Round 6 of 8: February

Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo

I’ve been working as a creative for almost 20 years, 11 of them at Wieden+Kennedy. I’m currently based out of Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo, my third office in the network so far. For my work, I’ve won Cannes Lions, One Show Pencils, Webby’s, Effies, a Grand Kelly and a bunch other things that seem to matter in personal bios. I really love Tokyo. And I hate bananas.



'Encourage Japanese people to take their allotted vacations and book their trips on Expedia.'



People in Japan don’t take vacations. A recent study showed that Japanese only used 50 percent of their vacation days owed, placing them at the bottom of the global list for the second consecutive year. It also showed that 63 percent of Japanese felt guilty for taking paid leave. 

The survey cited “a lack of staff” and “colleagues not taking days off” as some of the reasons for not taking holidays, suggesting workers worry about delays in meeting their responsibilities and inconveniencing peers.

Some workers think that by skipping vacations they are benefiting their careers, their coworkers and their company. However, research has shown a culture of overwork decreases personal happiness, community morale and company-wide productivity.

It’s so bad, the issue of long working hours has been dragged back into the national spotlight after a series of karōshi (death by overwork) cases at high-profile companies made headlines.

In October, public broadcaster NHK admitted that the death of a 31-year-old reporter in 2013 was linked to her working conditions. The reporter, who died of heart failure, logged 159 hours of overtime and took only two days off in the month leading up to her death.

Scary, right?

(HINT: That’s a crazy story but don’t go that dark with your solutions.)


Other than the obvious human implications, fewer people taking vacation means fewer people using online travel booking sites.


Encourage Japanese people to take their allotted vacations and book their trips on Expedia by helping to change personal, societal and/or corporate attitudes about taking vacation. And by doing so, help make life better for everyone involved.

Deadline for Round 6: February 28th 2018, 11:59pm Los Angeles time.