Virtual Shibuya – the virtual town officially certified by Shibuya City, for the Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project celebrates its first anniversary with the expansion to “Harajuku”. The new virtual e-commerce experience, labeled V-Commerce, captures the district’s rich cultures of music, art, and fashion with its exclusive virtual shops and entertainment.
The pioneering Japanese virtual platform was launched in May 2020, with an opening event in 2020 bringing over 50,000 people together in front of the famous Shibuya intersection.
To celebrate its first anniversary, the new experience was created by “au by KDDI”, Japanese telecommunications brand and launched with an event called “Virtual Harajuku au 5G POP DAY OUT 2021” in May. The event brought together a star-studded cast, including Japanese household names like Neo and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu who made her debut on the streets of Harajuku with her unique fashion, alongside art exhibitions, talks and live performances.
Those visiting virtual Harajuku were able to create personal avatars, walk through the trend-setting streets to see the live and exclusive performances, and enter the full sensory retailer environments to make purchases in the virtual world to be delivered in the real world. Included in the virtual shops were sneakers, available exclusively at the iconic Harajuku sneaker retailer, atmos Virtual Harajuku store.
As retailers in Japan still suffer the sales repercussions of an extended state of emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic, this new commerce and entertainment experience helps provide retailers a new outlet with which to engage their customers.
“Retailers are always searching for a way to merge Offline & Online experiences. Virtual Harajuku has moved beyond this and found a unique and seamless opportunity to blend commerce and culture together. And what better neighborhood to launch this in than one as steeped in street culture as Harajuku” said Ichiro Ota, CEO of Geometry Ogilvy Japan.
Following Virtual Shibuya in 2020, Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project led by KDDI Corporation, Future Design Shibuya and Shibuya City Tourism Association, expanded the area of Virtual Shibuya to Harajuku in May in 2021.
While “Virtual Shibuya” was designed to cope with the social issues which the city of Shibuya had been facing, to provide sustained activities and to contribute to keep the cultural going through a variety of virtual events under the covid 19 pandemic, virtual Harajuku aims to create a new culture in Harajuku under the theme of “Create New Pop Culture” together with the Harajuku originators who have had created many unique cultures of Harajuku, visitors, media, organizations and visitors.
Location: Harajuku Area of “Virtual Shibuya,” the streaming platform certified by Shibuya Ward Co-Organizers: KDDI Corporation, Future Design Shibuya, Shibuya City Tourism Association Special Partners: Asobi System, atmos, Sunrise Inc., mixi, Inc., Laforet Harajuku.
Client: Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project (KDDI Corporation, Future Design Shibuya, Shibuya City Tourism Association)
Agency:Geometry Ogilvy Japan
Creative Director: Yasushi Arikawa (GOJ)
Art Director: Hiroyuki Furuta (freelance)
Associate Art Director: Iori Hayakawa (GOJ)
Copy Writer: Naoya Kataoka r Geometry Ogilvy Japan
Copy Writer: Miyu Ishido (freelance)
Account Director: Takuya Murakami (GOJ)
Senior Account Manager: Hiroki Hibi (GOJ)
Senior Digital Producer: Ikko Nakata (GOJ)
Activation Director: Junya Takahashi (GOJ)
Senior Activation Executive: Takehiro Shishido (GOJ)
Creative Producer / Activation Manager: Takehito Hikida (GOJ)
PR Director: Natsumi Okada (Platinum)
PR Director: Asuka Matsuda (Platinum)
Media Promoter: Haruna Ono (Platinum)
Media Promoter: Hayato Kashine (Platinum)