Brief: It is almost 40 years since the birth of the popular Japan Animation character Lupin III, the world’s greatest thief. Lupin III content extending into many fields, from fashion and games to pachinko (Japanese pinball) machines, to TV specials was to be rolled out in 2009-10. Our brief was to increase interest in the character and boost sales in the various related content areas. Anime fans aged 10-39 were the targets. Strategy: The client wanted buzz. We wanted to sow the seeds of buzz through guerilla advertising on the street that got fans in existing SNS anime communities involved. News media reporting would then spread the campaign content onto regular blogs. At the same time, concurrent as-it-is-happening reporting on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr would spread the word further still.
Solution: The experiential concept was "witness of bold theft". An anime thief comes to town one day and carries out an audacious theft. With communication that intentionally blurred the lines between fiction and reality, our ads in the form of letters of advance warning of a crime created a viral phenomenon on the Internet. A repeating cycle of events (media insertions giving advance warning of a theft in town, advance leaks to fan communities, carrying out of the crime, reporting on Yahoo! News and other Net media, expansion of information in regular blogs, advance warning of the next crime) maximized contact with related product information.
Result: Despite a tiny budget for mass media insertions (approx. US$400,000), we were able to create massive information exposure on news channels with our crime design and linked PR strategy. The result was a massive viral phenomenon on the Net that achieved: Over 40 reports on news media and Yahoo! News A total of over 3 million official site page views by 700,000 unique users Over 5,000 downloads of official blog parts Over 800 write-ups on regular blogs Over 2,000 comments on SNSs Over 70,000 views of related videos on YouTube.