Post Categories: November 2015

Knowledge Portal: Aeon Demonstration Services Proves Experiential Marketing is a Global Success


Think in-store marketing is only an American phenomenon? Think again. Established in 2006, Japan-based Aeon Demonstration Services (ADS) is one of Interactions Marketing’s most successful retailer-dedicated in-store marketing programs.

Today, ADS delivers a flexible, on-demand sales and marketing workforce for the largest retailer in Asia—Aeon. Aeon has over 10,000 stores throughout Japan, China, Malaysia, Thailand and other Asian countries, including malls, general merchandise stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, drug stores and apparel stores. ADS currently focuses on providing services in Aeon’s 2,000 supermarkets and 500 general merchandise stores located throughout Japan, from the northern island of Hokkaido to the southern island of Okinawa.

“Our main business is in-store sampling events,” says Micah Wightman, President of ADS. “But we also perform blind taste tests, provide customer service representatives and grand opening staff, support shareholder and union-sponsored events and provide other similar services.”

Like all of Interactions’ dedicated programs, ADS works very closely with its retailer partner, Aeon. “Our ADS home office is located near the Aeon home office,” Mr. Wightman explains. “We use a centralized model where we handle orders from Aeon’s private brand, TopValu, and national brand vendors all in one place.”

The methods used by ADS’ Sales Advisors mirror the proven consumer engagement strategies developed by Interactions in the U.S. ADS Sales Advisors are taught to use SITGA, meaning they should Smile, Invite the customer to sample the product, Talk about the product, Give a sample, then Ask for the sale.

Other elements of the ADS program are tailored more specifically to the culture and buying habits of Japanese shoppers, as well as Aeon’s goals. For example, ADS Sales Advisors wear face masks when sampling food, a common custom in Japan designed to avoid spreading germs. “We also do many of our events in the fresh departments, including seafood, meat, produce and dairy,” adds Mr. Wightman. “And we are focused on helping Aeon grow its private brand business. This year, private brand events will make up about 40 percent of ADS’ business.”

Despite any differences, the engaging atmosphere Sales Advisors create within retail stores remains the same around the world. As Mr. Wightman puts it, “Our events create a shopping environment that is interesting for customers and encourages them to try—and buy—the products our Sales Advisors are promoting.”

To learn more about in-store marketing opportunities in the U.S., contact Ryan Dee, Senior Account Executive, at For international business inquires, contact Danny Chen at