October, 2008

Oct 08

Berlitz English class transit advertisment inside trains of Tokyo

berlitz english course train advertisement

berlitz english course train advertisement

I’ve seen this advertising poster on trains running from Shibuya and Yokohama for a while now. It features four, rather serious looking men facing a man, who is visible only from the back. It looks like they are interrogating him.

The ad’s main copy says, “When suddenly asked a unanticipated question, at a meeting conducted in English, my mind went blank.”(英語で会議、突然、想定外の質問されて 頭の中が真っ白になった。)

Below the photo in smaller copy it says, “Check your English proficiency level, right now at the Berlitz website.” (今すぐ、ベルリッツのサイトで、あなたの実践力をチェック。) followed by a web address.

The tagline copy next to the Berlitz logo reads as “Making your English practical.” (英会話に実践力を。)

This advertisement somewhat reminds me of propaganda posters. To me it reads as…

“English. Without it, you are doomed.”
“Check to see your chances of survival are, RIGHT NOW.”
“Berlitz. Empowering with English.”

Oct 08

Axe chocolate scent for men advertising in Japan

Axe bodyspray Wanted poster advertisement poster Chocoman

Axe bodyspray Wanted poster advertisement poster Chocoman

Axe body spray has a new Chocolate body scent. The ads posters that I found posted in Shibuya near Tower records were designed to look like a “Wanted” poster featurning a grinning and if you ask me, a somewhat creepy face of a Chocolate boy and behind him some cleavage.

A whole wall was plastered with these posters. It is a pretty commmon practice in Japan to fill a whole wall with the same exact ad. (FYI- This practice is also done with TV commercials on occasion when they play the same exact commercial one after another. )

The copy reads as follows:
WANTED (in big bold letters)
Chocoman (in Japanese katakana チョコマン; in much smaller letters above the photo of the grinning Chocoman)
Reward undecided. (賞金変動中; With a 7 digit line of question marks lined up preceded with a Yen sign.)

Below that in smaller copy it suggests that the viewer scan a “barcode” with their mobile phone:
The first step in obtaining reward (賞金獲得の第一歩 with an arrow pointing to a Japanese cell phone scan barcode).

These mobile/cell phone barcodes are a pretty common site on a lot of advertising in Japan. It usually offers some benefits in the form of discounts, samples, and other rewards simply by scanning the code and entering you cell phone email.
The barcode itself isn’t really a barcode, but more of a square grid resembling a digital inkblot.

This ad campaign also features TV commercials which appear to be exactly the same as the one shown outside of Japan (North America, etc.) featuring a chocolate man walking around being chased and randomly bitten by females in his vicinity.

Oct 08

Japanese advertising: the gentle art of hardcore product and service marketing

With Japanese culture being popularized in countries outside of Japan, I figured maybe some people might be interested in what type of printed advertisements and ad campaigns are being used within Japan. To me, it seems that Japanese companies have their marketing down to a science. Their advertisements often contain lively graphic designs, cartoonish characters, and cute images that it is hard not to stop and take notice of many of these ads. Although the english or “engrish” used in many of these ads can often be unintentionally hilarious, the messages can often leave an impact on the passerby.

Within this site, I will snap photos of popular ads and explain the contents of the advertisement itself.

Sometimes I will have a detailed translation of the ad, other times translations may be a bit looser.

In any case, most of these ads will be fun to look at.

I welcome submissions of ads and translations as well. (In order to keep things in somewhat of an order, I will keep an eye on all submissions, so let’s keep it somewhat clean, folks.)