Two of the simplest, most effective ways to craft a marketing campaign in Japan is to cram your promotions full of either anime characters or girls in bikinis. But what if you’re rolling out a particularly important product? Is there a way to make absolutely sure you grab the attention of potential customers?
Sure there is. All you have to do is double your efforts by combining the two eye-catching methods mentioned above by dressing up a bunch of spokesmodels in skimpy anime cosplay outfits, like when we spotted Lum from classic anime Urusei Yatsura passing out samples of a new energy drink.
Manga artist Rumiko Takahashi has a number of hits under her belt, including the internationally loved Ranma 1/2 and Inu Yasha. Her character with the most enduring popularity in Japan, though, is still the alien princess Lum, who readers first met in 1978 before Urusei Yatsura was adapted into a televised anime in 1981.
During the course of the series, Lum and her friends travel through space and time, constantly getting into new adventurous troubles and troublesome adventures. But even though Urusei Yatsura ran for 195 episodes, Lum is rarely shown wearing anything other than her distinctive tiger-striped bikini and knee-high boots.
The alien’s swimwear shares its yellow and black color scheme with cans of the popular Japanese energy drink Regain, which for years has been advertised with the slogan, “Can you keep fighting for 24 hours?”
Daiichi-Sankyo, the makers of Regain, recently launched a scaled-down version of the vitality-boosting beverage called, confusingly enough, Regain Energy Drink. Unlike regular Regain, the ads for the new Regain Energy Drink ask, “Can you fight for three or four hours?” Instead of something to get you through the whole day, Daiichi-Sankyo is billing their new product as something to give you a quick little boost.
Even though it’s been almost 30 years since the airing of Urusei Yatsura’s last episode, Daiichi-Sankyo still felt the always spirited Lum was the perfect pitch-princess for Regain Energy Drink, and she’s already appeared in both print and TV ads.
Still, if you want to sell your energy drink to tired alarymen, you have to go to where Tokyo’s office workers congregate, so Daiichi-Sankyo dispatched a deployment of pamphlet-distributing Lums to the Shimbashi office district.
Just like you can’t underestimate the power of suggestion, the power of hot pants is also a compelling persuasive force. The promotion quickly convinced us that yes, we did, in fact, need a can of Regain Energy Drink.
We cracked it open, took a sip of the carbonated concoction, and were greeted by a refreshing taste that was milder than the 24-hour version of Regain. All the same, the 1,000 miligrams of arginine amino acids perked us right up.
Really, four extra hours of pep is about all you’re likely to need. After all, that’s enough to power you through the morning at work, hold on until the end of your shift, or plow through about eight episodes of Urusei Yatsura before bedtime.