Meet Cannes Lions award-winning Creative Technologist and cat lover Kyoko Yonezawa

We’re fast approaching the seventh installation of The Best of Global Digital Marketing Conference with a special and all too relevant focus on Content Marketing this time around. Come August 14, 2017, the top minds in the field will take Sime Darby Convention Centre by no means of apologetic discourse to talk about best practices within the ever evolving digital domain. 

As a prelude to the event, journalist and content marketing veteran Hando Sinisalu speaks to Dentsu’s Creative Technologist Kyoko Yonezawa , who makes her first trip to Malaysia this August 14th, to share her insights in the digital field. 

Armed with a BA in Astronautics and an MA in Computer Science, Kyoko has taken the knowledge in the research she has done with prestigious universities such as MIT to the advertising world

In the interview below she shares more on cat-human interaction, future game changing technological trends and tips on technologies that even the smallest of startups can use to scale up. 

HANDO: Please describe the most exciting project(s) you have ever worked on. What made them exiting?

KYOKO: All projects that involve my client’s engineers and developers as team mates excite me! Discussing issues and ideas with them really helps me understand the heart of the product. 

I think one of the most important functions of a creative technologist is to translate and deliver their excitement and love of the product/technology to the whole creative team (which sometimes is a little difficult to explain to people without a technological background). It is always exciting to understand their technology, and it often has a strong link to the company’s vision.

HANDO: I noticed that you were involved in a cat-human interaction project. 

Can you describe it in a bit more detail?

KYOKO: I was working on a human-cat interaction platform — Cat@Log — for my master’s thesis in 2008, which was way before Nike’s Fuel Band or Fitbit.

Cat@Log is a cat-life logging system with a cat-wearable device that supports interactions between cats and humans via computer technology.

The device comprises various sensing units such as a camera, a GPS, an accelerometer, and a Bluetooth module. The developed device can recognise the experiences and activities of the cat’s life in real time, and post it on Twitter and blogs.

HANDO: What are the most important technological trends that will change marketing/advertising in the next 3 – 5 years? 

KYOKO: A connected Home. Many players now from many countries are trying out their small IoT (Internet of Things) ideas, but within a couple of years, weak players will be weeded out, and strong platforms will survive to rule the field of connected homes.

After that, people will be able to have state-of-the-art experience throughout their homes, and this will change the way they behave as well as the field of marketing/advertising.

HANDO: What technological trend in marketing is the biggest hype (that will not become big and important) – like Google Glass, for example.

KYOKO: Humanoid Robots. Though the field of robotics is growing very fast, robots will not be a substitute for human beings or something that will be able to elicit emotional feelings. Robots may be very useful when they have a suitable shape for the desired function, but I doubt [it will be] “Communication Robots”.

HANDO: New technologies are often really expensive, and only big brands with big budgets can afford them. Can you give an example of more affordable new technology in marketing that smaller companies with smaller budgets could also afford?

KYOKO: It is true that with smaller budgets you can’t invent an entire ecosystem from scratch, but there are many interesting platforms you may try working on. For example, you may not be able to build a connected home device that beats Amazon’s Echo & Alexa, but you can still do amazing things by using its API if you have a creative idea that you want to realise

After graduating from university with a BA in Astronautics and an MA in Computer Science, Kyoko joined Dentsu in 2010 and built a unique career starting with collaborative research with universities including MIT Media Lab and the University of Tokyo.

As a creative technologist, she works in a wide range where technology matters: from communication planning to product innovation and service development. 

She works extensively with her clients’ engineers and developers, to unveil their technology and to tell the story from the heart of the product with digital and interactive execution. Her projects include ‘Connecting Lifelines’, ‘dots by internavi‘ and ‘Sound of Honda / Ayrton Senna 1989’ for Honda’s Internavi, ‘Play Air’ for Olympus, ‘The Space Hangout’ for JAXA and ‘HAKUTO’ for ispace.

She has won numerous awards including a Titanium Grand Prix, a Titanium Lion and seven Gold Lions at Cannes, a Black Pencil and four Yellow Pencils at D&AD, a Gold Pencil in One Show Interactive, and a Grand Prix at the Japan Media Arts Festival. She was also a jury member of the Digital Crafts category at Cannes Lions in 2016. 

And she is a cat lover.


Kyoko will be speaking more on the innovations in digital marketing space this August 14th? Click here to find out more on the ‘Best of Global Digital Marketing Conference’ or contact Ruby at 03-77262588 or [email protected]



For the seventh year running, we are bringing back the famous Best of Global Digital Marketing Conference to KL with a special focus on Content Marketing this year. Unique case-study based learning, as our team monitors over 200 digital marketing award shows across the globe and interviews the winners. Based on this extensive work, we produce in-depth case studies.

Speakers with digital domain expertise:
• Hando Sinisalu, CEO of Best Marketing International
• Kyoko Yonezawa, Creative Technologist and member of Dentsu Lab Tokyo
• Scott Gray, Experience Director, Mirum South Africa

Global Case Studies include:
BANKING & INSURANCE: Compare The Market, Advocards, Allianz, Ally Bank, Barclays….
TECHNOLOGY & STARTUPS: Hubspot, Pipedrive, MoveHub….
AUTOMOTIVE: Volkswagen, Volvo, Nissan, etc FMCG: Ariel, Unilever, Snickers…
RETAIL: McDonald’s, Harvey Nichols, Zalando….
TRAVEL & TOURISM: Qatar Airways, Transavia, Finland Tourism, Sweden Tourism, KLM…

Each best practice case study is presented based on…
Business problem: What is the market situation? Who are the competitors? What is the target audience? What are the main business/marketing challenges? What are the goals?
Solutions: What are the consumer insights? What was the creative strategy? What was the media strategy? What were the results of the campaign?
Lessons: What other marketers from other countries/other business sectors could learn from this case stu
dy? What are the main mistakes to avoid?

The Best of Global Digital Marketing Conference has won popularity in more than 30 cities around the world from Singapore, Moscow, Jakarta, Istanbul to Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Prague, Shanghai, Seoul, etc.

Date: 14 August, 2017 (Thursday)

Venue: Sime Darby Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

Time: 8.30am – 5.00pm

Book your seats early! Call Ruby on 03-77262588 or [email protected]


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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


Download Event PDF
Submit Entries Here

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