It's very common for Japan's hard working commuters to fall asleep on public transport. In order to prevent people from resting their heads on the people sitting next to them, Dentsu, Tokyo, developed the Stop Leaning Alarm app for Guronsan.
The objective of the campaign was to raise awareness of Guronsan, an energy drink, amongst Japanese workers and commuters.
Commuters simply install the app and keep their smartphone in their breast pocket. Should they fall asleep and lean beyond a certain angle, a gyroscope causes the phone to vibrate and wakes them up. The app features a train schedule and an alert that wakes people up before they arrive at their destination, with an imaginative wake-up call.
The app was downloaded more than 200,000 times within the first six months and became the number one free app in the utility category of the app store. The app achieved around $1.5m in earned media and visits to the brand site increased 400%. Most crucially, sales for the product rose by 30% within three months of launch. This campaign won a Bronze Spike in this year's Spikes Asia awards.
Japanese working hours are amongst some of the highest in the world. Guronsan proved that it understands Japanese commuters by creating an app that is uniquely useful for this particular group. The brand has demonstrated Marketing as Service Design thinking (see our trend on how brands can create services that meet needs in people's lives). This app reminds us of Okamoto's Freedom Project from earlier this year in the way that it combines cultural insight with a light-hearted touch.