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Anime is the new trend in marketing. And it’s everywhere.

In marketing, staying ahead of the curve is essential. In recent years, one trend has taken the industry by storm: anime. Once niche, now ubiquitous, anime has become a powerful tool for brands looking to connect with Gen Z and younger audiences in a visually captivating and culturally resonant way.

Why do brands want to appeal to Gen Z all of a sudden? Because they have become, with the increase in age, a significant purchasing power. If you want to know more about the buying behavior of Gen Z, read our dedicated article.

The Lo-Fi Girl: Nissan’s Unlikely Ambassador.

Take, for example, the iconic Lo-Fi Girl. What started as a simple animation for a YouTube livestream featuring lo-fi hip-hop beats has transformed into a global sensation. Nissan, recognizing the appeal of this character, collaborated with the creator to feature her in their marketing campaign, seamlessly blending the worlds of anime and automotive.

Nissan created a four-hour video resembling the Lofi Girl livestream, running it as a six-minute ad before Lofi Girl videos. The similarity in style and sound seamlessly integrates the ad into the viewing experience, with many viewers not initially realizing it’s an ad. Despite this, the video has garnered over 12 million views in just two months, with one commenter noting it’s the only ad they’ve watched in full.

Source: Nissan via YouTube

McDonald’s Rebranding to WcDonald’s: Embracing Anime Aesthetics.

In another bold move, McDonald’s embraced anime aesthetics with its rebranding to WcDonald’s in certain locations. This new image comes in addition to a short anime series with episodes that McDonalds releases weekly on YouTube. This playful nod to anime culture not only garnered attention but also resonated with younger consumers who appreciate brands that speak their language.

Source: McDonalds

McDonalds’ entire Instagram feed (one of Gen Z’s favorite apps) looks like a manga comic page. The campaign also includes new products, Asian-inspired sauces whose packaging retains the manga theme. Also, the promotion is done through an anime-type clip with characters sharing a McDonalds meal.

Source: McDonalds via Instagram

Ikea’s Global Campaign After 80 Years: Anime Comes to Home Furnishings.

Even longstanding brands like Ikea are jumping on the anime bandwagon. In celebration of its 80th anniversary, Ikea launched its first global campaign. Titled “Do Try This At Home,” Ikea’s initiative showcases customers pursuing their passions with the help of Ikea products. Examples include an older gamer and a teenage girl organizing a guitar performance for her friends without disturbing her neighbors. The video also features people that become anime-inspired characters, a grandma and her nephew. This unexpected approach breathed new life into the brand and captured the imagination of audiences worldwide.

Source: Ikea via Youtube

Ikea has also turned to animated videos on other occasions, such as in the campaign dedicated to students moving into a rental with new roommates. Ikea’s ‘Find Your Slice of Life: Compromise’ campaign encourages customers to discover their unique lifestyle solutions through compromise. By highlighting the diverse needs of individuals, Ikea showcases how their products can help find a balance between different preferences and priorities. Is it a coincidence that Gen Z is currently in college? We think not.

Source: Ikea

Toyota Launches Anime Series: Merging Mobility and Storytelling.

Not to be outdone, Toyota took a bold step by launching its own anime series. By weaving themes of mobility and adventure into captivating storytelling, Toyota not only engaged anime enthusiasts but also showcased its commitment to innovation and creativity.

Source: Toyota

„GRIP is a high-octane original anime series that combines heart-pounding action, adrenaline-fueled races, and a battle between the human spirit and computer control. With their GR rides and unwavering determination, the GRIP team is the last hope for the spirit of driving”, according to Toyota’s official website. Episodes can be watched directly on and include Toyota models such as GR COROLLA, GR SUPRA or GR86.

Apple Highlights iPhone 15 Pro in Live-Action Manga Film.

Could it be that Apple missed this trend? Of course not! In an almost expected move, Apple recently released a live-action manga film highlighting the features of its iPhone 15 Pro. By leveraging the visual storytelling style of manga, Apple created a cinematic experience that resonated with tech-savvy audiences and showcased the capabilities of its latest device in a compelling way.


Manga is the trend you have to follow starting today.

Manga and anime have undeniably become the prevailing trend in today’s marketing landscape, with global brands eagerly embracing the cultural phenomenon to captivate audiences worldwide. From PUMA’s collaboration with One Piece to Nike’s ‘Tokyo: On Air’ collection, featuring designs inspired by Tokyo’s vibrant culture and anime aesthetics, the influence of manga and anime is unmistakable. Uniqlo’s UT collection regularly partners with beloved anime franchises like Naruto, Demon Slayer and Sailor Moon, while luxury brands like Gucci have crafted exclusive collections with iconic characters such as Doraemon. These partnerships underscore the growing recognition of manga and anime’s significance in shaping consumer preferences and cultural trends on a global scale.

Source: Puma
Source: Nike
Source: Uniqlo
Source: Gucci

Targeting Gen Z and the Young Audience.

At the heart of these marketing campaigns lies a common goal: to attract Gen Z and younger audiences. With their affinity for anime and digital culture, these demographics represent a lucrative market for brands willing to embrace new and unconventional approaches to marketing.

Gen Z is known for its discerning taste and unwavering loyalty to what it enjoys, including anime. By authentically engaging with this passion point, brands have the opportunity to not only capture the attention of this audience but also foster long-term loyalty and advocacy.

Our conclusion.

The rise of anime in marketing signals a shift towards more immersive and culturally relevant storytelling. By tapping into the power of anime & manga, brands can forge deeper connections with their audience and stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. As we look to the future, it’s clear that anime will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the way brands engage with consumers worldwide.

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