Interview with Yuki Matsumoto

March 01, 2007

Recently Yuki Matsumoto, the producer of Madonna's recent Ariake commercial agreed to answer some questions for ICON! Check out the interview below. ICON: Hello Yuki and welcome to Icon, The Official Madonna Fan Club! You are the producer of the Ariake campaign, which features Madonna. Would you please tell us a little more about your own professional journey?

YUKI: As an executive producer/producer Ive offered creative consulting and development, as well as complete production services over the last twenty years. I developed and produced a number of memorable TV commercials and print ads for Japanese advertisers and ad-agencies, utilizing talents and directors from Europe, South America and the U.S. The list of clients include Edwin Jeans, Fauchon, Fuji Film, George Jensen, Honda, Konami, Lexus, Minsheng Bank, NEC, Nissin, Sony, Subaru, Toshiba and Toyota. The talent list includes Charles Barkely, Cindy Crawford, Makiko Esumi, Lenny Kravitz, Joe Montana, Shigeo Nagashima, Peter OToole, Carri Ottis, Tatiana Patitz, Brad Pitt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sting and now Madonna. The directors include Meiert Avis, Markus Blunder, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, Steven Klein, Barbara McDonough, Guy Ritchie, Herb Ritts, Mark Romanek and Stephane Sednaoui, just to name a few.

I live in LA, a crossroad of the entertainment industry, and it makes it all possible to interface all these wonderful talented people with advertising opportunities in Japan.

ICON: When you have Madonna as a part of your commercial campaign it means the project must be huge. What is exactly Brillia Mare Ariake?

YUKI: It is one of the largest projects Ive produced for Japan. Madonna is huge and the project naturally becomes larger as well. Brillia Mare Ariake is a condominium tower development in a new bay front area of Tokyo. The tower is thirty three stories and nearly 120m high and contains over 1000 luxury units in its 33 floors. The roof top is dedicated for residents and members exclusive use of an outdoor pool and gardens, spa and lounge and an exceptional 360 view of the entire Tokyo bay. It is a signature development by Tokyo Tatemono, Co. Ltd. to meet the demands of the new generation of metropolitan home owners who are ever more conscious of their post modern lifestyles in the big city.

ICON: Madonna's name is often associated with fashion and creative trends. How did you come to choose her for such a different project?

YUKI: She leads fashion, music and creative trends, influencing all lifestyles of today and tomorrow. She symbolizes what Brillia Mare Ariake is all about. The choice came naturally and we didnt think it was different or odd. Madonna sets new trends in the Tokyo lifestyles at home, why not.

ICON: As of now, it is quite hard for us to imagine what the campaign look like. Can you tell us more about the concept and Madonna's part in the commercial shoot?

YUKI: Brillia Mare Ariake ad campaigns stand on four fundamental concepts: Beyond Borders, Refine Your Senses, Connect to Nature and Think Family. We asked Madonna to appear in our campaign as a living symbol and a catalyst to convey our messages:

1. Beyond Borders - Madonna inspires creativity and expressions beyond gender, religion, race, nationality, culture and all borders.

2. Refine Your Senses - Madonna's philosophy and originality always invigorates the world audience every time she produces a new album. Conventions and trends are challenged and redefined for the new values.

3. Connect to Nature - Madonna is in sync with nature and balances her lifestyle to achieve her best physical and mental conditions. Her ever innovative spirits are in tune with her respect of nature.

4. Think Family - Despite her celebrity and never ending professional activities, Madonna always says FAMILY FIRST. Love and respect for all those who are dear to her are the most important values in life.

These are the very values we're pushing forward with Brillia Mare Ariake.

ICON: We know that Madonna and Steven Klein handle the creative direction of the campaign. How was it to work with them? Did you provide them with some guidelines beforehand?

YUKI: The four concepts were discussed first with Steven and then with Madonna. Madonna added her own inputs into the project by providing us with styling ideas and her edits for narrative lines. You could say that we co-wrote the commercials.

ICON: Madonna is the most famous female entertainer on earth. Is this something you've kept in mind while developing the project? Would you say that it changes the way you work to be around someone as famous and talented as her?

YUKI: We chose her because of it. I always enjoy working with people who are all iconic and most influential in terms of cultural influences. They all have something tremendous to offer to the world and I simply tap onto their energy spheres and bring what I find into the open. Her creative thoughts on this project were all right-on-target. I really respect her opinions and professionalism.

ICON: As you can imagine, we cant wait to discover this brand new Madonna project! When will the campaign start? Will it be available in Japan only? Will we get to see some of it on the internet?

YUKI: Print ads are already running and the first TV spot will start on airing the 24th of February. They are only shown in Japan but you may see some of them on the Brillia Mares website, www.b-m-a.jp The second commercial will air in mid March and the campaign will keep going for one year.

ICON: Thank you very much for answering our questions Yuki!

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