RealTime IT News

Independent E-Advertising Agency Starts Up in Japan

Interactive market strategist Fact Communications and Internet technology and online community developer Vanten have announced formation of a new Internet marketing, technology, and solutions group and concomitant launch of an e-agency joint venture.

The Tokyo-based FlyingColor Group becomes the first independent, specialist agency providing e-marketing and e-advertising services in Japan.

"We're on the edge of the revolution here," declared Fact Communications CEO Todd Newfield, who serves as chairman of the FlyingColor Group.

"There's going to be a wave of new 'dot coms' coming into the Japanese market... creating huge demand for effective and efficient online advertising and marketing services."

The FlyingColor Group will leverage the combined experience and expertise of its three member firms in both interactive channels and traditional media to offer what Newfield terms "Full Contact E-Marketing services -- a unique and hitherto unavailable package of comprehensive advertising and marketing services across the e-space."

Newfield added that the group will "work with the traditional marketing agencies to implement the online services that they aren't set up for, and are struggling to provide. We believe our flexible, dynamic and innovative approach will best meet client needs."

The FlyingColor Group currently counts Leo Burnett Co., Hakuhodo Pro's, Ogilvy & Mather Japan, and McCann-Erickson among its agency clients. Corporate clients include NTT, Zwei, Heineken Japan, Jardine Wines & Spirits, and The London Assurance.

"We're taking a new approach, trying to put our different strengths into different companies, and then working together to leverage those strengths," confirmed Neil van Wouw, CEO of Vanten and the FlyingColor Group's chief information officer.

The one-year-old Vanten, said van Wouw, will continue to focus on "building virtual communities or, as they're sometimes called, vertical portals."

"As sites try to build traffic, they have to figure out how to increase their 'stickiness,' create reasons for people to stay there and interact. That's a growing issue that enterprises aren't really cognizant of right now -- but they will be."

Fact Communications brings to the group long experience in online and offline media integration and interactive advertising, promotions, and relationship marketing, as well as proprietary real-time access tracking systems for advertising and creative efficiency.

FlyingColor Interactive, the new joint venture firm, will help to "bring it all together" by creating content, systems, and solutions strategies for a wide range of electronic media -- websites, e-commerce, enhanced TV, wireless IP and e-mail -- and proprietary technologies for one-to-one content targeting and customization.

"It's not just about websites anymore," said Newfield. "Putting up a website and branding through banner ads is no longer enough. You need an integrated approach that uses each medium for what it's best at."

He said the aim of the FlyingColor Group is to "enable our clients to take their business beyond the website and into new and exciting areas of interactive communications to reach Asia's increasingly sophisticated consumers."

While the initial focus will be on Japan, Newfield said the group has the capacity to help its clients in other "Internet-developed" Asian markets, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea.