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2024 Japanese marketing calendar | July, August, September

Summer is fast approaching. Marketers must prepare for sizzling hot temperatures and a busy 2024 Japanese marketing calendar.

In this article, we’ll examine Japan’s latest summer marketing trends – from traditional festivals to unique product launches and everything in between. We’ll explore the effective strategies businesses can use to stand out in the crowded summer marketplace.  

July 2024

July in Japan is full of vibrant energy. Iconic festivals like Gion Matsuri and Tenjin Matsuri attract enthusiastic crowds. This focus on tradition presents a golden opportunity for marketers to tap into the concept of experience marketing.

Cultivating Engagement with LINE

LINE, a dominant social messaging platform in Japan, offers several avenues for brands to connect with festival-goers. Consider these strategies:

  • Local Partnerships: Forge partnerships with local artisans to create limited-edition yukata or summer accessories. Promote these items exclusively through your LINE Official Account, offering attractive discounts and early access to followers. This exclusivity fosters a sense of community and drives user engagement.
  • AR Integration: Develop a custom LINE AR filter that allows users to virtually dress up in festival attire or add festive elements to their photos. This creates a fun, shareable experience that transcends specific festivals and increases brand reach.

Pro Tip: Utilize Sponsored Stickers on LINE. For a limited time, offer these visually appealing stickers for free or in exchange for following your Official Account.

July 2024 Marketing Calendar

Want to learn more?

Download our free LINE Official Account Media Guide.

Download our free LINE Official Account Media Guide.

August 2024

As the summer sun peaks in August, consumer needs in Japan shift towards practicality. Marketers can adapt strategies on popular platforms like Yahoo! Japan to cater to this changing landscape while capitalizing on the back-to-school season rush.

Targeting Consumer Needs with Yahoo! JAPAN Ads

Yahoo! JAPAN, a leading search engine and online portal, offers powerful tools to reach consumers actively seeking solutions. Here’s how to leverage it effectively:

  • Data-Driven Targeting: August sees a surge in demand for “summer cooling solutions” and “back-to-school essentials.” Utilize Yahoo! JAPAN Ads to target these specific searches with visually compelling ads highlighting your relevant products. This ensures your message reaches the right audience at the precise moment.

Pro Tip: By employing data-driven targeting, influencer marketing, and embracing the live shopping trend on Yahoo! JAPAN, brands can effectively cater to the evolving needs of Japanese consumers in August while also preparing for the back-to-school season rush.

August 2024 Marketing Calendar

Want to learn more?

Download our free Yahoo! JAPAN Media Guide.

September 2024

September in Japan ushers in a sense of renewal. Consumers return to work, and the focus shifts towards fall fashion and the highly anticipated Silver Week holiday period. Marketers can capitalize on these trends by leveraging LINE and Yahoo! JAPAN to tailor their campaigns for maximum impact.

LINE: Cultivating Excitement for Fall Fashion

  • Influencer Takeovers: Collaborate with a popular fashion influencer on LINE. They can host a live Q&A session on your Official Account, showcase your fall collection through engaging posts, and offer exclusive discounts to followers. This leverages the influencer’s established audience and generates excitement around your brand’s new offerings.
  • LINE Ads for Early Fall Trends: Utilize targeted LINE Ads to showcase your early fall collection to a specific audience segment interested in fashion trends. Highlight key pieces and the convenience of purchasing through your LINE Official Account. Offer limited-time discounts or early access to further incentivize purchases.

Yahoo! Japan: Targeting Silver Week Travelers

  • Yahoo! JAPAN Ads for Fall Collections: Utilize Yahoo! JAPAN Ads to showcase your fall fashion collection to a broader audience. You can target users based on demographics and interests to ensure your message reaches the most relevant audience segments. Offer limited-time discounts or early access to further incentivize purchases.

Pro Tip: By strategically using LINE and Yahoo! JAPAN throughout September, brands can connect with Japanese consumers on familiar platforms and capitalize on seasonal trends. This approach fosters brand engagement, drives sales, and positions your brand for success in the dynamic Japanese market.

September 2024 Marketing Calendar

Want to learn more?

Read our blog on why LINE is the most popular social media app in Japan.

Why is LINE the most popular social media app in Japan (1)

Trend #1: Summer festivals

image of japanese festival

Summer matsuri festivals are a cultural staple in Japan. They offer a lively atmosphere filled with traditional performances, food stalls, and festive parades. Typically held between June and September, these events attract large crowds. They also provide an excellent opportunity to engage with customers.

Summer is also the time of two famous Japanese holidays. Tanabata, known as the ‘Star Festival,’ is observed on July 7th. During the celebration, people write their wishes on small pieces of paper and hang them on bamboo branches, hoping their dreams will come true.

Obon is a holiday in mid-August when the spirits of families and ancestors return to our world. Many people travel back to their hometowns during these events to celebrate with family and friends. 

Businesses can reach a wider audience by sponsoring events, hosting events, or launching limited-edition products at festivals. These campaigns often feature social media promotions, in-store displays, and contests to engage customers and promote brand awareness.

Summer campaign we loved:
“Obon Barrel” by KFC

Last year, KFC released a time-limited ‘Obon Barrel’ campaign. The special bucket consisted of 10 pieces of the ever-popular chicken, 4 crispy tenders, and a portion of fries.

Between August 3rd and 16th, it was available for a special price of 3,400 yen (around $25.5).

Obon in Japan is an occasion for family and relatives to gather. As a result, demand for food and souvenirs that can be eaten by a large group of people increases.

KFC campaign

Source: KFC Japan

Trend #2: Travel & outdoor activities

image of a beach

Summer in Japan is a busy travel season. Many Japanese people take a break from work or school in July and August. This is a popular time for travel, both within Japan and abroad. Destinations like Okinawa and Hawaii are at the top of many people’s bucket lists.

Additionally, the warm and sunny weather makes it a great time to engage in outdoor activities. Hiking, camping, and beach trips are rising in popularity during summer. During this season, travel and tourism-related businesses in Japan typically concentrate on promoting their destinations and offerings.

To make the most of the summer season, brands in Japan use a variety of marketing strategies to attract customers. Some offer limited-time discounts and promotions. Others use social media platforms like LINE to showcase their offerings and engage with their target audience.

In addition, brands in Japan often collaborate with influencers and celebrities to endorse their products and services. This approach has proven to be quite effective. Influencers and celebrities have a significant following in Japan and can help to boost brand visibility and credibility.

 Summer campaign we loved:
“Discover Tohoku” by Japan Airlines

Tohoku is a region in northern Honshu, Japan’s main island. Its beautiful natural landscapes, hot springs, and traditional culture are well-known.

photo of a tree

In 2022, Japan Airlines made fun videos about local food, festivals, and outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

The airlines collaborated with local businesses and tourism groups to provide customers with unique travel experiences. These experiences included staying in a traditional Japanese inn and touring a sake brewery.

The campaign was a huge success. Japan Airlines reported a 50% increase in bookings to Tohoku compared to the previous year. It also won awards for its creativity and effectiveness in promoting post-pandemic domestic travel in Japan.

Trend #3: Anti-heat gear

Japanese summers can be very tough. The combination of high temperatures and humidity makes even the simplest tasks unbearable.

Companies nationwide are creating new products to help people stay cool and comfortable. This innovation is ongoing. 

One of the best-selling products during summer is… a portable air conditioner. These devices are perfect for those who don’t have access to central AC units. They are compact and easy to move around, making them ideal for small apartments or bedrooms.

Cooling body spray is another popular summer product. It typically includes menthol or other cooling ingredients that can be applied directly to the skin. Many people find cooling down after a workout or hot day refreshing.

Cooling pillows – designed to keep your head cool while you sleep. Frozen neck rings – available in all sorts of colours and prints to go with every outfit. Cooling pet clothes – to keep your furry friends comfortable. The list goes on, and anything that can bring a refreshing feeling of breeze will be in high demand.

Summer campaign we loved:
“47 Jimoto Frappuccino” by Starbucks

3 years ago, Starbucks celebrated their 25th anniversary in Japan and released a time-limited 47 Jimoto Frappuccino’ campaign. It featured 47 brand-new frappuccino flavours, one for each of Japan’s prefectures.

47 Jimoto FrappuccinoSource: Starbucks

Customers could try deliciously refreshing drinks unique to their region for a limited time. For example:

  • Hokkaido Frappuccino: containing milk, sugar cane, corn flakes, all resembling snow and bright sunshine
  • Tokyo Frappuccino: a node to the first Starbucks store in Japan, featuring the brand’s premium Tokyo Roast, whipped cream, and caramel sauce
  • Shiga Frappuccino: a blue marvel, featuring butterfly pea tea syrup and milk, representing the beauty of Lake Biwa, and matcha powder symbolising the surrounding mountains.

Why do Japanese people love Starbucks?

Watch our YouTube video to learn about Starbucks’ marketing strategy in Japan.

Let’s work together

At DMFA, we provide business account management services on LINE for LINE and Yahoo! JAPAN Ads.

Contact our Japanese PPC experts for further information if you want to promote your business on LINE.

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