SoftBank Bridges Technology Gap with Analog Innovation

Presenting smartphone technology in a new light, SoftBank evokes deep sentimental value and emotions which are truly human-inspired.

Japanese multinational telecommunications company, SoftBank, has partnered with Tokyo-based digital marketing agency, Tashizan, to deliver a campaign designed to capture the brand’s ‘Analog Innovation’ project. Led by a heart-warming short, the production’s aim is to create connections across generations.

The video depicts the story of one Hitoshi Kiyomura and his family and how they reach out to his aged parents who live on Okinawa’s Tarama Island. Presenting smartphone technology in a new and dynamic light, the plot evokes deep sentimental value as well as emotions which are truly humanly-inspired.

Celebrating high-tech innovation for the non-tech-savvy, the push turns the focus to the elderly—a generation across which technology can sometimes be more of a bane rather than a convenience. The film portrays the earnest desire harboured by the senior Kiyomura couple to constantly stay in touch with their grandkids and vice versa.

Due to geographical separation and an inability to keep up with the latest advancements, the opportunity to do so remained scarce since the children reside in Osaka with their parents, a nine-hour journey away. With that in mind and because family is important, SoftBank created unique tools to bridge said gap.

By employing very specific solutions, the internet corporation solves an interesting mix of immediate problems beginning with the landline telephone in the grandparents’ faraway home. Here, appliances and applications familiar to the seasoned hand are transformed to engage new-age communication the old-fashioned way.

While the advertisement is produced in Japanese, English subtitles can be activated by clicking on CC button on the bottom right-hand side of the YouTube video window. The production marries retro and contemporary so both the rotary- and smartphone are welcome, along with various other technologies.

Key among them is the SNS newspaper which allows images and messages to be redesigned with a printer to fit into a regular mailbox. Also, two-way video chatting is enabled after Grandma’s relic of a caller machine is remodelled into a ‘smart black phone’ for ease of use.

Cloud VHS capabilities are also incorporated into the mix to create a video system which allows the sharing of images saved on the smartphone using a home video console. Ultimately, the additions bring the family much closer together, with distance no longer being a hassle.

The prototypes churned out make it possible for the grandparents to regularly see how their grandchildren are growing and progressing. At the same time, the old woman’s son can rest easy knowing that the technological struggles once faced by his parents are but gone with the wind.