4. Handbag Interviews

A new Japanese ad campaign I came across today seems to satisfy that urge you might get when you’re in someone else’s house to look through their desk drawer or cabinets. Everyone is always a little curious like that, right?

Japanese phone service provider NTT DoCoMo and fashion and lifestyle magazine, “Tokyo Graffiti” have teamed up for the “Handbag Interviews” campaign. The campaign brings together 57 different girls from all walks of life with professions ranging from doctor to waitress at a café. The girls were asked to empty the contents of their purse and display them on a table. See? Like the desk drawer.

When I clicked through to the site to see what this campaign was all about, I loved what I saw right away! Vibrant colors, jingling bells and upbeat music and videos of real girls with their handbags. After the opening video is finished, we get to take a closer look at all 57 girls, their handbags, and what’s inside.

The focus of this campaign collaboration is to show why different girls buy certain cell phones and how they use them in ways relating to style and fashion. It’s interesting to see how many girls have items in their purse that match or compliment the look and color of their cell phone. The campaign also surveyed the girls, asking them different questions about their phones. It turns out that most of the girls chose the phone model they did because of the way it looked, as opposed to something like practicality.

The site uses digital and interactive media BEAUTIFULLY! It’s easy to navigate through. You can either watch a slide show of the bag contents of all 57 girls and see them lay out the items themselves in a quick video, or you can click “View” and see thumbnail images scroll by and choose which one you want to see.

If you spot a girl’s handbag contents you find interesting, you can click on the thumbnail and zoom in for a closer look. From there, you can click on individual items such as make up, writing utensils, or cameras to see why she carries it with her or why she likes it. You can share her bag contents with your friends on Twitter, Facebook, and mixi (a Japanese social networking site). You can vote on how かわいい (kawaii/cute) her bag contents are using a “Three ❤ system.” You can even click the “More About Her” button to see her name, her picture, and her answers to some interview questions, such as “What do you use your Smartphone for the most?” In this section, you can get a closer look at her phone as well. Clicking on it then takes you to the DoCoMo website. Another option is you can organize the thumbnail images by age of the girl, her profession, or the model of phone she has.

Depending on how long this ad campaign continues, I think people would really respond well if Japanese celebrities were brought into the picture. I know I’m curious about what celebrities I like always carry around with them, and I’m sure fans would want to have a cell phone like their favorite celebrity if they could!

Not only is the website set up in a wonderful way, the idea for this ad campaign is very smart. It ends up being an ad for much more than Tokyo Graffiti and DoCoMo. It becomes an ad for any of the products or brands the 57 girls take out of their handbags. In today’s advertising world, where consumers are starting to listen to what their friends have to say about a product more so than they listen to an ad, this ad plays up the idea that these girls are just like every other consumer checking out the campaign. With such a wide variety of girls, a future consumer of DoCoMo is bound to find one she can connect with. NTT DoCoMo is trying to say that they have a style of phone for anyone and everyone. They want to create that feeling of understanding their consumer’s needs. If a successful brand is a lock, creating a meaningful connection with a consumer is one of the many keys.

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