The Axe Busters have arrived to Japan. Even if you won’t understand a word, it’s definitely an experience worth trying to have some fun, but also to discover a very good work with Flash.
Fortunately the navigation is in English, so you will be able to browse through the content, and discover first of all the “extra animation”, a manga cartoon to introduce the advergame characters and the story behind it. It’s very nicely done, and it even features a dedicated pop song in japanenglish (I guess…)
Levi’s mixes art and jeans in the new Fall/Winter Denim collection website for the Japanese market. Music is the theme that inspired the artists who contributed to the site. Every product section has its own soundtrack and peculiar illustrations. It’s very much a product site, too bad that all the copy, a part from the menu items, is in Japanese, it would have been interesting to see if they have been creative also with the denim description.
Pepsi Japan is online with a weird advergame in which you have to run and click to destroy a series of ice walls. Make sure you read the instructions before starting because they forgot to put the help option. It very difficult to play so, be patient!
Do you remember Bill Murray flying to Japan to promote a whiskey brand? Well, the happy hour for Hollywood stars starring in Japanese Tv commercials is almost over. They haven’t disappeared yet, but they aren’t as requested as in the past. The LA Times has an excellent article on the evolution of the advertising market in Japan, saying there isn’t a unique explanation for their decline. Some advertising industry analyst say this is due to the reduced ad budgets. Some other explain that, because of the Internet and the globalization, Japanese people no longer need American pop culture highlighted through Tv ads, because they have it just one click away. Whatever the reason, the fact is that Japanese agencies are increasingly turning to more affordable Japanese talents. The other option is to hire Korean stars, who are becoming more and more popular now that the drama series called “Winter Sonata” has achieved an incredible success. Tomoko Kamiguchi of Dentsu Casting & Entertainment, explains the cultural change:“Five years ago, two years ago even, I could never have imagined this happening. After ‘Sonata my clients are all looking for synergy with this Korean drama. The Japanese market has changed. We have accepted Asian talent. After ‘Sonata,’ we no longer have an allergy to Asia.”
Yahoo! isn’t really behind it, but this viral video is generating a lot of buzz in Japan. The comedian Razor Ramon Sumitami has created “Hard Gay” a character parodying stereotypical homosexuals. Hard Gay claims the “Hoo!” in Yahoo! is stolen from his often used exclamation and goes to visit Yahoo! headquarters to try to get a deal. He wants to be in their ads and tries to prove he can do… On his blog, Joi Ito even says that all the kids in Japan walk around constantly doing the funny pelvic thrust that Hard Gay does. Definitely a great example of what word of mouth can do.
Apparently, in Japan researchers are working on “information rain” to grab people’s attention and deliver promotional messages to their hands. Australian magazine Herald Sun and Yahoo! News have articles on this weird idea.
Daily Yomiuri On-Line reports that in Japan NTT DoCoMo will start in July the nation’s first service to enable patients to view their medical records on mobile phone screens. Nineteen medical institutions will participate in the service.
According to a annual survey by Japanese advertising agency Dentsu, advertising hit hard times in 2002 with adspend falling for the year. All media sectors witnessed a drop, most of all online advertising which had a year-on-year decline of 15%.
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