runners waiting. Customers can choose which coach's team they want to join, and then they run together along the beach. Here, Nike is not trying sell shoes directly, they are illustrating the appeal of their shoes through this running community. The idea is that the more runners join the community, the more demand there will be for new shoes. In other words, they are selling shoes through personal experience.
This type of concept is called "Social Design". The concept of social design is based on the precept of how to make the world a better place. Sony Digital is involved in a large number of transportation advertising campaigns and events based on this concept. Examples of transportation advertising include the September 2015 Disneyland Halloween event, and the digital art for the Tsutaya Electrics store in Futako Tamagawa. Examples of events include the small projection mapping we did for the new BEAMS JAPAN store opened in Shinjuku in April this year. There was a large projection mapping event done in Tokyo station a few years ago that became quite a hot topic, but as you get used to it, it becomes less and less impressive. This is why we always need to use reverse thinking.
12．"Who do you think is a celebrity?"
1st to 5th place are YouTubers
We do a wide range of video projects including some for the Japan Tourism Agency. Some clients say that just a 15 or 30 second television commercial is not enough to fully communicate the experience and excitement that they want to convey. So in cases such as the "Doraemon" campaign, we created 2 to 3 minute-long commercials for YouTube. Did you know that Hikakin was appointed? He doesn't appear on television, but has become famous as a "Social Star" on social media, appearing frequently in various places. People known as Instagrammers and YouTubers are now extremely popular. They started gaining attention from 2 to 3 years ago when Google used a variety of YouTubers in their commercials. From the production perspective, television has a far longer history, it has a larger mechanism and therefore costs more money, but for the viewer, the amount of time they spend viewing something is the same whether they view it on a 40" TV screen or a 5" smartphone screen, so it is common sense that stars will rise from the media they are most in contact with. For example, Max Murai has 1.4 million subscribers. Hikakin has more than 5 million.
If you ask an elementary school student "what do you want to be?" they will often say the names of their idols. America is the most advanced. When 1500 teenagers were asked "Who are famous celebrities to you?" the top 5 names were all YouTubers. No. 6 was Paul Walker, the famous Hollywood actor. However, he died in a car accident. Many people were surprised that a dead person had ranked higher than many living people, but for me the sense of presence of YouTubers is even more surprising.
13．You can now see artwork through smartphone VR, so you no longer need to visit the gallery!
We are also focusing on contemporary art, and opened the "VR GALLERY", a dedicated virtual reality art gallery in Asagaya in August this year. Recently, Google has developed the "Tilt Brush" that enables you to paint pictures in virtual reality, so we created a test space where people are free to use this at will. You can also put on a headset and view art created by creators from around the world using virtual reality. However, the headsets are heavy and need constant monitoring, so from the autumn we plan to provide "Smartphone VR" that enables you to view the art directly from your smartphone. If this is successful, you won't need to go all the way to the art gallery because you'll be able to see all of the artwork using VR on your smartphone.
Three-dimensional imaging such as VR and holograms are developing rapidly. In the past, we used to send out sentences like "This is a really good restaurant", but now people introduce places to friends by photographs on Instagram or by sending people Snapchat movies. There are also apps such as SNOW and EGG. "Face swapping" is when the camera automatically recognizes the eyes and mouth in a self-taken picture (selfie), and then changes the images into a dog or other themed design. This is the evolution of the selfie, or as I like to call it the "Deco-mail-izing of selfies", started with Rola's Instagram and became hugely popular. Other examples include Channel, who now have iPads at their sales counters. Simply tap a switch and the iPad immediately shows your face with a beautiful and creative makeup design. Genius creators are actively incorporating new methods of expression to make more and more unique ideas a reality. This also expands the range of possibility for interactive advertising.