advertising

South Korean lock maker goes (very) hands-on to prove the strength of his product 【Video】

South Korean lock maker goes (very) hands-on to prove the strength of his product 【Video】

Back in my university days, my creative writing tutors were always keep to hammer home the message of “show, don’t tell”. Rather than explaining everything for the reader and holding their hand the entire way, they taught us, it’s better to simply present your fictional world, characters and dialogue and let the reader experience them firsthand.

Though the end goal maybe slightly different, the same principle can be applied to advertising. Living in a world where we as consumers are constantly being told that product X is better than product Y, or assured that the purchase of item Z will somehow enrich our lives, it’s genuinely refreshing to see a company dispense with words and simply show us that the thing they’re selling works. Like this chap from South Korea who went decidedly hands-on with a window-locking system his company makes to prove its durability and efficiency…

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Advertising 101: Choose your words carefully, even when selling fish food

Advertising 101: Choose your words carefully, even when selling fish food

Making a succinct sign can be tricky. You want to be economical with your words, but that can lead to the trap of be too vague. A good rule of thumb would be to assume you – the sign maker – is of average intelligence. This means a lot of people are smarter than you but just as many people are stupider than you.

That strategy might have stopped this poor koi pond manager from lowering his “Koi Food 10 Yen” to “Koi Food Free.” The rest of the sign in the following translation tells the sad tale.

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Beefy hamburger cook heats up Chinese night market

Beefy hamburger cook heats up Chinese night market

In the world of advertising and marketing, there is one simple truth: sex sells. And from using car-promoting models to suggestive advertisement placement, woman are usually the ones exploited for the attention of men and their wallets. But one Chinese fast-food stall owner, apparently recognizing the buying power of his female customers, decided instead to hire a super-buff male model to take off his shirt and flip burgers to entice the hungry crowds to the booth. Click below to see pictures of this beefy hamburger salesman and to find out how the astute hiring decision affected the business!

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She goes wobble, but she don’t fall down: Chinese leafleter’s kooky way of getting attention

She goes wobble, but she don’t fall down: Chinese leafleter’s kooky way of getting attention

As consumers, we are surrounded by adverts and marketing, and as we get better at tuning them out, companies come up with ever more ingenious methods of making us pay attention to what they have to say.

Plenty of marketing involves attractive young women, but one Chinese advertiser has taken the idea to a new level – literally – by hiring a girl to bob around 3 meters above the ground on a giant bendy pole. Instead of standing on the street trying to convince people to take her flyers, she floats above the crowd and chucks leaflets at people from above. Why didn’t we think of that already?

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Meanwhile, in Japan: Puzzle game Candy Crush hires girl’s nails as advertising space

Meanwhile, in Japan: Puzzle game Candy Crush hires girl’s nails as advertising space

Japan knows a thing or two about human billboards. And now, from the PR company that brought the world adverts stuck to girls’ thighs on the condition that the girls wear short skirts and knee-high socks, comes a brand new marketing idea: Candy Crush are sponsoring this girl’s fingernails, with a wacky, candy-based design that’s as bold and colourful as the game itself.

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Cosplay attains mainstream status in IKEA Singapore’s latest online campaign!

Cosplay attains mainstream status in IKEA Singapore’s latest online campaign!

We’ve previously peeked into the living spaces of cosplayers and while their props and costumes certainly impressed us, some of their rooms were a little… distracting. Let’s just say, not all cosplayers are as good at organizing their rooms as they are skilled at roleplaying.

“What has cosplaying got to do with organizing your bedroom?” you might ask. Theoretically, they’re two separate issues, but when the world’s largest furniture retailer IKEA steps into the picture, creating effective storage space in a room seems like something any and every cosplayer should be capable of. Check out the makeover of this Singaporean cosplayer’s bedroom!

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Are you a female cyborg with IT skills? Japan’s police might want you!

Are you a female cyborg with IT skills? Japan’s police might want you!

Law enforcement continues to be a popular career choice in Japan. Outside of the obvious risks involved it’s a stable job compared to the corporate rat race. However, people who are simply interested in job security often aren’t the ideal candidates to become police officers. Incidence of resignation is on the rise in the forces across Japan, with disgruntled men and women alike citing “being tired of chasing people” and “scary” crime scenes as reasons for leaving.

Combine this with the impending mass retirement of the baby boom generation, and police are facing a significant human resources crisis in the near future. So they have recently been looking at new ways to hook new, and more importantly the right kind of, candidates.

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Anything is fair game for advertisement trucks in Tokyo

Anything is fair game for advertisement trucks in Tokyo

If you spend some time walking around the Shibuya, Shinjuku, or Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo, at some point you’re bound to spot a lavishly decorated truck blasting music from its speakers. These “ad trucks” as they’re known in Japanese are just what they sound  like – gigantic, mobile billboards with no purpose other than to drive around promoting the latest music and products. While these trucks do raise some legitimate environmental concerns, there’s no denying that this eye-catching (and deafening) marketing strategy is an effective way to grab everyone’s attention. Keep reading after the jump to view some photographic examples of ad trucks in action. You might be surprised by some of the wacky and suggestive things they can get away with!

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Boxers, manga, umbrellas… ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Boxers, manga, umbrellas… ABSOLUTELY FREE!

We all know there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, but in Japan, you might just be able to get free tour rides, free vegetables, and even free boxers! Some of these services even deliver the free items right to your doorstep without charging a single cent!

Sounds too good to be true. Getting a little skeptical here, aren’t we? Details after the cut!

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Samsung’s naughty ad: When autocorrect strikes back

Samsung’s naughty ad: When autocorrect strikes back

Typographers and moral crusader beware! A risqué Samsung billboard promoting their Galaxy 3 notepad has been, ahem, erected in four countries, leaving the South Korean company with a potentially embarrassing public relations mess. The offending ad must have been designed by someone who forgot to turn off the autocorrect feature before editing, making for an unintentionally hilarious billboard. Click below to find out what the racy sign says!

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Imuraya brags about the stiffness of their sweet bean bars…“Watch your teeth!”

Imuraya brags about the stiffness of their sweet bean bars…“Watch your teeth!”

Imuraya Confectionary is a Japanese sweets company that specializes in the sale of adzuki (sweetened red bean) products. They pride themselves on sticking to traditional Japanese flavors and sticking to their strange marketing strategies just as hard.

Recently, Imuraya made a pair of official Twitter posts cautioning people against the stiffness of their top-selling Adzuki Bar! This frozen slab of bean paste is a summer favorite across Japan, but according to Imuraya’s own assertions, they can crack your teeth!

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Insect repellant advertisement wins award, men everywhere unanimously agree

Insect repellant advertisement wins award, men everywhere unanimously agree

On 16 July, Asahi Shimbun declared the winner of the 61st Asahi Advertising Award to be the ad seen above. Chosen from 1,200 entries this ad not only perfectly explains the product and how it’s used but also entices the viewer with its finely woven blankets and well painted walls.

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Fun Facts About Pocket Tissue Advertisements in Japan

Fun Facts About Pocket Tissue Advertisements in Japan

If you’ve ever visited a big city in Japan, you’re sure to have seen a bored looking 20-somethings passing out free tissues with colorful advertisements inserted into them. Upon receiving these pocket tissue advertisements, you probably thought, “Hey, cool, free tissues,” and continued on your way. But pocket tissue advertisements have been around in Japan for over 40 years now, and are a surprisingly effective form of advertising. Let’s take a look at some fun facts about this unique marketing strategy in Japan.

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Okinawa Prefecture Cancels Plan to Use Young Women’s Thighs as Advertising Space

Okinawa Prefecture Cancels Plan to Use Young Women’s Thighs as Advertising Space


The Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCVB) along with the prefectural government have cancelled their plans to use space on women’s bare thighs for marketing the islands as a graduation trip destination to students outside the prefecture. Citing criticism, the two bodies stated January 24, “Placing temporary tattoo-like stickers on the thighs of young women to advertise Okinawa is not in line with prefecture’s brand image.”
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The Nihlistic Bus Schedule Advertisements of Tsukuba, Now in English!

The Nihlistic Bus Schedule Advertisements of Tsukuba, Now in English!

Think back to the last time you saw an advertisement for a bus schedule.  Difficult isn’t it? Even on the off chance you have seen one before, it probably wasn’t so attention-grabbing as to stick in your memory.

It’s not like bus schedules need advertising anyway.  Either you use one or you don’t, no amount of persuading will likely change that.

Nevertheless, Tsukuba Tekken, a travel and rail association affiliated with Tsukuba University in Japan, has for years been designing quirky advertisements for their on-campus bus schedules.

Displayed in limited locations around the university, these posters have become a local legend both for their mystery and unorthodox content. So sit back and enjoy these advertisements translated into English.

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A Sure-fire Domain for Advertising: Where the Eye Goes, the Ad Goes

A Sure-fire Domain for Advertising: Where the Eye Goes, the Ad Goes

Ads should be placed where the eyes naturally go.   Take the exposed thighs of young women in mini skirts, for example, which happen to be the landing point for many a wandering eye in Japan.  In theory, if you were to paste an advertisement on such a thigh, there’s a high chance that advertisement would be noticed.  If the girl is wearing knee-high socks, even better as it creates a sort of erotic frame around the ad. In fact, we would go so far as to say the space on a girl’s thigh between her mini skirt and socks is the perfect advertising space!

Japan actually has a name for this premium space zettai ryouiki, or “absolute territory”  and there is actually an advertising service that allows women to rent out their own “absolute territory” to advertisers.  It’s called Absolute Territory PR, and the number of women participating in it are increasing by the day.

So what’s the attraction for young women to bare their thighs in the name of advertising? Read More

“A Computer Thinner than a ¥1 Coin!!!” Toshiba’s Way with Words Raises Eyebrows Across the Internet

“A Computer Thinner than a ¥1 Coin!!!” Toshiba’s Way with Words Raises Eyebrows Across the Internet

Picture the scene- a businessman walks on to the set of reality TV show Dragon’s Den (which, would you believe, originated in Japan as Manē no Tora?). He sets a briefcase down on a black leather stool, adjusts his necktie and, staring the affluent entrepreneurs straight in the eye, confidently proclaims:

“Dragons, I am here today to present to you a marvel of modern technology. The pinnacle of human engineering. Never before has humankind witnessed such a feat of industry. I am about to present to you… a notebook computer thinner than a single one yen coin!”

The dragons look at one-another in awed silence. All five of them lean forward in their seats.

“Thinner than a coin?? That’s incredible!” splutters one of the millionaires, his hungry eyes flashing.

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【TGS 2012】 Sega Invades Tokyo Game Show with Monster Bag, Dominates Show

【TGS 2012】 Sega Invades Tokyo Game Show with Monster Bag, Dominates Show

“Swaaaaag!”

Although it’s often easy to forget, what with all those games to be played and women in skimpy costumes to pretend not to be staring at, Tokyo Game Show, like every other trade show of its kind, is really all about one thing for the companies attending- advertising and self-promotion.

So when the games have been played, the doors have been closed and the booth girls are just lifeless still images on an otaku’s hard-disk, what remains? Why, of course, the freebies! The swag that seems like an amazing idea until you ride the train home with it and realise that, outside of the event setting with every other guy carrying the same junk, you look faintly ridiculous.

And TGS had it by the bucket-load.

But Sega, the house that built Sonic the Hedgehog and dozens of other gaming greats, pulled out all the stops this year, and, proving that size really does matter, absolutely dominated the show. Read More

Man Offers to Cover His Body in Advertisements, Rides Japan’s Busiest Train All Day

Man Offers to Cover His Body in Advertisements, Rides Japan’s Busiest Train All Day

Would you buy a product that was advertised on a man’s crotch?

A few companies in Japan think you would.  Currently on Yahoo Japan’s auction site, a man is offering to ride the Yamanote line, one of Japan’s busiest train routes, decked out in advertisements for an entire day.  His unique service has already received 20 bids.

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Japanese Clothing Ad Gives Us a Glimpse at the Real Japan

Japanese Clothing Ad Gives Us a Glimpse at the Real Japan

People often ask me why I moved to Japan and I say “to be with people like me – with blonde hair and blue eyes.”  Japan is a homogenous country to be sure, but a recent advertisement from clothing chain COMME ÇA ISM boldly challenges this mistaken stereotype that Japan is full of Japanese people.

It’s actually full of white people!

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