LONDON — Japanese e-commerce platform Makuake has hired MSL UK as its strategic and creative communications partner as it expands into the UK market.

MSL, which won the account after a competitive pitch, has a brief to oversee all UK media and influencer relations, brand awareness and product launches, as Makuake gears up for its first launch outside of Japan and a new global website.

Makuake partners with local makers to sell handmade products to shoppers looking for new items before they enter the mass market. The agency will be tasked with introducing consumers to shopping the “Makuake-way” and sharing the story of the "Makuake Makers".

MSL UK managing director Jo Grierson said: “We fell in love with the values that Makuake stand for and knew immediately there is nothing like this experience for shoppers in the UK. We’re committed to being a part of their global expansion and can’t wait for consumers to discover Makuake’s one-of-a-kind products. Makuake isn’t just about shopping, it’s a lifestyle and one that has already been adopted by a 1.7 million strong community in Japan.”

Makuake CEO Ryotaro Nakayama added: “We’ve wanted to expand our userbase outside Japan for a while and the UK was our number one destination. We knew we needed a hands-on, globally connected agency and were won over by MSL’s passion for our products, and ability to show detailed thinking with big ideas and ambition. They will be crucial in helping us to connect with new consumers and their local insight will help us launch in the UK in the best way possible.”