ASICS Onitsuka Tiger in Zodiac Race

ASICS’ premium sneaker brand Onitsuka Tiger is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year with a global “Cycle of Life” campaign based on the ancient Japanese legend of the Zodiac Race, online at The centre-piece of the campaign is a breathtaking one metre-long Zodiac Race diorama shaped like a sneaker – “Japan in a sneaker”, which will tour the world and star in the ad campaign. It is also the setting for a 3-minute animation about the legend of the Zodiac race where thirteen animals battle for one of 12 places on the Zodiac calendar.

ASICS Onitsuka Tiger Zodiac Race animals

The Zodiac Race sneaker diorama is used as the setting for a three-minute animated film that brings to life the legend of the Zodiac Race and explains how the animals secured their positions in the calendar.

Print campaign

A global print campaign features photography of the Zodiac Race sneaker set against a canvas, traditionally hand-painted in oils, targetting style, fashion and influencer magazines.

ASICS Zodiac Race print advertisement


The Onitsuka Tiger Zodiac campaign was developed at Amsterdam Worldwide by executive creative director Richard Gorodecky, creative director Andrew Watson, copywriter Gillian Glendinning, art director Jasper Mittelmeijer, and agency producer Samantha Koch.

Animation was directed and designed by compositor/2D animator Jonathan Garin and compositor Naomi Nishimura via PandaPanther, New York, with executive producer Senju Hudson, producer Sarah Obermeir and Lydia Holness, coordinator Natsu Takahashi, storyboard artist David Zung, designer/3D artist/2D animator Ari Hwang, designer Elisa Riera Ruiz, sound designer Norman Bambi, director of photography Carolyn Taylor, 3D artist Stanley Llin, compositor/2D animator Matt St. Leger.

Cell animation was done at Japanese anime studio Xebec.

Music is “Ponpoko”, by Norman Bambi.

Play the behind-the-scenes video.