Blackjet wins Tourism Japan work

The agency is crafting a campaign in anticipation of the country's borders opening to more tourists.

Japan’s National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has picked Toronto’s Blackjet to draw Canadians to the country once tourism opens up a bit more freely.

Selected following a competitive review including three agencies, Blackjet has been tasked with leading strategy and creative for the new campaign. Media will be managed by Toronto-based Fractal.

In June, Japan re-opened its borders to a limited number of tourists who are currently still restricted to escorted tours. However, Blackjet says JNTO briefed agencies for campaigns for when restrictions are further lifted, with a focus on first-time visitors.

Though the exact idea will remain under wraps until the campaign launches, Blackjet CEO Rob Galletta says the agency found “an ownable idea” that “raises Japan’s profile in the minds of Canadians,” with a focus on making the country’s many attractions and activities easier to navigate for first-time visitors.

Pre-pandemic, tourism to Japan grew from 6.2 million international arrivals in 2011 to 31.9 million in 2019.

Blackjet has been busy in attempts to drive growth after re-positioning itself as a brand and business consultancy this year. It has made two major hires to guide that growth both in Canada and internationally, and it has picked up new work with the likes of Gay Lea and Onlia.