Apr 10

Crime series ad turns Shibuya station into record storage facility

crime series, advertisement, shibuya

Crime series advertisement in Shibuya

This is an advertisement for a crime drama TV series by Asahi Television called 警視庁 (keishi chou) 失踪 (shissou) 捜査課 (sousa ka)” which in English is “The Metropolitan Police Missing Persons Investigation Section.”
This advertisement spreads across a series of public daily lockers found in JR Shibuya station in early April to promote for the series premiere on Friday, April 16th.

The individual lockers of one area of the station  have been made to look like government or police case record storage boxes with a label on each marking the details of a particular case. Some of the cases have 未解決 (mikaiketsu) “UNSOLVED” stamped in red across the label.

On the floor right in front of the lockers are what appear to be files and case records scattered all over, as if someone was going through the files and dropped them all over the floor.

In between each bank of lockers is a large poster that makes the space look like an aisle between the file boxes on storage racks in what looks like a file storage room, with characters from the show/movie standing between the racks.

The space where these posters are placed is usually the main surface for advertising posters, but in this case they are using almost everything surrounding the locker area as part of an advertisement that spreads across lockers and onto the floor.

Mar 10

Hugh Jackman cuts a Japanese beer commercial

hugh jackman asahi super dry commercial screenshot

A screenshot of Hugh Jackman's Asahi Super Dry TV commercial

The internationally recognized Australian actor, Hugh Jackman, well known for his portrayal of the character Wolverine in the hit movie series “X-men” (based on the comic book series), and also “Sexiest Man Alive” according to People magazine (2008) has a Japanese television commercial for Asahi Super Dry beer.

The commercial shows Jackman and a couple other men dressed in business suits running up stairs to a rooftop heliport to greet an older male (presumably a higher ranking executive). After Jackman shakes the older man’s hand, a voice over says what loosely translates into “High class is dry taste”.  Typographics in Japanese kanji “辛口” (Dry taste) appear on screen, which is then followed by what appears to be a rooftop beer party. Watch the commercial on the link below.

Note – Contrary to popular belief, a commercial featuring Jackman dancing in a lobby, rooftop, and elevator of a hotel (which appears to be in Japan, based on katakana and kanji appearing in the commercial) for Lipton teas is not an actual Japanese commercial. Also note, that he is slated to start filming the movie Wolverine 2 in Japan sometime in the near future, if not already.

See the Hugh Jackman Asahi Beer commercial here via YouTube

Nov 09

World Series MVP Matsui on Fire with advertising blitz

Hideki Matsui of the New York Yankees was just named MVP of the 2009 World Series after winning the championship, in the new Yankee Stadium. But the baseball star, also known as “Godzilla” is also big in Japan as some sort MVP of advertising celebrity icon as this advertisement billboard, one of a whole series of ads for Kirin’s FIRE brand of coffee, shows. This ad says in the main copy “ボデイが強い。(bodei ga tsuyoi)” which translates as “A strong body” in referring to the “body” of the coffee while also referring to Matsui as well as the silouette of the king of all monster movies himself, Godzilla. The copy on the right reads ”10年目のNew Fire” which translates as “A New Fire of the decade” followed by “直火仕上げ (jikabi shiage) directly translated says “Finished by flame” but probably means “Fire Roasted”.
This series of Matsui Kirin “Fire” coffee advertisements can be found on billboards, the side of buildings, posters inside train cars, magazines and other published media as well as tv commercials and has been used since the tail end of August, throughout Japan.

The concept is that this new FIRE coffee has a strong and bold flavor for strong and bold men (the TV commercial address the men of Japan with the classic Godzilla theme song playing in the background) On an interesting sidenote, Matsui’s jersey number, which he has had from his professional league days in Japan to his current stint in New York, has always been 55, which in Japanese can be read as GoJu Go or Go Go (five five). Coincidentally the rock band Blue Oyster Cult had a hit song in the mid-70’s based and titled after the monster “Godzilla” where the chorus of the song was “Go, Go Godzilla”. But whether Matsui is selling or swinging, you can bet he is hoping for a “monster” hit.
Japanese advertising frequently use non-Japanese celebrities and popular media figures, as a quick search on YouTube or google for that matter will reveal. Others who have appeared in Japanese commercials and advertisements are Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Tommy Lee Jones (also selling coffee), Jennifer Lopez, Catherine Zeta Jones, Robert DeNiro, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Richard Gere, to name but a few. Japanese commercials, supposedly pay as high as a Hollywood film for big name stars.