Tapping Into Instagrammers' Passion For Food To Promote Travel

Japan Food Battle
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Japan National Tourism Organization was looking to build momentum behind their new Instagram profile. Our answer: #JapanFoodBattle: Challenge Instagrammers to pick a side, are you #TeamSushi or #TeamRamen?


JNTO is the Japanese government agency charged with promoting travel to Japan, which they do under the “Visit Japan” moniker in the United States. In January 2018 JNTO was looking to build a following and create buzz for their newly launched US Instagram profile @visitjapan.us.

In response we created a 6 week promotion that would boost the @visitjapan.us Instagram following while creating buzz and engagement among US millennials.


Millennials love sushi and ramen—How about we have them pick a side and let’s see who wins! We encouraged Instagrammers to tag their favorite sushi or ramen photos with @visitjapan.us and #JapanFoodBattle, as well as their support for either #TeamRamen or #TeamSushi, for a chance to win a trip to Japan. In addition, all entrants received a unique contest URL to share with friends. Use of this URL rewarded participants with bonus chances to win. 


#JAPANFOODBATTLE blew up, engaging thousands of #TeamRamen and #TeamSushi lovers across Instagram, Facebook and YouTube over the 6-week campaign. Can you guess who won?

It was a boon for the sushi, ramen and travel industries, and this good-hearted rivalry continues to rage on to this day. Did we mention the campaign was an ADDY award winner in 2019 ;D!


The Idea

For years sushi has been the champion of Japanese food in the US, but in recent years ramen has risen as a formidable challenger. And now it is time to choose a victor…

Are you #TeamSushi or #TeamRamen?

Encourage Instagram followers to tag their favorite sushi or ramen photos with @visitjapan.us and #JapanFoodBattle, as well as their support for either #TeamRamen or #TeamSushi


Contest Landing Page

Landing page featuring an Instagram feed of all #JapanFoodBattle photos, and a contest entry form where participants could vote their support for either #TeamSushi or #TeamRamen.

Built To Share

Participants were encouraged to pledge support for their side by sharing their favorite sushi or ramen photos on Instagram.  In addition, all entrants received a unique contest url to share with friends. Use of this url rewarded participants with bonus entries.


Foodie Influencers

A highly motivated army of 30 Instagram foodie supporters were enlisted to pledge their support to either #TeamSushi or #TeamRamen, and encourage their followers to pick a side and join the debate.

Rich Content

Throughout the 6 week contest period @visitjapan.us shared posts on Instagram featuring unique, regional and otherwise rare to find sushi and ramen photos from across Japan, educating followers about both cuisines and the destinations associated with them.