The first sunrise of a new year - of ‘Hatsuhinode’ in Japanese - is a profoundly significant moment in Japanese culture, when people from all over Japan travel to watch the first sunrise of the year from Mount Fuji.
This is something that Amazon Japan wanted to acknowledge in this New Year Sale campaign, paying tribute to this hopeful event. The key objective was to create music that is locally authentic, to accompany the Japanese imagery in the playful animation of familiar images (among them, Sake, Mochi, Mt Fuji). The aim was to create a unique composition that would also evoke a sense of connection and optimism. As the animation features Amazon delivery boxes heavily in its imagery, we were inspired to use the Amazon boxes themselves as percussion for our composition. With drums and percussion very much part of Japan’s musical heritage, the strategy was to bring the sound of Amazon to life - quite literally - by turning its packing into instruments. In order to capture a wide range of tones and timbres, we gathered an assortment of different sizes of Amazon boxes, a variety of mallets and sticks, and travelled to the newly built ESR logistics warehouse in Amagasaki, one of the largest warehouses in the world and a key partner of Amazon’s. We recorded in an enormous space, with great natural reverb to give a sense of scale and significance. Everything from the sound of Sake bottles to cardboard boxes was created naturally using the objects organic sound - rooting the magical animation with authenticity. Amazon’s iconic ‘smile’ logo is brought to animated life in this campaign, and we used whistling in the music track to punctuate the image with buoyancy. By bringing the boxes and the logo to life through music and sound, we hoped to enhance the humanity of the characters in the animation as they, and audiences, welcome the new year.