TV is Key to Succeed in the Japan Market

If you have ever watched Japanese TV programs, you may have found them unique and different compared to most western programs. For example, you can see newborn pandas on TV as the latest news. Every day, TV crews go to cafes and restaurants that serve fine, cheap and popular dishes or pastries and have interviews. People see this type of news, and on the following day, they go visit the places. Eventually, they buy things offline or online which leads to a great increase in sales.

The estimated number of TV viewers in Japan is 600,000 people per 1% of TV ratings, so if the program has at least 3% of rating, you can reach 1,800,000 people at once. Since the influence of TV programs is huge in Japan, companies including BtoB companies are eager to appear on programs. 

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How to get an interview by TV crews

To begin with, you need to know it is very difficult to get an interview by TV crews. Since a TV station is a standalone organization, they have to report from a Third-Party perspective. It is not allowed to introduce one company without mentioning the other companies. Also, to be interviewed, a story is required. 

Elements that makes a story

Here is a list of elements that make a good story:

・Seasonal topics

・Trending topics

・Latest news (car accidents, earthquakes, etc.)


・Shocking/surprising news

・Rare information


・Future prospects

・Gender specific information

Create an example story

What if your company’s new product is ginger dumplings, how would you make a story that could be aired on Japanese TV? Try to think about it with the points listed above.

In this case, the cold weather (a seasonal topic) can be one of the elements to create a story. Every winter, dishes that keep the body warm such as spicy curry, traditional nabe cuisine etc. are often shown on Japanese TV. Since ginger is known as a food that keeps the body warm, pitching to the media in winter would increase the possibility of TV coverage.

Japanese TV crews love the latest and most popular food or desserts. This is because most TV audiences in Japan are women. There are a lot of women who do daily chores and watch TV at the same time; therefore, TV programs air news which they could be interested in, and food is the most popular topic among women. If you have products or services targeting women, trying to get a Japanese TV appearance might help increase sales. 

Here is an example story that Japanese TV crews might create

It is getting colder, and there was a winter storm which hit Hokkaido last weekend. During this season, everyone prefers to eat something warm. Ginger is a helpful food that keeps your body warm and helps maintain a healthy metabolism. Companies in the food industry have launched new ginger-based foods such as ginger dumplings and ginger soup.

This story is very simple and easy because products are targeting consumers. 

What if your company’s new product is an online funeral reporting tool which is targeting ceremony companies not consumers?

Create an example story2

The following example story is a real story which is aired at Hiroshima’s local TV station.

Our customers are based in Hiroshima, and they wanted to be interviewed by local TV stations. We made a proposal which assembled the funeral tech companies in Japan including our customer and suggested a story. 

Here are the elements we added to make a story and get media coverage. Elements were 1. Related to the latest news and 2. Innovative topics.

Here is an example story that Japanese TV crews actually made 

The funeral industry has been in a difficult situation during the COVID-19 pandemic. People tend to be reluctant to attend the funeral and have a big, traditional funeral ceremony now. The funeral industry has lost a large amount of expected sales, and many of the funeral-related companies in Hiroshima have been trying to overcome it with digital technology. Company A regularly organizes the end of life planning seminar inside of the Kongo-In Temple. Company B offers a Projection Mapping Funeral, and there were only two families that used this service during pandemic. The ceremony hall C installs an innovative funeral reporting service.

The story hook is the COVID-19 pandemic, but by itself it is very weak. Therefore, we researched funeral-related companies which are innovating the funeral technology such as the Projection Mapping Funeral. We needed to do so, since TV programs will not introduce just a single company. Even though the service is targeting ceremony companies, because of a story, we made it look like a consumer product, allowing TV crews to see the useful information and the potential to become an innovative topic. 

Summary: You can succeed in the Japan Market by a TV program interview

In summary, you can reach out to over a million people by pitching to Japanese TV stations. In order to do so, you need to consider a story with elements that TV crews would love to air. If you need help developing a story, please feel free to consult with us.