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Two Japanese icons joined forces for a unique capsule collection. Onitsuka Tiger - the brand that introduced the world to the concept of sneakers 75 years ago - and Astro Boy - the character that taught the world how to manga.

monopo paris was invited to find the most relevant and powerful way of introducing the collection to a new French generation that hadn’t lived through the days of Kill Bill (Onitsuka Tiger’s most recent claim to fame) or Club Dorothée (Astro Boy’s largest French television platform). Onitsuka Tiger was planning to host a launch event for the collection and our challenge was to maximise the impact of the time we would have with influencers on that night.

  • Conception
  • Creative direction
  • Localisation
  • Event production
  • Graphic design
deliverableLaunch event KOL dinner Graphic props
dateJan 24
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Reintroducing France to Onitsuka Tiger and Astro le petit Robot

2024 is Onitsuka Tiger’s 75th anniversary year. To kick off a year of celebrations, the Japanese fashion and footwear brand collaborated with Astro Boy - the manga that started it all - to create a capsule collection for the ages. Two Japanese icons, born in the same era, reminding the world of the optimism we all used to have for the future. 

After decades without brand activation in France, this capsule collection was the perfect opportunity to gain the hearts of a new generation. Our challenge was to leverage the global creative platform that was developed for this collection, and build on it to make it hyper-relevant for a new French audience. All efforts would be focused on the opening event of Onitsuka Tiger’s one-month pop-up at Paris’ prestigious Samaritaine department store, and a KOL dinner on the eve of Paris Fashion Week.

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Astro Boy flies his favourite brand from Tokyo to Paris

We decided to craft every element of the campaign through the eyes of Astro Boy. Flying from Tokyo to Paris with his rocket boots, Astro Boy is bringing his favourite brand along to show off to his new French friends. Astro Boy’s POV is infused in every aspect of the experience, sparking endless ideas of how we could add surprising details throughout the activity. From the event invitation - designed as a ticket to board Astro Boy’s rocket ship - to the wrap-up film - showing a first-person-view of Astro Boy flying through the streets towards Samaritaine.

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While many might have seen the Astro Boy character before, most are unfamiliar with the story and spirit he represents. Originally created a mere 6 years after World War II ended, Astro Boy was designed to help Japanese children look positively at what lies ahead. Astro Boy has a uniquely optimistic view of the future, imagining the 2000s as a magical future where everything is possible. Well, the 2000s have arrived and they might not quite look as Astro Boy had imagined but that makes the underlying spirit all the more relevant. 

Our ambition was to build on the global art direction by respecting its power but adding an extra touch of Astro Futurism to help French youth understand the unique spirit of Astro Boy. An optimistic vision for the future, as it was imagined in the past. The entire campaign carries the naive energy of a teenage Astro Boy and the excitement to help everybody discover the amazing brand that he brought with him from Japan - Onitsuka Tiger. This playfulness is balanced by a stark red overtone borrowed from the global Art Direction, and 90s-inspired highly contrasted photography to connect with a young French audience.

“ A quick round of consumer interviews taught us that Astro Boy was significantly better known in France than the Onitsuka Tiger brand. “

In order to maximise the opportunity, we had to leverage the charm and authority of Astro Boy as a way for people to discover its Japanese contemporary - Onitsuka Tiger. 

/ Mattijs Devroedt, Strategy Director
Kicking off Fashion Week with a uniquely personal pop-up event

Activities kicked off on the evening before Paris Fashion Week officially began. As influencers were limbering up for a week of rushing from show to show, we wanted to harness Astro Boy’s naive energy to create a more personal experience. Just over 200 influencers and friends of the brand were invited to Onitsuka Tiger’s new pop-up shop at Samaritaine where they could discover all that Astro Boy had brought from Japan. An incredible capsule collection with Onitsuka Tiger, of course, but also a range of exciting surprises. 

Every guest received a unique box of omiyage to show that Astro Boy is a polite little guy that doesn’t forget to bring souvenirs when visiting friends abroad. And a Japanese gacha machine dispensed custom-made clothing patches that were enhanced by Augmented Reality. We made sure that Astro Boy’s most influential friends were present, casting DJ’s and tastemakers to make the night a success.

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  • pop-up
  • launch event
  • samaritaine
  • pop-up
  • launch event
  • samaritaine
Astro Boy invites his closest friends along to Resto Astro

Once the pop-up event came to a close, Astro Boy brought a select group of influencers to a private dinner near Samaritaine. We worked closely with Japanese restaurant Kaïto to transform the space into “Resto Astro” for one night only. With red decor, graphic details, a custom menu and a custom drinks list, we immersed our 25 special guests further into the universe of Onitsuka Tiger and Astro Boy.

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  • Kaïto
  • Kaïto

As we knew that the level of understanding for both Astro Boy and Onitsuka Tiger were relatively low in France, we treated every single part of the dining experience as a storytelling opportunity. The menu consisted of seven courses, each inspired by one of Astro Boy’s seven unique powers. To help guests understand the meaning of every dish, we crafted a physical menu that introduced the courses and told the story.

Snugly placed inside the folded menu, guests could find five conversation cards that teach important Japanese phrases. A perfect ice breaker for guests that are newly introduced to each other.

A retro-futuristic look through the eyes of Astro Boy himself

To help the experience spread far beyond the walls of Samaritaine, we crafted a set of film and photographic assets fit-for-social. In each of these assets, we look at the world from the perspective of Astro Boy. The event wrap-up film opens on a first-person view of Astro Boy flying through the streets of Paris until he arrives at Samaritaine, while the photographic assets show Le Petit Robot blending seamlessly into a crowd of modern influencers.

  • Producer: Asako Tomotani 
  • Project Manager: Mary Wu
  • Creative Director: Mélanie Hubert-Crozet
  • Art Director: Karim Kadi
  • Designer: Jack MacKinnon
  • Event producer: Paige Silveria
  • Production Assistant: Georges Frago
  • PR partner: Karla Otto
  • Food by: Takuto, Kaïto Paris
  • Film director: Martin Malnoë
  • Film assistant: Anastasia Collet
  • Music and sound design: Tybalt Mooney
  • Event Photography: Charles Berckmoes
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