Packaging Innovation
Mainichi Newspapers news water bottle
June 26, 2017

Japanese millennials are in love with the ‘news bottle’

So, when was the last time you picked up a newspaper? If you’re a millennial, chances are you can’t even remember. Print newspapers are being eclipsed by online media, a process which started about a decade ago, forcing news outlets to come up with new and creative ways to remain relevant in a society that revolves around all things digital. News outlets like Mainichi Newspapers, for instance, which teamed up with branding agency Dentsu Tokyo a few years ago to create an innovative ‘news bottle’ aimed at the Japanese bottled water market.

News bottle with innovative shrink sleeve

While print newspapers sales are declining, mineral water bottle sales in Japan are on the rise. With millennial consumers buying two bottles a day on average, it didn’t take long for Mainichi Newspapers and Dentsu Tokyo to put two and two together. To get millennials to rediscover the value of print newspapers, they decided to wrap one of Japan’s most popular mineral waters with the day’s news, each day for an entire month. The news water bottle’s innovative shrink sleeve also supported AR technology, linking consumers to live news updates.

Sparking the millennial’s interest

To run no less than thirty-one different newspaper shrink sleeves in just a month, Mainichi Newspapers and Dentsu Tokyo relied on the HP WS4500 digital press – with noteworthy results. Although previously hard to reach, millennials immediately took a liking to Mainichi Newspapers’ news bottle. Sales numbers increased significantly – 30,000 bottles were sold that month – as did Japanese millennials’ interest and engagement in current affairs. The branding agency and news outlet even decided to repeat the campaign, this time substituting the articles for information on good causes. Each bottle covered one of five causes:
  • Greening activities for mountains in Kenya
  • Areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake
  • Typhoon-struck areas in the Philippines
  • Environmental preservation of Mount Fuji
  • HIV-infected orphans in Cambodia
Remarkably enough, the organizations behind the causes saw their donations increase no less than thirty times compared to the previous year. Inspired by D&AD