Dentsu Tokyo decided at having a go at creating a future for the old media newspaper – by sharing the paper with children.
The Tokyo Shimbun (1m daily circulation) thought if newspapers became readable for children they will contribute to family communication and the education of children. However, broadsheet newspapers are not the first thing children want to pick up – they weren’t made for them.
The Chunichi Shimbun-owned newspaper released an augmented reality smartphone app, created by Tokyo agency Dentsu, that 'translates' stories from the publication into a child-friendly format.
The smartphone app lets you hover your phone over the articles which are then transformed black and white print into animated and colourful commentaries – making them more engaging for the younger reader.
Difficult to read articles on social issues, the economy and politics suddenly become interesting subjects with the help of pop up headlines and by converting the characters from the more advanced Kanji to the child-friendly Hiragana.
Three advertisers - travel company Hato Bus; soft drink Kirin; and yogurt brand Meiji - have since launched dedicated newspaper adverts that target both parents and children.
Unlike much of the Western world, Japan's newspaper industry is a thriving and competitive business. The World Association of Newspaper and News Publishers found that 75 of the top 100 newspapers hailed from Asia, with seven of the top ten belonging to Japan.
The Yomiuri Shimbun (14m daily circulation), Asahi Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun are the three biggest selling newspapers in the world.
Video: The Tokyo Newspaper "Share the newspaper with children" by Dentsu, Tokyo