JQR TOP INTERVIEW – Interview with Stephen Cox, Managing Director of Havas Worldwide Japan

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JQR TOP INTERVIEW – Interview with Stephen Cox, Managing Director of Havas Worldwide Japan



We are going back to word-of-mouth

Canadian Managing Director of aFrench advertising firm in Tokyo,Stephen Cox fits in it’s mainlyJapanese environment as naturallyas a professional can be. Passion isthe word that comes to mind when hefirst starts explaining about the newshapes that the advertising worldis undertaking and you can almostsee new ideas floating around in theair of his trendy office. He kindlyaccepted to meet with JQR andreveal his views and thoughts on the”new” Japanese advertising world.Advertising used to be a glamorousfield to work in. It no longer is thatway! But right now, it is in the middleof a revolution. It is going through apainful, but very interesting rebirth aswhole around the world, and especiallyin here in Japan. So there’s probably nobetter time to be in advertising. Theconsumers have changed, everywhere,but in Japan to a greater extent, and itis really the consumer that is drivingthe change.The Internet and digital were juststarting to become mainstreamaround 12 years ago and broughta limited number of new tools. Butwhat the people did with digital wentway beyond those tools and it isstill true now! When you look at allthose creators of Internet tools likeFacebook, Twitter or Mixi, the users—we call them consumers but they arewe, the people around the world—have taken their tools to much greaterstretches than they could all have everimagined!When we talk about the fact that theworld is interacting, that everyone isconnected, it can sound very boring,very “IT.” But when you see thischange on the people’s everyday lifepoint of view, you realize that today,whenever you want to know aboutsomething—anything—you just takeyour little cell phone and see whatthe world is telling you about it, fromofficial information sites, to forums tochat rooms. People can ask the worldwhat they think about an idea. Evenin Africa, it is expected to count upto one billion cell phones in 2016!We have taken the word-of-mouth toextreme expansion. Now it can seemlimited to little screens and devices,but in reality, it completely destroyedthe traditional business models of allindustries. Music for example, you don’t need to buy an entire album to hearthe tune you like, you can buy eachsong individually digitally. Carmakershave to integrate communicationsystems into their vehicles, thebook industry, movie industry, allthese revolutions bring a whole lotof rethinking for legislations andcopyrights. In Japan like everywhereelse, you normally legally can makecopies of music or a book that youbought, as long as it is for friends.DVD zoning can’t protect distributionrights anymore.

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