In Japan, you express your joy about a particularly yummy food with one word: “Umai”. If it were up to Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the word would be on everyone’s lips here in Germany – together with Japanese delicacies. Because the diversity and specialities of Japanese cooking should also find a place in German cooking.
As a German agency with Japanese roots and a big weak spot for Japanese food, we were more or less pre-destined for presenting this message in a super tasty package.
Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries wanted to present Japanese cuisine to Europe and, in particular, Germany. The goal was to show people how much more the cuisine had to offer than the all-popular sushi.
We kept using the word “yummy” whenever we talked about Japanese food. And that’s just how it should be. Food should be pleasurable. Something fun to prepare. Something that’s nice to look at. Something yummy to eat. But, most of all, food should excite and bring people together.
Getting from the Japanese word “Umai” to “yummy” was no big effort. But it sends out a big message, because the slogan “Umai. Yummy in Japanese.” was meant not just to present Japanese food to an eager public, but also to transmit a little of Japanese culture.
We implemented the idea as a big image campaign. Based on the core slogan “Umai. Yummy in Japanese.” we developed a unique label, that the Ministry has continued to use in all its communications. We also developed a special dynamic website, set up cooking events, wrote and published an Umai cook book with unique fusion recipes, developed and produced displays and – in probably the most high-profile measure – we got German star-cook Stefan Henssler as a key ambassador for “Umai. Yummy in Japanese.” We still find it simply yummy today.