1. How did Look Media start?
Look Media started in Sydney, Australia in 1999. It was started by Peter Wrigley whose father worked in advertising and who is an innovator and design talent and who came up with the concept of scooters pulling billboard trailers - a creative, attractive and funky off-shoot in the already established mobile advertising industry. Simon Thirlwall joined a few months later. Simon had been working in advertising sales for a major agency in Sydney and became the sales driving force for Look Media. I personally got involved as Look Media expanded worldwide with my first position in South Korea. I stayed for six years in South Korea and then we decided to open a Japan office in 2007. So I moved here at that point.
2. In a city where everyone is desensitized to advertising, how do you make people take notice?
Look Media uses engaging, attractive designs and unique media to display messages, the public get a kick out of the creativity of the medium, which in turn not only attracts attention, but has the added bonus of positive product association with the product being advertised. In short, people notice us because they are interested in how we carry the message and the attractiveness of the design. Further, our form of advertising is communicable, our staff members are brand ambassadors and engage the public, we are not a static background medium - we connect, engage, and draw attention in cool ways, remaining friendly and unobtrusive but highly visible. The product we are using in Japan now is the "Look Walker" - an eco-friendly, modern-day sandwich board some might say. A troop of people walk around the streets wearing these poster boards, which can be illuminated at night.
3. Can you give an example of how Look Media’s walkers were able to act dynamically to effectively capture people’s attention?
Look Media's Look Walkers have been so successful that it’s hard to name any one campaign, but from product sampling to dressing the brand ambassadors in stylish clothes, direct marketing pitches to the public, being able to be in the right place at the right time, Look Walkers are a very dynamic product, highly adaptable to campaigns. For example, we were employed by the Nagoya local government to run a campaign for the elections. Over the last ten years the number of younger eligible voters had been declining. So, we were employed to use the Look Walkers to target specific areas - universities, shopping malls, and train stations. They had a 10 percent increase in voters this year and also the highest voter turnout in the last ten years.
Another example would be the opening of the McGregor shop in Omotesando. We had our walkers dress in stylish McGregor clothing and walk around the area for two days, giving out flyers for the shop that included a coupon for a free designer bag that could be picked from the shop. The campaign was organized in just over a week from start to finish, and the shop was very busy on the opening weekend.
4. Where do you see the future of mobile advertising headed?
Mobile advertising is a growing segment of the industry. Basically the advertising industry has been turned on its head in the past 15 years, Print advertising and TV advertising have been in massive decline, with these media being replaced by online advertising and cable advertising. As a result online and outdoor advertising have been taking their place.
Outdoor advertising has developed in far more creative ways than we had 10 or 15 years ago, now advertisers are using all forms of outdoor advertising to reach consumers. Non-traditional outdoor advertising has seen the most growth. Mobile advertising with its ability to move, to attract, to work in new ways, to engage the consumer has been an area growing in leaps and bounds for the past decade, the industry forecasts this to continue, but don't take my word for it, go to Website of the Advertising Association of America or other such industry reporters and see what they say about it
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