The aim says JCB, is to highlight the brand’s Japanese heritage and at the same time drive brand awareness across Europe.
Dubbed #BetterWithOmotenashi, this is an eye-catching campaign. The visuals aim to highlight the company’s distinct proposition and its focus on being a valuable service-led brand, dedicated to providing customer excellence.
And what exactly is omotenashi? Purchasers of a Lexus car will be familiar with the concept. Lexus says that is omotenashi has influenced every aspect of its business and has done so since it rolled out its first car over 30 years ago. The gist of it is and I paraphrase: a company manifesto that guides every decision it makes, every car it creates and to treat each customer as it would a guest in one’s home.
Guests in quality Japanese hotels will also be familiar with omotenashi. The phrase does not really translate well into English-and some observers may suggest that there is an obvious reason for this and that UK made cars and British hotels’ customer service are not in the same league as a Lexus or the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo.
JCB’s initial brand audit and benchmarking process found that JCB Europe already enjoys strong brand equity and with the #BetterWithOmotenashi campaign aims to position JCB as a global payments brand, with a valuable cardmember community, combined with the company’s intrinsic business focus of its omotenashi principles.
BetterWithOmotenashi: JCB and agency partner Transmission commission Brian Grimwood
To bring the campaign to life and differentiate it from the photography-led campaigns of other payments brands, JCB and agency partner Transmission commissioned renowned British illustrator and artist, Brian Grimwood, to develop bespoke illustrations, invoking the brand’s heritage and focus on service through care and understanding.
Following a successful test phase in the fourth quarter last year across social media and programmatic advertising, JCB is now launching the full rollout of the campaign across online business, financial and payments industry media.
It may be stretching things to suggest that searches for the term ‘omotenashi’ will be trending in the short term. But this is a campaign that will be of interest to track.
Ray Shinzawa, MD, JCB International (Europe) says: “JCB offers a truly distinctive proposition for our partners across Europe to tap into Asian consumer spend and build their business, differentiating ourselves through a 60+ year track record of reliability and expertise, combined with our unique focus on Japanese principle of omotenashi. Through this campaign, we are showing our prospective audience how JCB delivers the highest standards of customer care, support and protection, providing seamless, trusted payment experiences to our partners and cardmembers alike.”
All of the above is ambitious but relatively straightforward to craft with sufficient budget: the tricky part is now going to be the execution.