Posts Tagged: advertising

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

Apr 09

Scan Marketing with “Barcodes”

2 barcodes

Barcodes for scan advertising

As I mentioned in another post, barcodes are frequently used in Japanese marketing and advertising campaigns. In fact, they appear so much that most cell phones in Japan are equipped with a barcode reader that scans a barcode and sends the viewer to a special website regarding the product or service of the advertising.

Japanese barcodes do not look anything like the barcodes I know back home in the States. The barcodes in the States are usually found on packaging and product tags and they usually consist of thick and thin black lines with numbers. Here in Japan what they call a barcode is usually a grid of black and white “pixels” or boxes in what could easily be a square grid of 150×150 pixels and resemble some insane crossword puzzle. There are boxes (each probably taking up 25 x 25 pixels) in each corner except for the bottom right.

These barcodes are often found on printed advertisements in magazines, flyers, brochures, posters, and even billboards. A billboard barcode is usually just a huge barcode with little information regarding the service. The person would just aim the barcode reader (usually used in conjunction with their cell phone camera) and position the special reading “grid” until the cell phone automatically snaps the barcode and leads the reader via their cell phone web browser to the target link of the advertised product or service.

These barcodes make it easy for people to register for certain services or memberships for special product or brand name discounts. For example, I used a barcode to sign up for McDonalds discount club that emails e-coupons to my cell phone which I show or read off a special coupon number at a McDonalds restaurant to get discounts.

The photo on top shows a billboard barode for Weblio an online dictionary, encyclopedia and grammar reference site. The Japanese kanji reads “mizou?” which means “unexpected, unprecedented”. The bottom copy reads as “The dictionary site that makes words more fun/interesting.” This advertisement was poking fun at a slip up by the current Japanese PM Aso who mispronounced the word, apparently something he does on a frequent basis.

The bottom neon sign barcode snapped in the Shibuya Station “ramble” crossing for transcosmos group, a specialized IT service offering everything from digital marketing to investment and business development.

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.