Change your region

Breakthrough with Mie Hato - Simplify. Persever. Identify.

In this new series, we ask our people to define what 'Breakthrough' means to them, both from a career standpoint and a personal note.

This issue features Mie Hato, EVP, Brand Insights and Measurement, EssenceMediacom.

What does ‘breakthrough’ mean to you?

Finding the most simple and undeniable solution to a complicated problem.

What’s been the most inspiring personal breakthrough in your life?

I grew up in the US as a child pledging the flag in school every morning, thinking I was an American. I had to go back to Japan, my home country, during high school but I tried to leave Japan for college. At that point my Dad stopped me saying you cannot leave Japan until you are fully accepted in Japan as a Japanese. You must speak the language fluently, understand the culture and be accepted as a member of the Japanese society. If not, you won’t be accepted anywhere. So I stayed in Japan to solidify my foundation. Accepting my core was my personal breakthrough and has been the backbone of who I am.

What was the breakthrough moment in your career?

Moving to the US from Japan on my own as an adult.

I started my advertising career in Japan, but being a female I felt my opportunities to progress were capped. So when I was given the chance to be transferred to the US with the company I was working with at that time, I took the chance. Of course with my Dad’s blessing.   

Since moving to the US, I’m 100% in control and responsible for my well being and success, which was scary at first but very rewarding. 

Tell us about a piece of work you were involved with that you would define as a breakthrough.

Prior to EssenceMediacom, I worked for an agency for Apple.

This is not a specific piece of work, but I was involved in launching many of the Apple products around the world. Apple products are the most advanced technology in the world, but “everyone involved - whatever department, whatever level, client or agency” was looking the same way and committed to introducing these products in the simplest and most humane way possible, and this is when the magic happened. This is what I strive for even in what I do now.

What breakthrough in this industry - achieved by someone else - do you really admire? What do you admire about it?

I admire brands and marketers who stay true to their brand. No matter how fast the world is moving around them, they don’t falter, they don’t chase trends, they don’t go after just short term gains. Every decision is done thoughtfully and they believe in their intuition. Through this stance you will achieve breakthrough and not become a one hit wonder. I’ve been privileged enough to work with these brands and people throughout my career.