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Metrobank Primer

Project Overview

Metrobank is one of the oldest banks in the Philippines and has a significant presence in multiple banking segments. One major growth area for the institution is its “Japan Desk”, a division that handles business to, from, and within Japan. Japanese investment and relations is an important component of Metrobank’s growth strategy. 

What We Did

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Magazines & Other Prints
Statics & Carousels


Primer is a lifestyle magazine aimed at Japanese readers, particularly businessmen and enterprise-level decision makers. It is printed in both English and Japanese formats. Metrobank wanted to run six English- and Japanese-language ads that detailed Japan Desk and 5 other divisions in the bank, each with unique propositions for Japanese investors. The trick was to come up with messaging and imagery that resonated with the Japanese market.

Process & Results

After interviewing key personnel from the specified Metrobank divisions, we crafted six different messages that highlighted all the unique selling points of each division.  We then studied Japanese media culture, noting what and what doesn’t work in terms of imagery and copy pairings. 

We proposed 3 different treatments per advertisement/bank division. We had to be careful to avoid imagery that may inadvertently offend Japanese sensibilities. Once the copy and visuals were approved, we executed a photoshoot for scenario-specific ideas (which included talent acquisition, venue, props, art direction, and editing). Other images were sourced online. 

Feedback was critical so we worked closely with Metrobank on all aspects of the ads. We managed the Japanese translation. The six ads ran for an entire year (one every two months) and on the strength of that campaign Metrobank awarded us a second year of new Primer ads.

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