Japan Foundation Toronto

Social Media Campaign


Japan Foundation Toronto (JFT) has been an advocate for promoting Japanese culture internationally since its establishment in 1990. During the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, JFT launched its online digital Overdrive library to reach a wider audience and extend outside of the local Toronto community. To date, the JFT Overdrive library has provided thousands of Canadians with access to Japan-related digital materials. The ebooks found in the library are in Japanese, English and French with an emphasis on Japanese language study, art, literature, history and culture that has encouraged individuals from across Canada to deepen their understanding of Japanese culture through reading.

Intent was engaged to develop, and implement a social media marketing strategy, along with the development of an overall campaign . Our goals were to increase unique registrants to 1,000 and to increase ebook checkouts to 10,000 by March 2022. With the campaign starting in February 2022, it was important to develop a clear plan to achieve these goals.


Our first step was our Listen phase—a research and discovery exercise to understand JFT as an organization, its clients and stakeholders, and to get a sense of how we could best engage with them. As part of this phase, we facilitated a 90-minute discovery kickoff session aimed at understanding the history of the Japan Foundation Toronto, their audiences and major stakeholders, organizational aspirations for the future, and how they define project success. Intent also reviewed and analyzed JFT’s website, current documentation, legacy materials, and previous social media campaign data to help us identify how to improve and optimize the campaign and rollout.


Informed by what we’ve learned in our Listen Phase, we developed a comprehensive social media marketing strategy that included an analysis of comparable organizations, an overview of JFT’s current audiences, marketing campaign recommendations, the campaign plan, and a social media content calendar. 

Prior to the launching of the Overdrive Library, JFT’s work has been mainly focused within the Toronto community. We wanted to ensure our creative approaches targeted a wide range of audiences, with the intention of increasing national brand awareness. In our Design process, we considered how our creative approaches would reach individuals in different provinces while encouraging existing users to utilize the library’s services. With all of this in mind, we developed social media campaign for both Instagram and Facebook that were inspired by traveling and movement away from the realities of the pandemic. 

Our creative played on the notion of reimagining yourself in Japan through the digital library and its books. With travel being heavily restricted over the last couple of years, the Japan Foundation Overdrive library serves as an outlet for people who are interested in Japan, while allowing themselves to be immersed  in a world of Japanese literature, history, and culinary arts.


By the end of March 2022, JFT saw a significant increase from the baseline number of 484 unique users and 5,806 checkouts that existed prior to the onset of the campaign. The JFT Marketing Campaign was between February 8th, 2022 to March 31st, 2022. In total, the campaign generated a total of 1,112,410 impressions, 5,306 ad clicks and had a reach of 496,764 individuals. 

Specifically, there was a 62.2% increase in unique users and a 35.5% increase in the number of checkouts by the end of the campaign. Between February 8, 2022 and March 31, 2022, there were 345 new users (users who have borrowed or placed a hold for the first time), which is the biggest jump in new users JFT has seen in their history.
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