On Monday, 15 May, Yoshihiko Kasamatsu moderated a monumental discussion between Toshihiro Yamamoto of Dentsu and Masayuki Mizushima of Hakuhodo. This was the first time these companies have spoken together in a public setting.
Yamamoto and Mizushima share similar journeys and expertise, both joining their respective organizations following their schooling. Both have climbed the internal ladders to rise to their current ranks of President and CEO. Both also hold similar sentiments on what the future holds for the industry and important attributes on how to become successful.
Kasamatsu asked Yamamoto and Mizushima questions centered around personal experiences and beliefs – tailored to the Advertising world. Kasamatsu first asked the leaders to define advertising in their opinions. Yamamoto spoke to advertising acting as a function – birthing value for a brand or a product. Mizushima echoed this response, adding that advertisement acted as the link between things and people, things and society – developing a connection between the work and the consumer.
When speaking to the future of advertising both Yamamoto and Mizushima expressed the need that the industry must meet change as it comes, while also being prepared for what is to come. Mizushima spoke to the past explaining how drastically the industry has changed since the early 80’s, and how all trends and activities will continue to do so. Both spoke to the positive aspects of evolution – allowing the work to become more sophisticated, providing better services for customers, providing better work for their clients.
Touching upon personal roles and responsibilities, Mizushima took the lead here explaining that the most important characteristic to have is curiosity – encouraging individuals to be curious about everything. Urging people to explore all the industry has to offer, reflect on previous experiences and drive your next decisions based on these two attributes. Yamamoto agreed, asking individuals to interact directly with the latest technologies, with the changing human behaviors and challenge what we believe to be the norm. Expanding on this thought – telling organizations and people to foster passions and foster and nurture the backbone of the advertisement industry – creativity.
What this discussion showed is that these significant figures of Japan’s most prominent organizations share similar ideals. Both understand the need for adapting and being ahead of change, taking initiative, always remaining curious and passionate and the importance of this industry within the world.