Hong Kong—PR Awards Asia, the annual regional showcase hosted by global PR and marketing publisher Haymarket Media, saw Dentsu Public Relations Inc. join parent company Dentsu Inc. (Dentsu) in collecting eight awards across three different categories.

The winning campaigns were: Kobayashi City Department of SIMCITY BUILDIT, executed for game developer Electronic Arts; SketchCook, executed for total healthcare company Otsuka Pharmaceutical; and Bossy Talk Detector, executed for Japanese craft brewery YOHO Brewing.

This year’s PR Awards Asia, the 18th since the gala’s inception, attracted 723 campaign submissions, which were assessed by a panel of 41 expert judges chosen from across the region.

Winning Campaigns (alphabetical order by client)

Kobayashi City Department of SIMCITY BUILDIT

Client:                Electronic Arts
Agencies:          Dentsu, Dentsu Public Relations Inc.
      Japan & Korea PR Campaign of the Year (Bronze)

                            Technology (Silver)
                            CSR (Silver)

Like many communities across Japan, the provincial city of Kobayashi faces numerous issues relating to depopulation and brain drain, earning the unwanted label of a “city at risk of disappearing.” Game developer Electronic Arts teamed up with the local government to launch a groundbreaking educational initiative based around the popular gaming app SIMCITY BUILDIT. To develop young people’s interest and engagement in community development, the app was incorporated into lessons for local high school students, who, along with city officials, were made members of a new government department, the Kobayashi City Department of SIMCITY BUILDIT. Their task was to create an ideal future version of the city within the game, and present the end results at a special city meeting. As well as boosting cross-generational community spirit, the project gained widespread media attention, with towns around the country hoping to leverage SIMCITY BUILDIT in local revitalization.


Client:               Otsuka Pharmaceutical
Agencies:          Dentsu, Dentsu Public Relations Inc.
       Japan & Korea PR Campaign of the Year (Silver)
Technology (Gold)
CSR (Gold)

In Japan, reduced opportunities for families to eat meals together and fewer parents who cook with their children are factors contributing to solitary or missed meals, and therefore unbalanced nutrition. This also makes it difficult for children to learn about proper dietary habits and nutritional balance. The SketchCook campaign harnesses kids’ love of drawing, using an interactive mobile app and AI technology to transform their food pictures into healthy recipes. As well as encouraging children to engage with nutrition, this playful application of technology has sparked a broader conversation and secured uptake of the SketchCook app by several schools in major cities.

Bossy-Talk Detector

Client:               YOHO Brewing
:          Dentsu, Dentsu Public Relations Inc.

Categories:        Japan & Korea PR Campaign of the Year (Gold)
                            Technology (Bronze)

YOHO Brewing, one of Japan’s leading craft breweries, aims to break with convention by reframing craft beer as something for everyone to enjoy. With this goal in mind, it set out to foster a more inclusive atmosphere among co-workers during customary after-work drinks, thereby helping to positively address existing issues associated with such gatherings, as well as promoting better team building, sidestepping office hierarchies so people can talk openly and share their perspectives, ultimately leading to better performance in the workplace. The result was the “Bossy Talk Detector,” a humorous device leveraging leading-edge AI technology to provide a physical visualization of the condescending hot air managers are prone to spout when alcohol is flowing. This special chair incorporates a mic to capture bosses’ speech, which is then analyzed for tone and content (including use of selected “bossy” key words), triggering several backrest-mounted fans to blow with an intensity corresponding to the level of pomposity detected. The campaign was launched on August 3, International Beer Day, with an online video and the installation of a Bossy Talk Detector in a popular Tokyo bar. This unique campaign attracted widespread media coverage, with 15 companies and organizations also enquiring about borrowing the device for use among their own employees.


About Dentsu Public Relations Inc.

Since its founding in 1961, Dentsu Public Relations Inc. has served as strategic partner to a diverse range of companies, governmental bodies and other organizations. Over 270 employees provide clients with comprehensive reputation management solutions, creating new value and building advocacy through approaches including data analysis, insight-driven content design, and targeted information delivery. Dentsu Public Relations Inc. was recognized by the Holmes Report as Japan Consultancy of the Year in both 2009 and 2015, and as North Asia PR Consultancy of the Year in 2018.