Because nothing catches people’s attention like a crowd of spiky-haired students strutting around en masse.
When it comes to promoting new titles and releases, nobody does it quite like Japan. Whether it’s Dragon Quest’s wall of Blue Slime-adorned bubble wrap or columns of Final Fantasy plushies, big companies are known for pulling out all the stops and coming up with amazing ways to grab everyone’s attention.
This weekend, Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood was the setting for another big promotional campaign, and this time it was the hugely popular Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise that came out to play, with a Yu-Gi-Oh! OutBreak event that involved ad trucks, posters, specially set-up stages and a group of cosplaying characters dressed as the main star of the series, the spiky-haired boy called Yugi.
The event was part of a promotional campaign to draw attention to this year’s new Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links smartphone game. Commercials advertising the game’s release centre around a group of high school students and their teacher, all sporting the same hairstyle as the main character from the series.
The commercial came to life on the streets of Shibuya yesterday, with the group first spotted at the famous scramble crossing.
They made their way through the city streets in the rain, which did nothing to mess up their fancy hairstyles.
The friendly group smiled and waved at passers-by, who were eager to capture the scene on camera.
ピュベル (@yubel44) March 26, 2017
Their destination was the Event Square at the Shibuya Mark City East Mall, where a special space had been set up for photos and a promotional talk.
Here they posed for photos from official photographers and curious passers-by.
The festivities continued up at the Tower Records store in Shibuya’s Dogenzaka district, where Yugi headpieces had been set up for people to try on and take photos with.
只今、”遊戯王 デュエルリンクス”TVCMスタートを記念して、店頭にて17時まで遊戯ヘッダーとの撮影など楽しい催しが盛り沢山で開催中😆！遊戯王とタワレコのコラボグッズも販売中です！お見逃しなく〜(NT) #遊戯王… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
タワーレコード渋谷店 (@TOWER_Shibuya) March 26, 2017
渋谷タワレコ前でも遊戯王イベントやってます( *｀ω´)👍💕 わたしも遊戯になってきましたԅ( ˘ω˘ԅ) #闘ってる？ #遊戯王デュエルリンクス https://t.co/Qf5CwKFbvf—
†てんちむ† (@tenchim_1119) March 26, 2017
渋谷のデュエルリンクスのイベントヤバイ面白い 遊戯さんのカツラ被って、記念写真撮れるし、プロのカメラマンさんにアイコン風写真も撮ってもらえるぞ！！ https://t.co/dBbJX564Up—
どら (@dossama_bot) March 26, 2017
The outbreak spread to Shibuya Station too, with posters lining the walls and stairwells.
みーんず (@mimimiminz) March 20, 2017
Out on the streets, ad trucks drove around Shibuya to catch the attention of anyone who missed out on seeing the group of Yugi impersonators in real-life.
ピュベル (@yubel44) March 26, 2017
Despite the rain, the one-day promotion turned out to be a huge success, with local news media picking up on the event and social media buzzing with people sharing photos and videos online. It’s all in a day’s work for the promotional team behind the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, who also caught our interest with a long wall of complete mint-condition trading cards set up at Shinjuku Station last year, so we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the future!