Cannes Lions

A Crayon Project Born From Natural Disaster by NIKI Hills Winery


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Case Film






NIKI Hills Winery is a small winery in Niki, Hokkaido, committed to turning the fresh local produce into something amazing by making good wine, and contributing to the local community as the company grows. As a young winery, new ideas and projects are encouraged, and when NIKI Hills workers realized how the local community suffered when natural disaster hit, plans were quickly put in place to take action. This project is just one step towards NIKI Hills Winery's goal to give back to the Niki area.


In the midst of typhoons, floods, and other agricultural waste-producing natural events, NIKI Hills Winery saw that there had to be a better use for what was otherwise a costly waste. Not so long ago all that agricultural waste had been useful, edible beautiful produce?so the plan was to take the frustrating waste and once again turn it into a positive for the environment, and customers as well. Thinking about what NIKI Hills loved so much about the produce, the intensely appetizing colors of fresh fruits in vegetables immediately sprang to mine. Taking advantage of the wonderful pigment inherent to so many plants, development of the NIKI Hills Natural Crayon commenced. Nestled inside a package designed to reflect the natural Hokkaido scenery and NIKI Hills Winery landscape, each of the crayon colors has a name meant to remind users of "a winery dining table," and thus the local produce used.


While making something beautiful out of waste was a good first step, we had to make sure the process didn't end there. Our next step was to find a way to make this project, and profits from the crayons, work for the farmers whose livelihoods were being affected by environmental disaster—bringing new life into Hokkaido's agricultural communities. The raw materials used to make the crayons are all produced in Hokkaido, with otherwise unusable crops and produce coming from local farms and food processing plants. Since the crayons are made entirely of natural, non-toxic materials, those worried about unknown chemicals (and everyone from small children to the elderly) can safely use them to draw and color, making them a product many people can enjoy. Finally, a portion of the product's profits are donated to the Niki area, to support a variety of local recovery projects, helping farmers rebuild.


Beginning in summer 2018, local environmental damage came to the forefront of the minds around Hokkaido, and the NIKI Hills Winery community gathered together to brainstorm ways to help with the issue. Throughout the next year the plan to create natural crayons from local agricultural waste was put together, identifying local sources and procuring manufacturing facilities. By fall 2019, samples were in production, and plans for sales and donations were formed. Actual crayon sales began in mid-March 2020, and at the same time online promotions began on PR-related websites and elsewhere. With the natural crayons on sale, they were also distributed to local schools for free to support local children and raise awareness of the project.