As we all recall, the tragic earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011 left much of Japan's Northeastern region in devastation. And although we were all shocked and saddened by the terrible loss of life and subsequent nuclear threat that dominated newscasts around the world, there were also thousands of less-publicized stories about the hundreds of companies which had to rebuild all or part of their businesses from scratch.
So when we were approached by the external trade arm of the Japanese government this past January to help them promote a Japanese Pavilion at the International Home + Housewares Show, we were very happy to learn that all 10 of the exhibiting companies were selected to participate because they were from the areas most heavily affected by the disaster. We also soon discovered that the second day of the Show marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic events.
This presented us with a very delicate challenge - how to maximize the inherent news value of this anniversary without appearing to be taking advantage of the tragedy. I won't go into all the successful details here, but we created a multi-facted marketing communications program to attract hundreds of buyers to the Japanese Pavilion and the individual booths and generated extensive publicity coverage in consumer, trade and social media.
The bottom line benefit for us was that hundreds of housewares buyers from around the world were attracted to the Japanese Pavilion where they could buy the products from these recovering companies. To us, that truly is turning tragedy into triumph.
You can learn more about how we accomplished this here