We’ve been bringing you news of the BL craze in Japan, with cafés, books and even university courses featuring homoromantic male relationships, commonly referred to as Boys Love. With more and more people becoming exposed to the trend, what began as an underground sub-culture is becoming more well-known and popular, with men and women alike.
Now it seems the boys have gone mainstream, as stars of a major campaign for supermarket chain Ito Yokado. Only they’re not advertising beauty products or clothing lines. They’re advertising meat.
The campaign began with little warning and quickly spread through social media, with surprised customers tweeting pictures of the unlikely lads in the cold meats section. In keeping with the refined, elegant characterisations of BL characters, it’s no surprise that the spunky boys are singing the praises of a refined line of “silky pork”.
▼ “Buy this pork and I’ll give you a kiss”. Now that’s an advertising lie right there. Unless, of course, we press our lips to that open mouth …
▼ Two packs that go together: “Find me pork for four people!” says the top one. “Eh? I’m that pork” says the bottom one.
▼ The unusual campaign is increasing sales, with stores like this one quickly selling out of the range.
▼ Perhaps the handsome boy below, saying “Customer, one pack won’t be enough!” is contributing to the boom in sales.
▼ From “I’m honoured you have chosen me” to “So you really like pork that much?”, each pack projects a different vibe.
▼ And one for the emotional eaters: “You’ll feel happy when you eat this pork”.
▼ The pig himself earnestly vouches for the pork. While pouring a cup of tea.
The quirky messages and unlikely characters on the pork packages become even more bizarre when you look into the background of the campaign. It details the epic, worldwide search for the “pig of happiness” in accordance with a legend handed down through generations of a wealthy pig farming family, with important clues pertaining to a country of “stars, knives and gold”.
Ten series are set to appear on the campaign website, where you can follow the handsome men on their journey, in an online manga format. Now that the boys have cornered the meat world, we can’t wait to see where they’ll pop up next!