The devastating tragedy suffered in Northern Japan earlier this year has had a huge impact on Japan and it's people in so many ways. The continued suffering across a range of social and economical areas is still very much real and prevalent. The advertising industry in Japan of course has not been spared and has really shifted and changed its stance on a number of fronts out of necessity.
For those of you living outside Japan and unfamiliar with some of the challenges faced, Japan is dealing with potential shortfalls of energy this summer as a result of reduced energy output capability. In Japan, the buzz word at the moment is 'setsuden' which basically translates as conserving energy. This has certainly created a lot of doom and gloom within the industry for some.
This setsuden minded shift has made its mark in a strong way within digital OOH. Basically, it has knocked digital signage off of its most recent rise and trajectory in Tokyo. Immediately after the disaster, all digital signage was shut down. Now, what we are seeing however is more of a limited run on it during certain times and places within Tokyo.
However the lasting impact here is that in speaking with many agencies, the types of questions they ask now are always centered on energy output. Detailed break downs and technical knowledge of energy related issues is a must for any electrical based media supplier. On the client side, many brands are quite reluctant to touch anything with a DOOH push for fear of being insensitive. I expect such a feeling to remain throughout the summer and even deep into the third quarter.
However, such news is an opportunity for advertising firms to really pivot. As this has disrupted a lot of the usual media buying patterns, the opportunity for agencies or media houses to present new and effective mixes is certainly there. Ideas which might have been straight to the scrap pile, suddenly take on new relevance and importance if they promise to skirt setsuden issues.
In essence, what I am trying to say is that despite difficult operating environments such as this one. It is always worth remembering that for every challenge faced, an opportunity will present itself if you have the right mindset and outlook.