Duncan Channon Launches First Broadcast Campaign for Rakuten During Grammy Awards

By Erik Oster 

In case you missed it, Duncan Channon launched the debut broadcast campaign for Rakuten during last night’s 2019 Grammy Awards.

The campaign, entitled “Life to the Power of R,” is also Duncan Channon’s first works since being named creative lead to introduce the Japanese e-commerce brand in North America following a review.

“Consumer empowerment is at the core of Rakuten’s brand, so we wanted to find an agency partner with a strong point-of-view on how to express this truth for our U.S. launch,” Rakuten North America CMO Kim Miller explained in a statement. “We’re incredibly proud of the rich storytelling and visual elegance of this campaign with Duncan Channon. It celebrates the pursuit of thrilling and memorable experiences while subtly showing how Rakuten facilitates our members’ desires in life.”


Two ads directed by the duo Vania & Muggia debuted during the broadcast of the Grammy Awards and promote Rakuten’s  brand and e-commerce loyalty program.

“RSVP” opens with a woman receiving an RSVP to a friend’s wedding. Naturally, this leads to the question of what to wear. Unsatisfied with anything in her closet, she looks in the mirror and in a flash of implied shopping magic quickly shuffles through a variety of new outfits before settling on the right one. When she does a quick “+” sign appears onscreen, indicating she’s earned rewards from Rakuten.

The spot closes with her showing up at the wedding in a carefully assembled ensemble, followed by a voiceover explaining, “With Rakuten, everything you buy means money back for the things you really want.”

Another spot, “Runner,” focuses on a woman out for a morning run when she realizes she’s unsatisfied with her running shoes, as well as her headphones. Both spots seem to pay particular attention to incorporating their soundtrack in interesting ways, perhaps unsurprising given when they’re debuting.

“Rakuten is a lifestyle brand, so it was vital to tell stories that connect with with people’s real lives and aspirations. Nothing transactional,” Duncan Channon CCO Michael Lemme. “Rakuten rewards you for doing what you would anyway. These spots put the characters – their imaginations and aspirations – on center stage. You do you and Rakuten rewards you for it. It’s really that simple.”


Agency: Duncan Channon
Client: Rakuten
Campaign: “Life to the Power of R”

Kimberly Miller – Chief marketing officer
Trever Gregory – Director of marketing
Brad Hebebrand – VP, creative

Agency:Duncan Channon
Michael Lemme – Creative director
Adam Zash – Senior art director
Andy Whalen – Senior copywriter
Rick Herrera – Senior copywriter
Shannon Burns – Senior designer

Suzanne Montgomery – Account director
August Fischer – Account manager

Rita Ribera Channon – Senior broadcast producer
Michelle Mirasol – Project manager

Kelleen Peckham – Strategy director

Production partners
Iconoclast– production
Vania & Muggia – Director
Charles-Marie Anthonioz – Managing director/EP
Valerie Romer – Executive producer
Julien Lemaitre – Producer
Roman Vasyanov – Director of Photography

Rock, Paper, Scissors – editorial
Adam Pertofsky – Editor
Derrick Monks – Assistant Editor
Janae Abraham – Producer
Dre Krichevsky & Esther Gonzalez – Head of Production
Raná Martin – Executive Producer
Eve Kornblum – Managing Director

a52 – color
Daniel de Vue – Colorist
Jenny Bright – Producer
Thatcher Peterson – Executive Producer

a52 – VFX Studio
Patrick Murphy – VFX supervisor
Adam Newman – CG supervisors
Andy Wilkoff, Andrew Romatz – CG lead
Stefan Gaillot, Matt Sousa, Steve Wolff, Richard Hirst, Dan Ellis, Adam Flynn, Michael Vaglienty, Chris Riley, James Buongiorno, Rod Basham – 2D VFX artists
Adam Newman, Andy Wilkoff, Ariana Ziae Mohseni, Mason Dash, Jun Kim, Evan Mayfield, Eric Molina, Karen Garcia, Chris Leone, Josh Dyer, Jose Limon, Jose Olguin, Mike Bettinardi, Michael Cardenas – 3D VFX artists
Kyu Kim, Trix Taylor, Chad Danieley – Animators
Pete Sickbert Bennett – Designers
Dan Ellis, Sam Kolber, Gabe Sanchez – Online editors
Michael Steinmann – Producer
Andrew Rosenberger – Production coordinator
Patrick Nugent & Kim Christensen – Executive producers
Jennifer Sofio Hall – Managing director

Squeak E Clean – music “RSVP”
Song: Go Get What You Want
Elliot Glasser and Katarina Gleicher – Composers
Drew Fischer – Sound designer
Rob Barbato – Creative director
Amy Crilly – Head of production
Amanda Patterson – Senior producer

Squeak E Clean – sound design “Runner”
Drew Fischer – Sound designer
Rob Barbato – Creative director
Amy Crilly – Head of production
Amanda Patterson – Senior producer

Good Ear Music Supervision – music supervisors “Runner”
“Catch Me by Jarina De Marco
One Union – final mix
Joaby Deal – Sound engineer