Rakuten: Transforming merchant advertisements into relevant content

日本語まとめ (Summary in Japanese)
広告がメインコンテンツであるシーズナル特集では、いかに広告をユーザーにとって適切であると魅せるかが課題となる。 広告をコンテンツ化するため、広告枠のタグ付けやビジュアル規定、フィルター代わりにカテゴリーの指定及び的確なランディングページの設計、など様々な戦略で実現した。

The Challenge

Rakuten’s seasonal campaign content consists of advertisements, and advertisements only.  Page content is made purely by advertisements that Rakuten merchants purchase for their products to be featured during the campaign period.

As this could not be changed due to their traditional sales strategy, the challenge was to make arrays of Rakuten’s merchant advertisements look like relevant content.

To produce a feasible micro-site of 80+ pages made up of featured product advertisements, all advertisements were forced to be tagged with a product category (e.g. tree, decoration, sweets) and target market (e.g. for girls, for boyfriends, for two people, eight slices).  This enabled the micro-site to have a menu and product category landing pages, as well as a way to filter products.

Strict visual and description text guidelines were also enforced so that the “product listings” could be viewed and interacted with; without causing banner blindness.

Merchant Advertisement Templates

To iterate, Rakuten’s seasonal campaign content consists of advertisements, and advertisements only.

In order to deliver a Christmas campaign site where users can browse gifts for their loved ones as if they were shopping on an e-commerce site, advertisement templates were designed so that they would not feel bombarded with loud advertisements one after another.

Special attention was paid to the styling of advertisements, as well as the rules and guidelines of advertisement copy and imagery set out for merchants.

View this project on Behance