Unusual partnership: TBWA\Hakuhodo, McDonald's Japan and a British artist with no Japanese

By afaqs! news bureau, New Delhi, September 20, 2017
How TBWA/Hakuhodo and McDonald's Japan used a British illustrator who did not understand or speak a word of Japanese to fashion its summer special.
TBWAHakuhodo commissioned British illustrator Dan Woodger to create this image for McDonald's Japan tray mats

Why did TBWAHakuhodo and McDonald's Japan choose British artist Dan Woodger who did not speak or understand a word of Japanese to fashion their summer campaign in Japan? And how did they do it?

According to McDonald's Japan brief to the agency, the brand wanted to create a summer tray-mat featuring the three main desserts at McDonald's Japan: Soft twist, McShakes, and McFlurry. The agency decided that the theme should be a day at the beach, to emphasise the summer season and make customers crave for a cold dessert on a hot day.

As the tray mat needed to show off a fun and playful spirit, the agency set out to search for suitable artists and eventually settled on Woodger because of his charming comic-book styles. They gave him the freedom to express himself.

The decision worked very well. Customers posted photos of the tray mat on their social media channels. Pictures received comments like 'kawaii' (cute in Japanese) and 'very interesting'. Other customers wondered if there was a hidden character in the artwork.

It just proves that artists don't have language barriers.

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Source : http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/09/19/how-tbwa-and-mcdonalds-japan-worked-with-british-artist-without-becoming-lost