Oct. 2015

Impressions of a Copywriter Impressions of a Copywriter Impressions of a Copywriter

Iizuka Hayato/Copy Director/No. 1 Production Studio

As the years pass, thinking and writing become more enjoyable to me.

Iizuka Hayato

Copy Director/No. 1 Production Studio

Born in 1969 in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, he graduated from the Department of Journalism at the Nihon University College of Law. After working in advertising production companies and agencies, he joined Nippon Design Center in 1997. He is a recipient of the 49th, 50th, and 51st Sendenkaigi Awards. Recent works include the Toyota Motor “Vellfire” catalog, ads to attract students to The Open University of Japan, and a smartphone app publicity ad for Tokyo Metro.

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Hello, I am Iizuka Hayato. After graduating from university, I worked at a number of production companies and ad agencies before I joined Nippon Design Center. Now I am responsible for work in a variety of fields, but for many years one of my jobs was the production of catalogs for Toyota Motor Company. It has become a part of everyday work for me now to read and understand vast amounts of materials relating to a car, and to write copy based on its detailed specifications, however this is a skill that I first learned here at NDC. During the hiring interview, when they told me what the job involved and asked me if I could do it, I was determined to join the company and responded, “Yes, I can!” However in fact it took me a considerable length of time before I was able to write copy and make full use of the necessary technical terms. I am truly thankful for the senior writers and producers who made great efforts to teach me at the beginning.

For two years, I also produced ads to attract students to the Open University of Japan. When writing copy, I want to maintain my own perspective as much as possible in the products or services that the client offers. So I wanted to experience the Open University of Japan for myself, and I applied to be a course student. This allowed me to select the course that I wanted to take. The course I selected was “Western Philosophy”. Although I had encountered the term “Greek Philosophy” before in world history classes, I was not clear what it actually was. I thought it would be interesting to discover what was the same and what was different in the way people thought several thousand years ago. It was that feeling of curiosity that motivated me to learn. I sat at my desk late into the night with the textbook in front of me and submitted my homework. My studying seemed to be right on course, but then on the day of the critical test, I was unable to coordinate my work schedule and was unable to take the test. Unfortunately, of course I failed the course. As I was unable to acquire even a single credit, I am very impressed by the students who acquire many credits and graduate all while working at daytime jobs. It was only a small coursework experience, but it helped me create the necessary mindset for creating the ads.

Some of you may ask, “Why now?” but it is just in the last few years that I really came to love copywriting. As the years passed, the acts of thinking and writing became more enjoyable to me. Perhaps it is because I have settled down somewhat compared with my youthful days. Possibly as a result of this, I won awards for several of the entries which I submitted from time to time to the Sendenkaigi Awards, conducted by the Sendenkaigi advertising and marketing association. These were projects which I worked on during free time at work, on days off, and other times. I take a walk with my dog every morning, and put that time to good use. The “Papa looked up at the apartment, and I looked up at Papa” copy which I wrote for the Haseko Corporation and which won the Sponsor Award was inspired by the sight of my Shiba-ken dog named Chess staring up at me while we were on a walk.

I began attending a school for traditional Japanese archery beginning a few years ago. I only go twice a month, but when I have changed into the uniform and am concentrating on the bow, I go to a place that is detached from the everyday world and experience a truly unique time. I noticed when we were taking the photos for this interview that I was standing up straighter than I used to. Little by little, I feel like I am making progress. Although I frequently am an instructor to junior employees in the workplace, in the dojo I am a novice. I try to move my body in the way the teacher instructs. When I succeed in that, I get better. The joy I feel when I notice the changes in myself makes me recall a bit the way I felt when I had just joined Nippon Design Center.

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