Advertising in Japan - statistics & facts

The Japanese advertising market is the third largest advertising market worldwide. Total advertisement spending saw stable growth in recent years, reaching almost seven trillion Japanese yen as of 2019. The size of the advertising market makes it one of the most important markets for Japan, as it accounts for more than one percent of the country’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP).

Rising expenditures for online advertising

Similar to many other countries worldwide, the advertisement market in Japan currently sees a strong division in terms of growth potential between traditional media, such as magazines, newspapers, television, and radio, and the new possibilities that online advertising brings. Today, the internet is the most important advertising medium worldwide. In Japan, internet overtook television as the leading medium in terms of advertising expenditure for the first time in 2019. Internet ad spending in Japan doubled between 2014 and 2019, while ad spending for television slightly decreased since 2016. Thus, online ad spending contributed significantly to the robustness of the market as a whole.

Largest advertising agencies

The advertisement market in Japan is dominated by the advertising agencies Dentsu and Hakuhodo, whose headquarters are located in Tokyo. Other major competitors include companies such as CyberAgent (Tokyo), Daiko (Osaka), and Asatsu-DK (Tokyo). Dentsu especially holds a dominant position in Japan. Founded by war correspondent Hoshiro Mitsunaga as a news and advertising agency in the early 20th century, it developed strong relationships both with media outlets as well as ad spenders. Today, its operations are spread over hundreds of subsidiaries. It is common for Dentsu not only to offer solutions for several steps of the marketing process, but also to service competing clients of the same industry. The company also played an important role in organizing sponsorship for the now postponed Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Establishing a memorable connection with audiences

The advertising industry plays a vital role for the Japanese economy insofar as product cycles in Japan tend be very short and consumers constantly demand something new. It is noteworthy that the advertising market in Japan is very much dominated by domestic companies, and yet counts as one of the world's most creative ad markets. Japanese advertisements are said to concentrate less on selling the benefits of a new product, and instead focus more on establishing an emotional and memorable connection with the audience. Important assets in this regard include the use of celebrities, aesthetic innovation, stylized language, and catchy music.

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In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 23 most important statistics relating to "Advertising in Japan".

Advertising in Japan

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