Inter-generation, inter-category co-creation for innovative futures

19 April 2024

TBWA\HAKUHODO creates meaningful synergy to better society and business


Tokyo, April 19th – Through its open innovation project known as ‘Open Disruption®’ launched in 2023, TBWA\HAKUHODO, the leading Disruption creative agency based in Tokyo, has been at the forefront of fostering co-creation between dozens of businesses and organizations for meaningful social and business change.
In March, one such project came to fruition as the ‘Nakano School of Electrification’.
This co-creation project was born from discussions between Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (hereinafter Nissan), Tamiya Incorporated (major Japanese manufacturer of plastic model kits and radio-controlled cars, hereinafter Tamiya) and TBWA\HAKUHODO with the kind help of the Nitobe Bunka Gakuen School (hereinafter Nitobe School), located in Nakano ward, western Tokyo.


■ From a conventional agency business model to disruptive co-creation
The creativity driven by the bespoke DISRUPTION® philosophy has consistently given TBWA\HAKUHODO an edge over the competition in solving business problems for clients. With issues surrounding both business and society becoming increasingly complex, TBWA\HAKUHODO is convinced that more than ever, DISRUPTION® is required to help not only brands, but organizations and entities to ask the right questions, and to overhaul conventional approaches to problem solving. It is with this mind that the agency started the Open Disruption® initiative in March 2023, with the aim of open-sourcing DISRUPTION® so that as many businesses as possible (and ultimately society as a whole) may benefit from it.
The goal is to spread the word and method of disrupting convention to elucidate the path to solutions that meet the pressing needs of society.
Leading the charge in bringing dozens of businesses and organizations together in co-creative collaboration thus far, TBWA\HAKUHODO continues to expand this scope.


One example of outstanding co-creation to grow out of Open Disruption® is the collaborative project between Nissan, Tamiya, Nitobe School and TBWA\HAKUHODO, known as the ‘Nakano School of Electrification’ launched in March of this year, with the ambition to expand to regions across Japan, aiming to co-create a new disruption to address the business/societal issue for the need for more auto electrification.


■ What is the ‘Nakano School of Electrification’?
Held on March 11th and 12th, 2024 on Nitobe School grounds, this project invited speakers from Nissan, Tamiya and Nitobe School to collaborate and co-create with 51 elementary grade 4 students from the school to explore how electric vehicles and cities of the future may synergize to enrich lives.
Also invited was the mayor of Nakano ward, Naoto Sakai, who saw the kids being invited to build their own Mini4WD (powered toy cars equipped with 4WD, originated by Tamiya) EV models under guidance from Tamiya and Nissan on day one. While each child built their own model, they learned about how EV’s store electricity and can be of great use when natural disasters occur, offering backup electricity and powering vital lifelines. After completion, the children generated power for their EV models with a specially developed manual electricity generator to power and run their very own model EV 4WDs.
On day two, the students were invited to work with a diorama of their home turf, Nakano ward, in the school gymnasium. Asked how EVs could enrich all our lives, the kids exercised their young imaginations, coming up with innovative and whimsical ideas such as ‘game centers of the future’ and ‘online parks’.


Disruption Strategist from TBWA\HAKUHODO, Masakazu Tagai commented as follows:
“This project came to life through discussions with Nissan on how we can promote further penetration of EVs into the market, which is essential in order to reach the 2050 carbon neutrality goals set forth by the government of Japan. Focusing on children, the drivers of the future, we wanted to create an experience that would ignite their imaginations about the potentials of EV. We were convinced that their unfiltered imaginations would give adults a run for their money in terms of new, innovative ideas. We leveraged the ever-popular Mini4WD models from Tamiya as the ‘vehicle’ for learning and exploration and developed this special curriculum together with Nitobe School, along with the kind support of the Nakano ward municipal government. Each participating co-creator, Nissan, Tamiya, Nitobe School, Nakano ward and TBWA\HAKUHODO brought their own respective strengths to make EVs feel ever relevant to the children.”


Shotaro Arishima from Nissan stated that “the kids of today will live in a future where EVs will have a much greater presence in daily life, and it was our mission to get these kids to learn more about EV now, and to understand the potential of EV to enrich their lives. Through our discussions with TBWA\HAKUHODO, we reached this co-creation idea with Tamiya to leverage their iconic Mini4WDs. Learning that EVs can carry, store and supply electricity, the kids came up with some wonderfully imaginative potential applications and uses.”


Norihisa Mitsuzono of Tamiya added “a project of this kind would not have been possible with just one player, and we really created new value through this co-creation. It was deeply meaningful for Tamiya to have our Mini4WDs selected for this kind of usage, and to have these young kids interact with our powered toy models in this way. We all know how formative childhood experiences can be, and I am reminded of recent research from Shizuoka city (where Tamiya is based) stating that 70% of elementary school students today have not interacted with model kits or our Mini4WDs. This project has taught me that there is a tremendous growth opportunity for Tamiya to continue in this collaboration and to reach more and more schools across the nation together with our co-creators.”


Rintaro Kayanoma of the Nitobe School had this to say as he reflected on the project: “We see our school as a ‘place to create the future’, where students are prompted to think about what kind of world they want to see, and for them to ask themselves how they can contribute. Therefore the ‘Nakano School of Electrification’ was deeply significant for us, and very much in line with our educational philosophy. I very much appreciated how the experience was designed in a way that made the kids feel like they could truly contribute to building the future. We need more educational experiences like this in schoolrooms across the country. Lastly, I also found tremendous value in the dialogue and communication between all stakeholders in this co-creation, making for a truly pluralistic and involving project. A wonderful experience.”


TBWA\HAKUHODO is planning for a similar event to be held in Kyoto in May 2024, and will continue to expand the reach of this co-creation nationwide.


■The ‘Nakano School of Electrification’ : List of Project Members
□Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.:Development/Class Instruction
Akira Teranishi
Asuka Torii
Shotaro Arishima
Supervision:Waku-Waku Eco School


□Tamiya Incorporated:Special Mini 4WD Development/Class Instruction
Akihiro Ohhata
Norihisa Mitsuzono
Kouki Ueta
Satoshi Takado


□Nitobe Bunka Gakuen School:Lesson Planning/Class Instruction
Kuniyasu Hiraiwa
Rintaro Kayanoma
Yusuke Yamauchi
Toshio Suzuki
Chihiro Nakanose


□TBWA\HAKUHODO:Business Development/Planning/Production
Norihito Takahashi, Senior Creative Director
Satoshi Kanai, Creative Director / PR Director
Yasunobu Hideshima, Art Director
Toshiro Nishioka, Event Director
Taro Tarumoto, Event Supervisor
Suzue Hayase, Event Producer (Frontier International Inc.)
Kaori Sonobe, PR Planner(KMC)
Takahiro Otsuka, PR Planner(KMC)
Ryo Kanezaki, PR Planner(KMC)
Takuma Fujii, Account Manager
Tadaomi Ueno, Account Director
Reiko Saito, Account Supervisor
Masakazu Tagai, Disruption Strategist