Are you looking for a marketing and advertising agency in Japan? Promoting your business in Japan can be a challenge because of its competitive market. Japanese customers are picky when it comes to brands, because they look at price, quality, and reputation altogether. But, don’t lose hope! Once you gain their trust, Japanese consumers are also one of the most loyal in the world.
Now, you may wonder, “How do I tell Japan that my brand is trustworthy?” For that, you will need the help of a local marketing and advertising agency. By working with a local agency, brands can have access to local marketing trends, efficient marketing strategies, they can break the language barrier and network with key opinion leaders. These insights can help businesses to establish a relationship with the Japanese market.
Japan’s technological advantage has led to an advanced purchasing behavior. For one, 94 million of the population purchase products and services online. They spend more than $2,000 annually on online purchases, and they make their purchases through their mobile phones. Therefore, brands should focus on delivering marketing campaigns that are digitized and mobile-friendly.
The next thing you might ask is “How do I pick the best advertising agency in Japan?” Lucky for you, we have the answer. In this article, we curated the top performing marketing and advertising agencies in Japan who can help you introduce your business to this foreign market. These agencies offer various services, from e-commerce site management, SEO, social media marketing, digital marketing, to influencer marketing. Let’s take a look!
Top 18 Marketing Agencies in Japan
- AJ Marketing
- Hakuhodo DY Holdings
- Tokyu Agency
- Nihon Keizai Advertising
- Delphys Interactive
- JR West
- ADK Group
- Asahi Advertising Inc.
- Hashi Media
- Zo Digital
- Yomiuri IS Co. , Ltd.
1. AJ Marketing
AJ Marketing earns the spot as the top marketing agency in Japan. AJ Marketing offers various services like marketing strategy, online advertising, social media marketing, digital billboards, SEO, press release, and celebrity licensing. This company has great english-speaking support which can ease communication in campaign planning. Their local office in Japan also offers a great advantage in collecting insider information that a foreign brand can benefit from.
AJ Marketing focuses on influencer marketing, with more than 7,000 influencer networks all around Asia. Their main social media platforms are TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. Aside from Japan, AJ Marketing offers its services in other Asia countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan and Korea.
This company is well-trusted by small and big companies alike. AJ Marketing has worked with companies like BMW (MINI), Bytedance (TikTok), AMD, and Adobe. You can find more information about the Japan market in the AJ Marketing Blog.
Beacon is an international marketing agency which has expanded its bases in Japan. Beacon believes in harmonizing the strengths of the East and the West in order to introduce a foreign brand to a local market. Beacon strives to be the “human-centered creative agency”, making people the center of any solution method they come up with.
Beacon offers various services such as consumer engagement, CRM, social, content development, media, data-driven marketing, UI / UX design, shoppers, and hands-on events. It has also worked with large brands such as McDonald’s, Marlboro, KraftHeinz, Visa, Toshiba, and many others.
One of its most successful campaigns is for McDonald’s “Put toys on the tray” which promotes the recycling of Happy Meal toys that the children no longer play with. To advance this initiative, Beacon created an integrated campaign, making use of TV commercials, social media, posters, and in-store materials. Over one million toys were recycled in Japan due to this campaign.
Frontage is a marketing and advertising company in Japan specializing in communication and entertainment. This company focuses on moving emotions and on producing campaigns that people have not seen before. Frontage believes that your business can strive in Japan with the help of its 3 major capabilities: problem-finding, idea power, and realization power.
Frontage’s services include motivation design, communication design, promotion activation, digital marketing, media content, PR, location design, and new business development.
One of the major projects of Frontage was the Sony Xperia PRO I Announcement in October 2021. Frontage helped Sony create online video content for the new cellphone model, which in turn received 700,000 views online.
4. Hakuhodo DY Holdings
Hakuhodo DY Holdings Co., Ltd. is a marketing service company headquartered in Tokyo. This company is one of the most established ones in Japan, merging with companies founded as early as 1895. Hakuhodo does not simply think of people as “consumers”, but thinks of them as individuals who live independently in a diversified society. They believe in creating value through deep insight to build a bridge between brands and the market.
Hakuhodo offers heaps of digital services such as marketing, promotion, consultations, PR, media content creation, and research and analysis. Aside from these, Hakuhodo also established the Hakuhodo Marketing School where business-owners can learn marketing that creates new values and new markets.
Hakuhodo has previously worked with big brands such as Panasonic, Suntory, Sapporo Beer, Kobayashi Pharmaceuticals, and many more.
Quaras is an advertising agency in Japan which believes in solving business problems through out-of-the-box thinking. They believe that creativity must always come first, because creative outputs generate unique value, and ensure customer satisfaction and positive impressions.
This company offers anything which needs creative minds, from art gallery installations to TV commercial productions. One of its best campaigns is the Fujiya Smile Switch campaign. In this project, Quaras utilized TV commercials and sales promotion measures. Quaras collaborated with different male celebrities and models to illustrate the various flavors of Fujiya’s chocolate products. In turn, “Fujiya” won 1st place in the Yahoo! trends ranking, and it also garnered 1st place in the YouTube rankings.
Nikkeisha is a marketing and advertising agency located in Tokyo, the heart of Japan. Nikkeisha’s vision is to connect people, things, and companies through the use of fresh ideas. They sincerely face the issues of business partners who seek their help.
They offer almost all kinds of business solutions, such as branding, media planning, digital marketing, research, event promotion, data analysis, creative productions, and global solutions. This large company even has its own economic documentary program called “Nikkei Special-Dawn of Gaia” where they will capture economic events on a global scale and chase those who are struggling for the “revival of Japan.”
Nikkeisha’s digital services also include internet advertising, website production, social media promotions, and CRM.
7. Tokyu Agency
Tokyu Agency’s main belief is “Symphonized value creation”. This agency swears to undertake creations that answer to what the time demands, and to deliver their promises even in difficult encounters. Tokyu is a one-stop shop for business solutions. It offers services such as advertising, information collection, publishing, photography, film production, events planning, and even design construction.
One of its unique services is the Sports Solutions. They promote various sporting events such as the management of female professional golfers and the management of badminton world championships. They take charge of the planning and management of women’s golf tournaments.
So, if your business centers around sports, then Tokyu Agency might just be right for you!
8. Nihon Keizai Advertising
Nihon Keizai Advertising aims to discover the special feelings people experience in their daily lives. They seek to answer the questions, “What moves people?”, “What influences their feelings when they buy something?” and “What raises their interest and excites them?” They also believe in having passion towards their client’s products because they treat themselves as a client’s partner who can improve the client’s abilities.
Nihon offers various services for business-owners, such as N-class marketing, data management platform, creative shooting, and SYNRI or psychological or neurological intelligence planning method.
Dentsu focuses mainly on four areas: advertising transformation, business transformation, customer experience transformation, and digital transformation. Dentsu gives consumers “an invitation to the never before” where they welcome people to the “unknown world.” They believe that there are endless possibilities in marketing and advertising that are not yet explored, seen, and realized.
This established agency has already won several awards in advertising, including Cannes Lions, Adfest, and Spikes Asia. They’ve also worked with several large brands such as Pocari Sweat, TikTok, and Morinaga & Co., Ltd. True enough, Dentsu can be the go-to advertising agency in Japan for any type of business.
10. Delphys Interactive
Delphys Interactive provides marketing solutions using the latest digital technology from the consumer’s point of view. Delphys’ major focus is the automobile industry, which they believe is currently in a revolutionary period. Its services include website production, SNS production, WEB advertisement production, digital promotions, and system development.
Its major clients are big names in the automobile industry, such as Toyota and Lexus. They took charge of these brands’ domestic site creation and content production. So, if you’re a business-owner whose niche leans on cars, accessories, and related technology, then Delphys Interactive is recommended for you.
11. JR West
JR West is a comprehensive advertising company that produces all kinds of communication. They carry out large and small advertisements and campaigns in a wide range of industries, from branding to sales promotion. Their services include advertising & PR services, commercial production, event planning, and research and development.
Their most unique service is transportation advertising. They specialize in putting advertisements in transportation areas such as bullet trains and train stations. By putting advertisements in these areas, people who commute every day are exposed to them for long periods of time.
If you’ve envisioned your brand being posted on subways, then JR West is the right agency for you!
12. ADK Group
ADK believes in being an “experience of joy” for everyone, including its clients, employees, and their audiences. ADK thinks that by giving people happy experiences, they will be able to move their audience into becoming loyal customers. They provide business solutions through the use of integrated marketing that makes full use of data and technology. ADK has offices in different areas in Japan, such as in the East, Kansai, West, and Chubu. ADK has also expanded into the international arena by also doing business in 15 other countries, employing over 3,000 experienced professionals.
13. Asahi Advertising Inc.
ASAKO’s utmost priority is to respond to significant social changes in communication and provide versatile business solutions. They believe that “science and creativity” are the solution for the future success of different businesses in Japan. ASAKO offers integrated marketing solutions to successfully lead Japanese consumers to their client’s brands and products.
Their services include digital solutions, creative development, media solutions, content production, sales promotion, and marketing strategies. They also have experience in creating e-commerce websites, producing various campaigns, and cooperating with technology firms both within and outside Japan to develop unique products.
ASAKO has worked with several local and international brands, such as CJ Foods Japan, National Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives, Ryukakusan Co., Ltd., Hitachi Construction, and Sankyo Airtech Co., Ltd.
iPlanet believes in “making tomorrow more interesting than today”. Its mantra, “future communication” means implementing communication strategies with consumers that will lead to the future success of their client’s business. They highly utilize the internet and the web as it is becoming more borderless and personalized each day.
Their services include strategic planning, digital marketing, media planning, promotion/activation, exhibitions, document solutions, and global support.
15. Hashi Media
Hashi Media specializes in social media and content creation, and is led by its team of marketers based directly in Tokyo, Japan. They undertake to give businesses peace of mind and security when launching their business in Japan using their company’s unique approach in marketing.
Their services include social media marketing, influencer marketing, and content production. Hashi Media has already worked with big international clients entering the Japan market. Their clients include AMD x MSI, Park Hotel, Village House, and Subway.
16. Zo Digital
Zo Digital came from the word “Zo” which has 2 translations in Japanese: it can mean “elephant”, but it can also mean “vision” or “creation”. Zo believes that they can provide business growth for all kinds of brands entering Japan, from startups to existing large businesses.
Their services include pay-per-click advertising, conversion optimization, SEO and SEM, landing page development, A/B Testing, social media growth, and many others. This agency focuses more on online behavior analytics, which can be beneficial for businesses wanting to improve their online presence.
17. Yomiuri IS Co. , Ltd.
Last but not the least, we have Yomiuri IS. Yomiuri specializes in insert advertisements. It is the number one advertising agency handling the most number of insert advertisements in Japan. Insert advertising is also known as leaflet advertising, because it is a separate advertisement inserted in a magazine, newspaper, or other publication. This type of advertising reaches the general masses.
Thus, if you want a general audience to know about your product, then Yomiuri might be best for you.
Starting a marketing campaign in an unfamiliar country will undoubtedly be a challenge. You’ll have trouble understanding the culture and preferences of a foreign audience. In Japan, especially, the government and the people prioritize advertisements in Japanese. Localization is an important factor when introducing your business to this country, and you cannot do this alone. It is important to have a local marketing partner situated directly in Japan. Working with these agencies can ensure your business’s success.
We hope that this article helped you in finding the best marketing agency fit for your brand’s values, goals, and plans. You may also find interesting a list of top digital marketing agencies in Japan by Clutch.