Listen, analyze, create conversations – 65dB TOKYO

06 June 2022

Listen, analyze, create conversations – 65dB TOKYO

In STORIES, we highlight teams within TBWA\HAKUHODO that are continuing to make changes in the world through their unique expertise. For this episode we are introducing “65dB TOKYO”, a social media monitoring, listening and analysis team.
With social networking services becoming more and more essential platform for daily life, how should companies listen to and utilize the increasingly important social voice? We talked to Taku Nakamura, Head of 65dB TOKYO, and Saki Adachi, Brand Strategist, who joined the team last year, about the importance of social conversations and the unique methods of 65dB TOKYO.


65dB: the sound of conversation, is the global social listening agency of TBWA\Group and Omnicom. 65dB delivers qualitative consumer and market research by leveraging cutting-edge social listening technology with a team of brand strategists and insights analysts in global offices. Our specialty is to analyze various conversations on social media to grasp the current trends of the times, such as what people are thinking, what they value, and how they are behaving. We also suggest signs of possible changes that may occur in the future based on the psychology of people obtained from the analysis.

Q. Could you briefly introduce yourselves?

Taku Nakamura (Left), Saki Adachi (Right)

Taku Nakamura (Left), Saki Adachi (Right)

Taku Nakamura (Head of 65dB TOKYO): I joined Hakuhodo in 2007 and experienced teams specializing in financial and digital. In 2014, I transferred to TBWA\HAKUHODO and joined 65dB TOKYO team when it was launched in 2019. I have been working as the leader of the 65dB team since this year.

Saki Adachi (Brand Strategist): I originally worked for a digital marketing related company, and joined TBWA\HAKUHODO in October 2021 as a brand strategist, in charge of strategic planning. I have been working in the field of web marketing, so I am striving to improve my skills as a marketer.

Q. Could you explain what kind of team “65dB” is?

Nakamura: To put it super simply, we are a team that provides “social listening” services. There are 65dB teams sit within TBWA around the world. Japan is the third base in the world, and now there are about 10 teams around the world. Although it is a team within TBWA\HAKUHODO, it can be said that it is an organization with a strong independent character.

“All begins from the conversations”
Q. We now hear the term “social listening” quite often these days – could you tell us what it is?

Nakamura: In short, it is to collect and analyze the myriad of user voices on social media to capture consumer insights. In our case, we don’t stop at analysis; we also provide creative and consulting services that can be utilized for branding and marketing purposes.
The name of our team, “65dB,” comes from the “sound daily conversations”. Since we convert people’s voices on social media into data and analyze it, we consider that we are handling the “social voice,” which is the starting point of planning, as in a sense, a commodity.

Insights for future coming from daily conversations trends
Q. What is the unique point of 65dB compared to other social listening services?

Listen, analyze, create conversations – 65dB TOKYO

Nakamura: One of the common goals of social listening is to derive insights from social voices to fully leverage them, but what makes the difference is “how to derive useful insights”. 65dB has four methods: ①Brand Scan (comparison of the own brand and competitor brands), ②Topic Scan (industry analysis), ③Tribe Scan (target analysis), and ④Trending Talks (discovering signs of trends for the industry from social analysis) – and the greatest strength of 65dB is that we make full use of these methods to derive unique and most relevant insights for brands.

Adachi: I think how 65dB uses know-how is also interesting. If it were an ordinary social listening, it would be common to read past and current trends, but I think the difference between our team and other services is that we can provide consulting services by reading future insights, such as “What should we do in the future?” through analyzing various time series. Furthermore, this method has been established globally, so I think it is useful for our clients to be able to conduct both global and domestic analysis at the same level making the insights more useful and unique.

Q. Could you share any examples of the analysis and uniqueness of 65dB team?

Adachi: Trends among people can be seen from analyzing the trends in volume of speech by topic.
For example, when analyzing the insight surrounding “Kimono,” usually the keywords result would be something like “fine clothing” or “rental”, but in fact, during and after the pandemic changes were seen such as the volume of mentions of keywords such as “flea market,” “reuse,” and “remake” has increased significantly, and projects to inherit kimonohave become more active especially after the timing of the 2020 TOKYO Olympics. Our main feature is not to analyze trends that are already widely recognized, but to focus on “a piece of a trend” and dig deeper for new insights for emerging trends.

Listen, analyze, create conversations – 65dB TOKYO

Nakamura: I think it is quite a rare approach to extract the small voices (minority) and dig deeper. In many cases, the client is already familiar with the trends of the larger voices (the majority). On the other hand, by also identifying the smaller voices, which are fewer in number but have hidden potential, new discoveries are made and measures are more often planned to address the new and hidden needs.
In addition, I think we are able to provide high value to our clients by not only reporting excerpts of small voices as qualitative comments, but also by being able to quantitatively show what percentage of those voices are increasing and how they are increasing.

Q. From the client’s standpoint, they would want to know the signs of emerging trends that they can see from the small voices, not just the majority voices they already understand.

Nakamura: Exactly. For the larger voice group, clients want to know “what kind of people are making those conversations?” rather than “what kind of conversation is going around” – which can be covered with our method as well.

The real feelings are not shown in surveys
Q. What do you think is the exciting and also challenging points when it comes to social listening?

Listen, analyze, create conversations – 65dB TOKYO

Adachi: It is interesting to be able to read the real feelings that do not come out in general traditional surveys. For example, when you look at surveys on sustainability, around 90% of respondents say they buy products that can be used for a long time, but on social media, there are quite a lot of complaints about even a single paper straw. It is interesting to uncover the gap between the ‘public’ voices and the real voices, and I think this is a point that our clients appreciate most as well.

Nakamura: I feel the value of social listening data has been recognized more and more over the past two to three years compared to the days when people were skeptical about the value of social voices. At first, there were quite a few people within the company who were unfamiliar with social listening, so we had to start by raising the level of understanding within the company, but recently it has become an integral part of our proposals to clients.

Q. What do you think is the main reason for elevation of the status of social voice?

Nakamura: It is definitely the hit of COVID-19. As the world has changed dramatically, including remote work, it has become more difficult to communicate and converse in real life, and various people’s voices are now emanating on social media platforms – and it made us able to see trends by listening to the conversations on socials more closely.

Q. How you you describe the 65dB TOKYO team?

Adachi: In terms of member composition, we have many female members – about 80%. I think our team has a good work-life balance and openness to each other.

Nakamura: Many of our members have something they can clearly say they like, regardless of genre such as video games or art. People who have done one thing and want to expand their interest in anything based on that with passion would probably enjoy working in our team.

Adachi: I personally feel that since joining TBWA\HAKUHODO, I have become more skillful in social media. The increase in the number of topics that can be picked up has increased sensitivity to the issues and context that are being discussed on social channels. I think social listening, in which the raw and real voice is immediately reflected, is an area that marketers must be involved in in the future, and is important to have the skills to not only analyze simple facts but also to come up with good insights and unique suggestions from them – and TBWA\HAKUHODO 65dB team is a good environment for those who want to hone such skills!

Highlighting meaningful voices for the world through social listening
Q. Are there any topics or themes you would like to challenge in the future?

Listen, analyze, create conversations – 65dB TOKYO

Nakamura: In addition to client works, one of our activities is to disseminate new signs of emergin trends on a global level. Last year we did research on gender awareness in Japan, put out a social listening report on #BlackLivesMatter, and published an Asian Beauty Trends report in the midst of the COVID-19. We also participated in the production of a “tourism restortion guide series” to support the recovery of the tourism industry that was hit hard by the pandemic.
We hope to continue to make socially meaningful changes through this kind of voluntary social listening analysis, and right now, Adachi-san is leading the exciting study project!

Adachi: I am personally interested in the sustainability and SDGs area, which is currently the focus of much attention from society, and a lot of companies are really working on various projects for SDGs. But I am analyzing how general consumers actually perceive those actions and want to give suggestions on what stance the companies should take to when it comes to handling SDGs related topics.

Nakamura: Also, although it is still in the conceptual stage, we are considering developing a new method. I mentioned that we have four methods, but I believe that methods must evolve with the times, so I think it would be great to update the method that is relevant to Japan market. If we can establish a method for finding the “signs of emerging trends”, I believe it will be very useful in making business decisions.

It may be an eternal challenge to capture the feelings of consumers and read signs of trends that will grow in the future. This can maybe only be done through social listening, where true feelings of consumers that aren’t shown in the surveys are spilled out.

These are the some of the projects done by 65dB! Please take a look.
Some of the projets initiated by 65dB during 2020-21
Japan Gender Awareness study (collaboration with Career Women Lab)
Asian Beauty Market Trend during the Pandemic
Tourism restoration report series
・65dB Official site:

We will continue to introduce our colorful members and teams! Please stay tuned!

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