Ph.D. (Cornell University)
PopAnth Author, Editor, Writing Coach, Founding Member
John graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. with Honors in Philosophy in 1966 and received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Cornell University in 1973. His career includes 13 years (1983-1996) as Copywriter and International Creative Director at Hakuhodo, Japan's second largest advertising agency. From 1994 to 2005, he was a lecturer in the faculty of the Sophia University Graduate Program in Comparative Culture, offering seminars on “Marketing in Japan” and “The Making and and Meaning of Advertising.” His book, Japanese Consumer Behavior: From Worker Bees to Wary Shoppers was published in March 2000 as part of the the ConsumAsiaN Series (Curzon Press, UK; University of Hawaii Press, USA).
What role does consumption play in Japanese lives that are more than study, work and shopping? How have those lives changed since World War II as Japan has wrestled with the meaning of white-collar careers, increasing independence for women, changing family values, a shrinking birth rate, and an ageing population? Japan's first think tank devoted to the study of consumer behaviour was created to ...
R.I.P. Ulrich Beck
Which world would you rather live in: One where careful scientists slowly develop hypotheses and look systematically for evidence to test them? Or a world in which our natural human tendency to magical thinking has no brake at all?Read on »
How hard can it be to work in Japanese advertising, anyway? Very, when things get lost in translation.Read on »
Cultural differences, global trends
What does wellbeing mean to you? In Japan, it's increasingly defined by the individual, not by society.Read on »
Pulling for the neighbourhood
When isn't cooperating a cultural option? Tugs-of-war in Japan.Read on »
Superheroes, spaceships and thick description
How can we tell complex stories while writing clearly and persuasively? A deep reading of science fiction provides some clues.Read on »
Creativity, politics and perks
In his previous two posts, copywriter McCreery asked "What is creativity?" and "How does it happen?" He now addresses creativity's politics and perks through the lens of a Canon advertisement.Read on »
Creativity, how does it happen?
Copywriters have to come up with a unique angle for every single advertisement they design. Where do they get their inspiration, and how do the elements of an ad come together?Read on »
Creativity, what is it?
People often think that creativity is done by creative individuals in moments of inspiration. In fact, creativity is a messy, political, social process. How are new ideas and inventions brought to light?Read on »
The curious history of Western martial music in Japan
Japan is known for its distinctive culture, but its national anthem and many other popular songs have roots in Europe. How did music make its way to Japan - and stick?Read on »
What's a social engineer to do?
Contrary to popular belief, individual behaviour can be far more predictable than mass behaviour. Why? Because today's technology means that advertising can be tailored to the individual.Read on »