Tapping WOM Influencers to Go Viral


The creators of a fictional character were getting ready to celebrate its 30th birthday, in honor of which a local amusement park was preparing to unveil a new addition dedicated to the character. The creators approached us with the request to use a digital public relations solution to generate buzz around both the milestone and the new themed attractions.


TOCS delivered a program that combined traditional media relations with online engagement, understanding that both approaches would be able to take advantage of the formidable word-of-mouth (WOM) networking practices for which Japanese women are known.

Print and broadcast media are still the most trusted sources of information for Japanese audiences, so it was in the client’s best interests to reach out to general daily newspapers and morning “wide” shows (news-cum-entertainment programs) to ensure that we reached the young parent demographic targeted for engagement.

For the online element, we used social media monitoring tools to identify the core group of alpha-Mommy bloggers who were leading conversations around the character, using face to face discussions with these influencers to secure their willingness to advocate on behalf of the client in the weeks preceding the character’s birthday celebration. TOCS ensured a constant flow of new content to the online advocates so that buzz remained fresh and sustainable.


The online advocacy program – reinforced by coverage in general newspapers and broadcast television – morphed into a nationwide meme, moving beyond the traditional catchment area for the amusement park to reach young mothers across Japan.

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