Dr. John McCreery
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).
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
When isn’t cooperating a cultural option? Tugs-of-war in Japan.
What does wellbeing mean to you? In Japan, it’s increasingly defined by the individual, not by society.
How hard can it be to work in Japanese advertising, anyway? Very, when things get lost in translation.