All about Japanese TV ads. The good, the bad and the I-don’t-know-what-happened. The one thing I like about Japanese commercials is … well , how bizarre they can be. While I’ve been in the advertising industry all my life (well, since I graduate that is) I try to link it back to the theories my professors have enlightened me with. But I guess sometimes, even the most culturally sensitive neurotransmitter in me has to acknowledge that Japanese commercials simply refutes all common senses.
The ad above is by Ajinomoto Stadium. A good ad but strange as it seems, the marketing strategy behind it is a bit weird. We seldom see stadiums advertising itself as the product but this one did and the creative strategy is to be kudos-ed . I mean, just how do you advertise a boring venue that seemingly have not much USPs (unique selling point) other than its one function of hosting events or perhaps its locality. I’ve no idea which agency did this but the Creative Director apparently aimed at the closet fact that you’re (or rather its target audience) is suffering form beautiful women malnutrition and perhaps they’ve been missing all the “action” at the local sports game too (including the women).
The general rule for all kinds of ads is to capture the product’s target audience or instill a memory so that they remember that the company is perhaps still alive (- my theory as to why branding ads survives). They say that it’s hard enough to capture the attention of the audience in that few 15 – 30 seconds. While most Japanese commercial lasts only 15 secs (unlike the 30 sec norm here), I like the fact that the gist of this stadium only appeared for like what 2 seconds at closing of the ad but hey everybody remembers.
Quite contrary, given that Japan is one of the most technologically advanced countries, it’s not unusual for a US tech product to be advertised on mainstream TV. So what would you predict a Microsoft software ad to look like? Check it out below. ( Good Lord I do pray that there are better ones out there.)
The last frame says “Oshigoto Windows” which vaguely translates to “Windows for work”. The idea that anyone could be this excited about using Windows is hilarious enough as it is. It’s no wonder the karoshi(過労死), rate increased. And then again, back then, why would something for office work be advertised on mainstream TV targeted at the normal consumers. Shouldn’t it go corporate?
This one uses women again. The notion that “Sex Sells”, well, sells but frankly, I find it a little disturbing when the copies fly out of her ahems… (ﾟДﾟ;) What ever the case, we’ll never look at our office copier the same way again.
This Nitendo one is a branding ad. Shot in Hong Kong and tastefully done. Doesn’t say much about a particular product or game but gives the most impressive brand recall at the last few frames. It’s unusual to see a 2 minute commercial (any where) simply because air-time is so darn expensive. So why the need to roll out a 2 minuter for just a branding ad? – I guess perhaps Nitendo was facing some strong competition that time and its wroth every ounce of investment to fight for its target audience just to ensure they remain in their market share and so stake holders won’t crumble and cry & that salary men will not start pulling their karoshi stunts. On the other hand, they just might be sharing advertising budgets regionally so might as well come out with one big one that they can use within the whole region. Though I must say it didn’t reach South East Asia. haha. I love the song – anybody know what song?
While some ads looks really awesome. I simply can’t comprehend this one. I can’t even imagine what the Sega marketing team was thinking when they conjured this ad with the ad agency. it totally refutes all advertising theories I’ve learned. Might I say “Back to the creative brief!”. I think this one appeared before the Nitendo one above.. and I was thanking my lucky stars that Nit did not follow the footsteps of coming up with some apparently senseless ad to counter. ヽ(´Д｀ヽ)(/´Д｀)/イヤァ～ン
This is another of my favourite. The product is your usual FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), basically stuff you find in the supermarkets/convenience stores. So there you have, a client with (yet another) green tea drink to sell. And being a land that’s already infested with an abundant green tea population, how do you push this particular one? It seems that the USP is premium tea leaves that even the bugs are fighting for. The ad starts off with a super emo cut of father and child journeying for food, complete with sentimental music laid to evoke your senses…but then drops out the moment the cliffhanger appeared.
The ad instills the essence of Japan – tea drinking but done up with hilarious exaggerated motions commonly depicted in anime or manga. The decision to have him kick up a big fuss with mini bugs with super emotional expressions is perhaps a little perplexing, although strangely adorable. Simply cute. Oh well, never mind the boring theories behind the ads. Just enjoy chibi caterpilly and its super cute voice. So cute, it’s my SMS ring tone now. LOL.
While there are some really commendable ads out there I’d say there are some that’s really well, beyond words. Seriously I know that sometimes you need to shout about your product, but please do it in a way that doesn’t challenge your audience’s IQ.
It appears that it is a series. I’m sure there are other versions out there but this one… eek Zombies? ヽ(`д´；)/ うおおおお！？
This is much better. I think it’s a revision after the disastrous teasers. The launch of Pocky Men – targeted at men … with women … ghees they ought to upgrade our status more. But you know, at the end of the day … “Anata mo watashi mo Pocky~!” damn it monopolizes me Grey cells!
All in all, if you don’t dwell too much on the philosophies behind the ads, I feel that the Japo commercials are really fun to watch. They’re impactful and usually leaves an impression (good AND bad. LOL) I remember my Japanese friend once told me that it’s because that the stress level in Japan is so high that people wants to see something hilarious when they reach home.. Perhaps that’s really the case… perhaps.