Tokyo Highlights – OOH Advertising

According to a March 2012 ZenithOptimedia forecast, Japan’s adspend has grown by 3.1% in 2012 from 2011 – this is a rosy outlook from its decline in the previous years.Japan is the second largest ad market in the world with China trailing a close third place.


We had blogged about the advertisements around the Shijuku area before and it is evident that Out-of-Home OOH advertising in Japan remains vital to a populace that works hard, plays hard (and drinks hard).


OUTDOOR advertising = OOH formats are balanced with static billboards still taking a good dominance of OOH outdoor spaces in the key city areas like Shinjuku, Harajuku and Akihabara etc. Selected prime areas are developed into digital formats especially on buildings with fashion dominance or music and movie entertainment. These digital formats are dominant in size, excellent quality with minimal or no blockages for maximum impact


Akihabara Tokyo Billboard 2012 Nov 2

Akihabara – Electronics and Comics (otakus’ haven)


Harajuku Tokyo Billboard 2012 Nov 2

Takeo Kikuchi Shibuya Store


OUTDOOR advertising = OOH formats are innovative, and good shop frontages are powerful media for the retail outlets. Even the Takeo Kikuchi global flagship store in Shibuya which was still under renovations when we visited was a key OOH platform. The Takeo Kikushi store is a success of Japanese Minimalist architecture and it is well documented by Dezeen and Mooponto


Depending on advertisers’ needs, the lighted mobile billboards are an effective mediumfor short term targeted messages. However, this is not a mainstream form of advertisement and most advertisers are events or music and movie entertainment targeted.


Shibuya Tokyo Billboard 2012 Nov 1

Mobile Billboards roaming around Shibuya


Shibuya Tokyo Billboard 2012 Nov 2

Shibuya Crossing – plethora of OOH formats


TRANSIT advertising = OOH formats are small to allow for efficient and frequent change visuals by a labour force that cannot afford a large number of workers.  The displays are changed even on a weekend display basis and the materials used are based on PP (polypropylene “paper”) which is light weight and potentially recyclable.


Shinagawa Station Billboard 2012 Nov 1

Shinagawa Station and its digital screens


TRANSIT advertising = OOH digital usage is less pervasive than we thought. This is a good thing since OOH digital usage has high fixed and variable costs, the hidden costs from equipment breakdown and compensation can also be an unpredictable factor in the decision to invest.


Nonetheless, OOH digital usage is well used in a multiple installation: Shinagawa Station – digital screens were installed on both sides of a long commute corridor which serves as a thoroughfare for tonnes of commuters. Tokyo Station had 4 exits within a rounded hall and the digital screens were unobtrusive and synchronized in their displays. The digital and the recently restored traditional facade and interiors were well matched.


Tokyo Station Billboard 2012 Nov 1

Roof of the newly restored Tokyo Station


Tokyo Station Billboard 2012 Nov 2

Digital screens above each exit of the Tokyo Station


What are your thoughts on Out-of-Home advertising? If the location is right, then is the format right? What about the creative? Any opportunity for interaction? What’s the frequency and duration of exposure? Is there a “So what’s next?” for your target?



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