Ks Japan Smash Guitar

K’s Japan invested in a highly successful rock revival in Japan in February 2010 with “Smash Guitar“, a direct marketing campaign centered around guitar destruction. Working with Hakuhodo Tokyo the company made a guitar born-to-be-destroyed, SMASH!!! The SMASH guitar can be played normally but is designed to be destroyed and recycled, demonstrating the rock motto, “Destroy to Create!”, calling people to destroy rigid systems to create a new world. SMASH was promoted through viral films, flyers, posters, a launch event and experience event. TV, websites, magazines and radio picked up SMASH as exciting news, creating free publicity.

Smash Guitar Site

Smash Guitar

Four Reasons for Making a Smash Guitar

  1. SMASH directly delivered K’s JAPAN’s rock spirit “Destroy to Create” as a direct experience of playing and smashing.
  2. The rock spirit “Destroy to Create” embodied by SMASH attracted not only rock fans but also people fed up with recession.
  3. People and media came to Ks Japan which meant no media fee.
  4. Because SMASH was a performing tool, as people played SMASH in the media and liveshows, these performances automatically expanded K’s JAPAN’s advertisement.

Smash Guitar Site

Smash Guitar Impact

K’s JAPAN’s sales went up 400% in Mar. 2010 compared to Mar. 2009. $3 million worth of free publicity with 0 media fee. K’s JAPAN became no.1 search-word in one of Japan’s biggest search engine, goo, the number one sales ranking at Amazon’s new instrument category, the number one topic in Japan’s biggest SNS, mixi, number one in “Things I Want Ranking” in MONO, the most issued shopping magazine. Marty Friedman, ex MEGADETH commented on SMASH as an ideal rock guitar. Bounce rate of SMASH’s website hit 1.5%. MTV did a one week program on the Smash Guitar event. SMASH was used in a music video, became a topic on business news, was subject for an iphone application and was used as a weapon in a pro-wrestling match.

The campaign won Gold and Silver Direct Lions at Cannes International Advertising Festival 2010.

Click on the image below to play the campaign overview in YouTube

Click on the image below to play the How to Destroy Smash Manual video.


The Smash Guitar campaign was developed at Hakuhodo, Tokyo, by creative director/film planner Jin Saito, planner Kenta Ikoma, copywriter Hidenori Sakai, art director Kentaro Harano, creative producer/copywriter Shoko Akutagawa, interactive planner Keiichi Motoyama, and DY InterSolution producer Naoya Morisako. The Hakuhodo Products team included producer Hirofumi Nobuta, directors Tomoyuki Hakamata, Manabu Terao and Takuya Sasaya,

Also working on the Smash Guitar campaign were TYO Productions producer Michikazu Sakata, ANSWR web designer Hiroshi Ichinose and web producer Reiko Owada, GH9 Sound Visual R&D Content Director Takashi Matsuyama, Monstar Lab iPhone application producer Hiroaki Kawakami, Future Eyes PR account manager Haruhiko Tanabe and account executive Natsuki Takahashi.

Filed under: Direct Market