Kentaro Kimura (Japanese)Co-CEO, Executive Creative Director & Account Planner Hakuhodo Kettle, Tokyo
In 2006 he established Hakuhodo Kettle—a creative agency that plans and implements innovative new campaigns that often exceed ordinary advertising methods—where he continues “boiling the world” by “boiling ideas” and serving them to his clients.
He was a member of the jury for Promo Lion at Cannes, Executive Jury at New York festivals, Outdoor at ADFEST, Film, Integrated, and Digital in London International, Film in Clio, Film, Print, radio, and Outdoor at Spikes Asia, Innovation and Integrated Grand Jury at New York Festivals.
Kimura’s list of recognitions include Yellow Pencil at D & AD, Gold at CLIO, Silver at Cannes, 2 Grande Lotus at Adfest, Grand Prix at NY Festival, Gold at New York ADC, Gold at London International, Gold at Asia SPIKES , and Grand Grand Prix at Adsters, etc.
To shift the world, break down stereotypes
I used to backpack. As a student, I spent a year traveling the world, and I continued working and traveling right up till I established Hakuhodo Kettle. This taught me firsthand how language, culture and even perceptions change when you cross borders. This made me realize that things that I had taken for granted before as basic truths were actually nothing more than my own pre-conceptions. It went well beyond that, too: coming into contact with other values changed me from the person I was the day before. It dawned on me that people who have such experiences are happier for it.
I think the same is true of the ability to properly execute advertising and communication. When you succeed in presenting appealing values about a product, category, company or society that turn stereotypes on their head, you can actually feel the world shift on its axis. There are many extraordinary campaigns I’ve worked on that have turned received wisdom on its head. They required a great deal of vision, but the tougher the challenge, the higher you fly when you finally break through. The same applies in life as in work. The fear you feel when you take on a new challenge is a barometer for the joy you will feel when you succeed.
Setting the world aboil with ideas
Seven years ago I established a company called Hakuhodo Kettle. I chose the name Kettle, because I wanted to bubble up ideas that set the world aboil. If you ask me how I hoped to set the world aboil, one keyword would be borders.
Hakuhodo Kettle’s concept is method neutral. In my experience, work may break through for any of a number of reasons. It could be the strategy, it might be the creative, or the PR or digital efforts, or something besides the advertising. We cannot know which will push the sweet spot in people’s emotions, so why not consider them all and find out which is most effective? That’s why we at Kettle all work together at one table regardless of job title, and without sectioning up the work. It’s not always easy, but breakthroughs that bring real solutions to client challenges seem to bubble up much more easily this way.
Journeying to and fro between forest and city
I have two titles: Creative Director, or creator of advertising creative; and Account Planner, or creator of strategies. The reason is that the work of creating communication hovers around the border between the unconscious and the conscious. This is what makes it so interesting. People move when you reveal the psychology and desires buried in their unconscious minds and give shape to them with words and visuals. So I go backwards and forwards between emotions and reason, art and science, and ideas and logic. It is almost as if I am journeying back and forth between the peculiar, shifting “forest” of the mind and the digitized, information-oriented “city” every day.
Hovering about the border between worlds, whether between the real and the cyber, news and advertising, the human body and technology is, quite simply, fascinating.