We are søster. A creative agency using unique travel insight to fuel and enhance a brand’s offering. Delivering creative content, brand strategy and global experiences, we use wanderlust to inspire audiences and supercharge companies. As the sister of world-renowned travel company Black Tomato, we’re retailers as well as creators. This means our work is uniquely effective. We are able to draw upon insight into customer behaviour, travel industry expertise, and an understanding of future trends, which gives us an unparalleled understanding of the entire travel market. This knowledge allows us to provide an unsurpassed level of expertise for both brands in travel and those brands seeking to use travel as a vehicle to engage with and put themselves on their audiences’ map.
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Mazda C&SEE – Japan
We were briefed by long-standing client Mazda, to take 97 top-performing dealers, from eight European regions, on an inspiring and educational trip to the home of Mazda Motors in Japan.
Having delivered incentives for Mazda across the world, we understand their brand. With nearly a hundred guests, seven mother tongues and zero universal languages, this event required meticulous planning to ensure a seamless delivery. This, combined with the educational element, meant it was vital to wow guests with a luxury experience that revealed the best of Japanese culture. Mazda’s commitment to customer experience and brand excellence is notoriously high and their campaign expectations were no different. Based on our brand knowledge and with the objectives in mind, we created Mazda Origins, a programme embodying the Japanese philosophy of omotenashi, or hospitality, and motivated guests to implement this in their market through a truly engaging communications campaign reflecting a desire for success.
The event was unveiled via a mobile-responsive website, translatable at the click of a button into one of seven languages. The site posted countdowns, programme information, image galleries, destination tips and personalised FAQs – all designed in keeping with the Mazda Origins theme. The central site united networks across the globe right from launch and created immediate excitement about this heritage trip.
In addition to ongoing digital engagement, with six months between the launch of the event and take-off we were keen to keep the focus of Japanese culture in a tangible way. To do so, we provided 97 miniature bottles of sake with personalised gift tags, packaged in branded boxes and sent them in a synchronised delivery in each office across Europe. Plus, we wanted to make sure that the origami crane, a Japanese symbol of good fortune, made an appearance at various points in the communications campaign including within the travel packs. Alongside branded leather travel accessories and personalised pocket travel itineraries, each guest received a hand-folded origami crane to add to their collection.
We organised for guests to fly into Tokyo on 10 different European flights. They were immediately ushered through a bustling train station and onto a privatised bullet train carriage. Rested after a night at a luxury hotel, guests were treated to an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Mazda’s top-secret manufacturing processes and given a special insight into the history of the brand. This privileged and coveted invitation-only experience was followed by a Japanese feast attended by the Global Directors – a meticulous seating plan ensuring maximum visibility for each host. A ceremonial sake barrel opening and an epic taiko drumming performance rounded off the traditional Japanese evening.
Unique experiences were scattered throughout the programme including guided Buddhist meditation, elegant geisha performances, championship sumo matches and an evening river cruise on a traditional yakatabune boat overlooking Tokyo’s neon-tinged skyline. Final evening celebrations included a drinks reception in a privatised area of Tokyo’s most popular rooftop bar, a sophisticated dinner overlooking the city and after-hours access to the Roppongi Hills Club.
The Lasting Impression
The event was a huge success and gathered unprecedented levels of engagement. It was vital to keep the momentum alive and so we created a bespoke gift for guests to receive on their return; a bonsai tree home-growing kit complete with Mazda Origins branded pot markers. The gift was not only to act as a reminder of the trip but as a cue to remember Mazda’s roots and an ongoing talking point across newly united networks.
We exceeded the educational objectives of this event whilst inspiring the staff to feel connected to the culture through the traditional Japanese experiences like sumo wrestling, watching geisha performances and travelling on the renowned bullet train. Both the trip attendees and Mazda were incredibly happy with the overall experience, measuring qualitative value beyond statistics.