CSR
An Overview of Our Progress and Achievements in Corporate Social Responsibility

Hello Walrus
Celebrating our B-side

Hello Walrus

Dentsu Innovation Institute Team B published a magazine—Hello Walrus as an initiative to connect people working within the Dentsu Group.

Dentsu Innovation Institute Team B began back in July 2014. It started out with eight members who had gathered at Dentsu Tokyo with the idea of creating a new type of think tank. Each member brought to the group a “B-side” that was separate to their advertising career at Dentsu (their “A-side”). Their respective B-sides were a diverse mix of things—hobbies, previous careers, university majors and sideline jobs. They included a DJ and a novelist, and interests such as product design, back-country skiing, sociology, magazine editing and education.

Once a month, the team would gather on sofas in the corner of an office at Dentsu, and share information with each other about interesting things happening in their respective B-side domains. They began searching for new ways to generate innovation and create new things. What they were attempting to do was connect things they have a passion for with their work. It was a trial for producing things at the leading edge with zero research.

Their activities gained a strong reputation, and the Team B’s membership grew to over 40 people. An original concept that they discovered themselves gained coverage in Forbes magazine, and over the space of two years they received orders for more than 50 client projects. Hence, in a short time they racked up an eye-opening amount of results.

Since Dentsu’s network of affiliates extends worldwide, the Team B began to explore the possibility of turning their method into a global phenomenon. They made presentations at the Group’s internal conferences in 2016 aimed at recruiting international members to join their group.

Hello Walrus

Team B adopted a metaphor based on one of the hallmarks of the Beatles’ record releases. John Lennon would often use a song deemed likely to be a hit the A-side of a single, while putting a much more experimental track on the B-side for. For example, the Beatles’ single “Hello, Goodbye” is backed by “I Am the Walrus” on its B-side. (This technique is very much what the Team B is doing—new things almost always emerge from the B-side.)

Hence, what came to be known as the “Walrus Presentation” was born, and participants began asking, “I want to become a Walrus too—how do I join?” This is what led to the naming of the grouping of Dentsu Aegis Network employees who have a “B-side” as the “Walrus Network.” The information subsequently gathered from Walruses worldwide was collected together to produce the Hello Walrus magazine.

The magazine begins with the following phrase: “In fact, there is a Walrus in every one of us. DAN needs more Walruses and so does the world today.”

Hello Walrus

In fact, this is what is happening in Dentsu Innovation Institute Team B. For example, the Team B member who is a DJ was invited to be a jury member at the Cannes Lions for the music category; the novelist developed a workshop to create a new business relating to novels; the creative director who was an architecture major at university undertook consulting for the redevelopment of an area near a railway station; and the skier organized a back-country ski event.

There is a time-honored Japanese saying: “You become good at what you like doing.” Many wonderful dramas are taking place right now that attest the wisdom of this proverb. It is our hope that this will become one of the work styles of the 21st century. At Dentsu, we can make it a reality.

Hello Walrus

Hello Walrus


Project members

Hello Walrus

Hidetoshi Kuranari

Creative Officer
Dentsu Innovation Institute Team B

Hello Walrus

Nadya Kirillova

Creative Director
Dentsu Innovation Institute Team B

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