When Japanese people meet for the first time, they gently exchange business cards using both hands, instead of a hand shake. We created edible business cards made out of seaweed to demonstrate this unique and particular way of Japanese greeting method into effective face to face advertising & PR through selected local ambassadors. Event and individual activities drove media’s interest toward “Saga” widely through news worthy well designed unique edible business cards and generate people’s buzz through digital and consumer lottery.
The business cards were handed over to the local celebrities such as the mayor, corporate president, senior official of union, the landladies of a Japanese-style hotel, and local talents. PR events held Saga city and Fukuoka city (the regional area hub) invite Major media personals.
The seaweed was engraved with names using special laser cutting technology. Since the best quality Saga Nori is very thin and fine, it took more than 2 months on testing laser cutting and actually making it happen.
The edible business cards were designed with the cultural patterns and rare animals that represent Saga prefecture.
50 official ambassadors distributed 100 edible business cards throughout Japan to drive interest and guided to campaign website. 100 general consumers won their edible business cards by lottery and show off their card on their SNS site. The campaign also exposes through official website with YouTube movies, Instagram and Twitter.
Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market:
The mission for local celebrities were to distribute 100 business cards within one month after they were assigned to be the PR person such as the mayor, corporate president, senior official of union, landladies of the hotel, and talents. Then 100 general consumers who won the lottery pass their edible business card to others. 5,000 edible “Saga Nori” business cards distributed within a month. 2,000 edible “ Saga Nori” business cards distributed by lottery winners.
National newspapers and TV station news shows picked up our unique campaign and help Saga Nori and Saga prefecture become famous across the Japan. Total media impressions were worth $ 4,000,000, from a $ 35,000 budget . From all over the country we were flooded with the demand for purchase, so now the world’s first local “edible” seaweed business card becomes available online for people around the world.
Many Japanese traditional meals use Nori (seaweed) as a daily ingredient. Amazingly 1/4 of Japan’s seaweed production is made in Saga, and for 13 consecutive years they have been the largest producer in Japan for both volume and sales. We decided to put a new twist in this timeless practice and turn it into a direct marketing opportunity. When the Japanese meet someone for the first time, they hand out business cards instead of shaking hands but carefully with both hands. We developed a business card made of seaweed in order to enable this unique and peculiar way for Japanese to greet and turn into this moment into one to one marketing to generate interest toward Saga prefecture.