What does the Taipa trend mean for marketing in Japan?

Xixi You

APAC Strategy Director

12th December 2023

~ 5 min read

Last year, a new Japanese word, タイパ (‘taipa’), was selected for the 2022 New Word Award and added to the Japanese dictionary. But what is ‘taipa’ and why has this word become so popular in Japan?

‘Taipa’ is an abbreviation of the Japanese-English word ‘taimu pafōmansu’ (time performance), which directly translates to ‘time efficiency’. The popularity of this word reflects a subtle yet profound change in Japanese people’s media consumption behaviour and purchase journey, especially amongst Generation Z. 

For marketers, the implications of this trend provide important insights to navigate marketing in Japan.

What is ‘taipa’?

While ‘taipa’ directly translates to time efficiency, it also emphasises the effective use of time spent on an activity, as well as the level of satisfaction gained from the time spent. The emergence of ‘taipa’ is associated with the development of digital devices and media (smartphones, tablets, social media, etc.), which allow us to have 24/7 access to an ocean of information.

In order to keep up with the latest trends and buzz-worthy topics, Japanese people are compelled to find ways to consume these large amounts of information in a time-efficient manner. This is where ‘taipa’ comes into play. 

According to surveys from the Seiko Time White Paper 2022, 66.3% of Japanese respondents feel they are being chased by time, marking the third consecutive year of growth, with a higher percentage jump for this sentiment in 2022.

Data Source: Seiko Group

To cope with the stress of time pressure, Japanese people apply ‘taipa’ in many ways, especially in media and entertainment consumption behaviours. For example, people might watch videos, films or dramas at double speed, or watch recaps and summary clips that only cover plot highlights, as opposed to viewing the full version of the video. Multitasking while watching videos or listening to podcasts is becoming increasingly prevalent. As a result, the popularity of short-form video media products, like TikTok, YouTube Shorts and podcast programs, has soared in the past few years. Even when listening to music, many people in Japan have developed a tendency to skip to the main chorus of the song, disregarding the less catchy, popularized portions of the musical piece. 

This trend is more noticeable in Gen Z, where research from Sompo Japan shows that the ‘comfortable’ video viewing speed of Gen Z is 1.5 times faster than that of older generations, who tend to view videos at a speed of 1.25.

In terms of short video content, Gen Zers have adopted this video format at a much higher rate than older generations, across TikTok, YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels.

Implications of ‘taipa’ on marketing

Under the pressures of a fast-paced life, younger generations in particular have inevitably embraced ‘taipa’ to cope. However, the implication of ‘taipa’ is not limited to behaviour changes in media consumption. The Japanese purchase journey is also quietly shifting, and again, Gen Z is leading the way. 

According to a survey conducted by SHIBUYA109 lab, the top three channels through which Japanese Gen Zers discover or collect information about new brands and products are all social media platforms - with about 70% of females using Instagram for new product discovery. Search behaviours are not limited to search engines, and are expanding to social and video streaming platforms.

Data Source: SHIBUYA109 lab

Looking into the top three touchpoints across the female Japanese Gen Zer’s purchase journey, the prominence of social media becomes clearer. Social media and video streaming platforms are playing a more essential role, from awareness and consideration to shopping experience and sharing. 67% of consumers have even purchased products introduced by influencers, while 45% of consumers have referred to influencers on social media for product research.

Data Source: SHIBUYA109 lab

The survey results in Japan unsurprisingly align with the research findings from Google, in partnership with Cint and Differentology, which indicate that consumers not only flock to YouTube Shorts for fast-paced entertainment, but they are also eager to discover new brands and products through this media format. 53% of Gen Z survey respondents reported that they have made a purchase after watching sponsored influencer content on a short-form video platform.

How to maximise on this trend

So, how can marketers tap into this trend to achieve better marketing results? Here are some of our top tips:

Leverage a mix of short-form and long-form video content

Mixing up your use of short- and long-form videos will not only allow for more content variety, but, more importantly, can serve different marketing purposes at different purchase journey touchpoints. 

Google research found that 63% of participants choose short-form videos to discover new products or brands, while 60% of people rely on long-form videos to more deeply learn about a particular product. Marketers who can successfully strike a balance between the different forms of content will reap great benefits in maximising their audience reach and locking them down throughout the purchase funnel.

Integrate influencer marketing into your overall strategy

Influencers have had a proven strong impact on users across social media platforms, so it’s imperative that marketers integrate them into their overall marketing strategy. It's important to note that stealth marketing is severely criticised in Japan - when promoting a product, it is imperative that companies clearly state that the piece of content is an ad. Japanese companies usually add #PR or #ad at the top of their sponsored posts when running an influencer campaign to steer away from stealth marketing.

Test new channels that allow multi-tasking

The ‘taipa’ trend sheds light on the value of channels that better adapt to new multitasking lifestyles. Channels like digital radio and digital television both witnessed significant growth in 2022. If you haven't integrated these channels into your strategy, it’s time to add them to your test roadmaps for 2024.

If you want to know more about marketing trends in Japan or have questions about your marketing strategy when entering the Japanese market, contact us for a free initial consultation with our APAC team.

Sign up to Croud’s Digital Digest

Get Croud's monthly newsletter, which is packed with the latest news from Croud from across the globe, along with updates and commentary around the latest developments in the digital marketing space.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.