One Under 30: Young Marketer Spotlight – Yu Tabuchi

Highlighting young talent in the ad world – one person at a time.

As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia presents “One Under 30” – a special feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world, one person at a time.

This week we talk to Yu Tabuchi, Media Planning Manager at Essence in Japan

Over the course of our conversation, she talks about how she got her first break in the industry, what she loves about the work, what she doesn’t like about it, and more.


The Basics

Name: Yu Tabuchi
Age: 28
Agency: Essence
Position: Media Planning Manager, Japan
Current Location: Japan
Education: Sophia University, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology, 2017

Seven Questions

How did you get your first break in the industry?

After graduating from university, whilst applying for full-time positions in different sectors ranging from entertainment to fashion, I came to know about an opportunity with Essence.

Although I had no prior knowledge of the industry, the work and culture of Essence piqued my interest, and I decided to take a chance to dive into the world of media as a planning executive.

What is your personal mantra?

Curiosity is the first step.” Taking a leap of faith can be scary sometimes, but starting something new based on curiosity can open doors to opportunities you will never expect. Even if they may not go well, I am a firm believer in the value of learning for as long as I can.


From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?

Traveling to other countries has been a consistent reminder for me of how big the world is and how much there is that I do not know. I have also been lucky to have lived in various parts of the world outside of Japan, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

“The digital media landscape is constantly changing, so the evolution of the space and the possibilities are endless. I am constantly learning and there is never a dull moment in this job.”

For example, in Singapore, I really enjoy the food culture at the hawker centers, and in the UK, the Highlands up north are worth a visit for their scenic views. Through these experiences over the years, I have been exposed to the diversity of cultures, languages, food, and people, which has widened my perspective of the world and everything I attempt. Every aspect of traveling has inspired me one way or another.

What do you love about the job?

The digital media landscape is constantly changing, so the evolution of the space and the possibilities are endless. I am constantly learning and there is never a dull moment in this job.

My fellow colleagues, or Essentials, have been great to work and collaborate with – they are the cherry on top of this job that I love and cherish.

What about your job are you not so crazy about?

While it is not entirely avoidable in this industry and in many jobs, quick turnaround times and tight deadlines are some challenges I face, especially when multiple parties are involved.

What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?

I am proud to have played a part in building Essence’s global media activation hub team in India, which supports teams around the world in campaign activation across channels such as video, social, and display. I had the opportunity to join the team as a representative from our Japan office, including traveling to Delhi and helping to train new colleagues there who were collaborating with our Japan team.

It was quite challenging for me at the start to work on this new initiative, as I had to put together a roadmap and materials to onboard my new colleagues on Japan campaigns, but it has been very fulfilling to see how the team has evolved over the years and continues to expand, and I thoroughly enjoy working with the team in India.

Our Japan team has also been developing exciting data-driven dynamic creative campaigns for our clients. For example, for the launch of Google Pixel 5 in Japan, live-device context related to individuals’ actual mobile phone battery levels was incorporated into the launch ads, driving personalization, relevance, and purchase consideration lift for the new product. It was an impressive piece of work, and I felt very encouraged and inspired to witness its success.

If you had to choose another career what would it be?

As one of my internships involved supporting artists’ new music releases and ticket sales for music events, I might choose a career in the entertainment industry, but I would like to be involved in the creation of something new, such as live events and festivals with sustainability as a focus.

For example, the recent global partnership between SAP and Coldplay to help the band achieve its sustainability initiatives around its music world tour really caught my eye.

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Bobby McGill

Bobby is the founder and publisher of Branding in Asia.

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