Big in Japan IPA QR code game by Zulu Alpha Kilo

Date: May 2019
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For over 50 years, rock bands from the west have flown east and made it ‘Big in Japan’, quite often making it in the far east before they were even popular in their own countries. Now for its first Japanese release, SingleCut Beersmiths, a rock-themed craft brewery in NYC, is paying tribute to this music phenomenon by gamifying its latest IPA.

The aptly named Big in Japan IPA honours four legendary classic rock songs that literally made it ‘big in Japan’. To turn SingleCut packaging into a ‘Name That Tune’ game, four unique labels were created by artfully weaving intricate visual clues from the legendary songs’ famous titles and lyrics within QR codes. Each individual QR code was painstakingly crafted to tell the story of the classic song that was big in Japan. Scanning the codes will take consumers from the clues to the actual classic songs on Spotify.

Toronto-based agency, Zulu Alpha Kilo, created the integrated campaign, from package design to digital content. To announce Big in Japan to SingleCut fans in New York City and Toronto, western audiences were targeted through Instagram Stories that adapted the QR code beer labels for the social platform. In Tokyo, Big in Japan was promoted within their growing craft beer scene to help make the full-bodied IPA the next great cultural crossover.


Client: SingleCut Beersmiths

Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo

Creative Director: Zak Mroueh

Design Director: Ryan Booth

Writer: Vinay Parmar

Art Director: Kevin Sato

Illustrator: Ty Dale, Kevin Sato

Strategist: Spencer MacEachern, Stephanie Gyles

Account Team: Erin McManus

Senior Producer: Teresa Bayley

Producer: Houng Ngui

Studio Director: Greg Heptinstall

Production Artist: Anna Harju, Brandon Dyson, Ashleigh O’Brien

Animator: Andrew Martin

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