Brand Communication & Events for 50 Years of ASEAN-Japan Relations

Opening Asean-Japan Fair Plaza Indonesia

Celebrating 50 years of ASEAN-Japan relations through events, activations, and content across media

Avi Hazuria, director of Flourish Group, shares valuable lessons learned and innovative strategies implemented during the celebration of 50 years of ASEAN-Japan relations, highlighting the impact of brand communication, events, and marketing in fostering cross-cultural collaboration in Southeast Asia.

Showcasing the ASEAN-Japan Relationship

Q:What was the vision behind the ASEAN-Japan 50 Years of Friendship and Cooperation celebration, and what goals did Flourish set out to achieve?

A:The vision was to commemorate five decades of collaboration between ASEAN and Japan by highlighting advancements, cultural exchange, and the future of this partnership. Our goals included showcasing the significant contributions to the region’s prosperity, fostering greater understanding and collaboration between ASEAN countries and Japan, and emphasizing Japan’s commitment to a heart-to-heart partnership of mutual respect and understanding. This partnership aligns with the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and sustainability goals. Through organizing the ASEAN-Japan Fair, the Golden Friendship Fun Walk & Run, and the Golden Mission, along with creating content for social media channels and out-of-home media, we aimed to create immersive experiences that celebrate this milestone.

A group photo with the prize from the ASEAN-Japan50 Golden Mission at the Jakarta Japan Matsuri event
Engaging Diverse Audiences

Q:Could you share some of the challenges you encountered during the ASEAN-Japan 50th anniversary and how your team navigated them?

A:One challenge was engaging a diverse audience across ASEAN and Japan in the Golden Friendship Fun Walk & Run, given the varying levels of access to digital platforms and different languages spoken between ASEAN and Japan. We leveraged social media and digital marketing to promote the virtual run, including outreach to running communities. This successfully involved participants from all ASEAN countries, Timor-Leste, and Japan, with over 4,341 participants, of which 2,703 completed the challenge, underscoring the event’s inclusive reach.

Interactive Learning for Complex Ideas

Q:How did you manage to convey complex ideas to such a diverse audience in the ASEAN-Japan 50th anniversary celebration?

A:For the ASEAN-Japan Fair, we designed and set up booths that reflected Japanese aesthetics and allowed companies flexibility in their presentation, serving as a bridge between cultures. The stamp rally, with over 2,000 participants, encouraged exploration and engagement with all booths, effectively disseminating complex ideas through interactive learning. The space at Plaza Senayan Atrium was strategically utilized with modular display panels designed for JAIF and the Mission of Japan to ASEAN to be used in different configurations at various events.

The Fun Run event by ASEAN-Japan50 Golden Friendship
Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Q:How did you ensure smooth collaboration and communication working with such a diverse mix of cultures in the ASEAN-Japan 50 Years of Friendship and Cooperation?

A:Working closely with the JAIF Management Team and Mission of Japan, we emphasized open communication and cultural sensitivity in all aspects of event planning and execution. By understanding and respecting each culture’s unique perspectives, we fostered an environment of mutual respect and collaboration, ensuring that all participants felt valued and included.

Impact Assessment

Q:How do you gauge the success of the ASEAN-Japan 50 Years celebration, and what kind of impacts have you observed, especially in terms of strengthening bilateral relations?

A:Success was measured through participation numbers, engagement metrics, and qualitative feedback. The celebration saw significant attendance, with thousands at the ASEAN-Japan Fair and over 4,341 participants in the Golden Friendship Fun Walk & Run. The events underscored Japan’s commitment to ASEAN, AOIP, and the SDGs, by highlighting collaborative efforts towards prosperity, sustainable development, and cultural exchange. The website ( had over 93,000 unique visitors over four months, while the social media reach more than tripled JAIF followers on Instagram, increasing from around 1,200 to over 3,600 followers.

Digital Engagement

Q:In an era where digital is king, how did you craft your online strategies for the ASEAN-Japan 50th anniversary to resonate with such a varied audience?

A:Our digital strategy hinged on accessibility and engagement. We utilized a multilingual approach for the event websites and social media content to ensure wide reach and inclusivity. This strategy helped us successfully conduct a virtual run that spanned across ASEAN countries and Japan, engaging a broad audience in celebrating this milestone.

The booth at the ASEAN-Japan Fair
Detailed Planning, Agile Execution

Q:The ASEAN-Japan Fair and the Golden Friendship Walk & Run must have been huge undertakings. Can you share some insights into what went into planning and executing these key events?

A:Detailed planning and agile execution were key. For the ASEAN-Japan Fair, we designed the space to reflect Japanese aesthetic principles while accommodating diverse exhibitions. Our event management and technical teams ensured smooth delivery and high-quality sound throughout. The Golden Friendship Fun Walk & Run required innovative digital engagement strategies to motivate participation across the region, culminating in a significant virtual participation that underscored our organizational capabilities.

Merchandise with a Message

Q:I saw that unique merchandise was a part of the ASEAN-Japan 50 Years celebration. What was your approach to designing these items, and how did they contribute to the event's visibility and impact?

A:Merchandise design focused on celebrating the ASEAN-Japan partnership’s heritage and future. Items were crafted to resonate with a broad audience, serving as keepsakes that carry the message of friendship and cooperation beyond the events themselves, thereby enhancing visibility and impact.

Lessons and Takeaways

Q:Drawing from your experience with the ASEAN-Japan 50 Years of Friendship and Cooperation, what advice would you give to those planning similar large-scale, cross-cultural events?

A:Start early, embrace flexibility, and prioritize open communication across all teams and stakeholders. Understanding the cultural nuances of your audience can significantly enhance the event’s relevance and impact.

Q:What were some of the most important lessons your team learned, and how will these shape your approach to future projects?

A:The importance of adaptability, the power of digital engagement, and the need for culturally sensitive communication were key lessons. These insights will inform our future projects, especially in leveraging technology to foster inclusivity and engagement.

Role of Technology

Q:How did technology enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns and events during the ASEAN-Japan 50 Years celebration?

A:Technology was instrumental in broadening reach, enhancing engagement, and facilitating the seamless execution of events. From digital marketing to the technical production of the Fair, the virtual run, and online Golden Mission games, technological integration allowed for a wider and more impactful celebration.

Long-term Impact

Q:In terms of lasting impact, how do you see the ASEAN-Japan 50 Years of Friendship and Cooperation continuing to influence relations, and what steps are being taken to sustain these efforts?

A:We hope the celebration has reinforced the foundation for continued collaboration and mutual growth. Ongoing initiatives and partnerships, aligned with AOIP and the heart-to-heart relationship of mutual trust between ASEAN and Japan, are crucial for sustaining the momentum and ensuring that the friendship continues to thrive and evolve.

Collecting stamps at the ASEAN Japan Fair
Collaboration & Community

Q:You collaborated with various organizations for the ASEAN-Japan 50 Years celebration. How did you navigate these dynamics to maintain a cohesive effort?

A:Clear communication, shared objectives, and mutual respect guided our collaborations. By aligning our goals with those of our partners and maintaining open lines of communication, we ensured a unified and effective approach to the celebration.

Q:What role did local community engagement play in the ASEAN-Japan 50th anniversary events, and what was the community response?

A:Local communities were integral to the success of the events. Their enthusiastic participation highlighted the deep-rooted connections and shared aspirations between ASEAN communities and Japan, fostering a positive and engaging atmosphere throughout the celebration.

Q:On a personal note, what aspect of the ASEAN-Japan 50 Years of Friendship and Cooperation are you most proud of, and why?

A:Personally, the most fulfilling aspect was seeing diverse communities come together to celebrate our shared history and future ambitions. The widespread enthusiasm and commitment to deepening mutual understanding were exceptionally rewarding. Equally enriching was working alongside the JAIF Management Team and the Mission of Japan to ASEAN. Their dedication, attention to detail, and collective pursuit of success made the collaboration a truly enjoyable experience, showcasing the strength of partnership and shared goals in creating meaningful celebrations.

Monday, 03 June 2024

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