As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia brings you “One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight”, a feature focusing on up-and-coming individuals in the ad world.
This week features Mai Kaneda, a native of Yokohama, Japan who is now based in Tokyo working for McCann Health.
Name: Mai Kaneda
Agency: McCann Health Japan
Position: Senior Experience Designer / Senior Copywriter
Hometown: Yokohama, Japan
Current Location: Tokyo
Education: Keio University, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies (2012)
How did you get your first break in the industry?
Making detours. I’ve worked in different departments with different roles: client service, digital planning, strategic planning and creative.
Sometimes I pondered whether I was taking a detour, but reflecting back, all that experience has helped me build my individual uniqueness. As a result, I was able to really speed-up the process until my first break as a creative.
If anybody reading this is currently working in client service thinking of getting into creative, I want to tell them that what they are doing now is an important time to build their own unique identity as a professional.
What is your personal mantra?
Now or never.
If I come up with an idea, I make a prototype. If I find someone interesting, I go talk to that person.
From what person, place, or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
Japanese sci-fi manga comics!
I have lots of stories I want to recommend, such as ones that question the ethics of genome editing or the morality of brain scans on the dead in criminal cases.
These stories are amazingly inspirational, especially when I want to delve on ethics and advancement in technology and humanity.
What do you love about the job?
To be able to create opportunities for people to live through my work.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
Work where the means have become ends.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
Delicious Supplement – it’s a new personalized lunch capsule “prescribed” to regain nutritional balance.
I’m also proud of the various awards I’ve won to date, including two shortlists at the Cannes Lions, Bronze awards at the Andy Awards, Epica Awards and New York Festivals. Winning Silver at the New Stars competition for young creatives at Ad Stars 2018 and being shortlisted at the Young Lions Health Award for two consecutive years are something I’m proud of, too.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
I’d like to pursue my aspiration to become an astronaut once again. I had to give up due to my poor eyesight. Actually, knowing that the world will continue to advance, I still have not given up on going to outer space in this life!
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