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Entrant: Hakuhodo Inc., Tokyo

Inakadate Village
"Rice Code"

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Corporate Name of Client: Inakadate Village
Client Supervisor: Takatoshi Asari
Agency: Hakuhodo Inc., Tokyo
Executive Creative Directors: Kazuhiro Suda/Airo Takanohashi
Creative Director: Takahiro Eguchi
Copywriters: Masako Shimizu/Kei Nakamura
Art Director: Keita Kojima
Agency Producer: Takashi Anbo
Production Company: Nippon Movie, Tokyo
Executive Producer: Takehito Shina
Producer: Koki Yamaguchi
Technical Director: Hirochika Matsuo
Editor: Tomohiro Matsumoto
Project Curator : Masateru Kametani
Technical Advisor: Akihiro Okada

Description of the Project:
A small village in northeast Japan famous for rice, Inakadate, was struggling with aging and declining population along with drop in rice sales, since Japanese eating habits have shifted away from rice toward a more Westernized food. Nevertheless, the village’s main income source remains rice. So we tried to re-energize the village by creating a fusion of agriculture and digital technology.

We created huge art pictures in our rice field by planting different colors of rice. We then developed a new technology called “rice-code,” which let visitors scan the rice art with their phones like a QR code and purchase the rice. “Rice-code” transformed a scene that people naturally want to photograph into a brand new selling place.

The project successfully attracted 251,320 visitors, about 30 times the population of the village and sales jumped dramatically. Also the homepage access of the village increased 8 times more than the usual times. “Rice-code” met both consumer and client needs. Rice was too heavy for the visitors to bring back home as souvenir, but the village also wanted to sell rice to revitalize the village. This whole movement even moved the government to build a special train station for the visitors. Ground, the man’s most primitive outdoor media, became the newest. 

*cultural context details
・Japan's main food is rice, and more than half of cultivated field in Japan is rice-filled, even though consumption of rice is declining year by year. Moreover, rice-producing districts are struggling with an aging and declining population.
・Japanese consumers use QR-code daily for coupons or advertising campaigns etc., so QR-code is a familiar technology for them.