Infamous for its hilarious commercials in Japanese television and, in recent years, the web have caught on but not in the way they hoped. It’s simple, these ads have spread so widely throughout the world thanks to or because of their particularities (it depends for whom) that not a single Google search happens on Japanese ads without you coming across one of the following titles: “delirious pub”, “WTF advertisement”, “the hilarity of the Japanese” … and equivalents in other languages.
It is very difficult to talk about advertising without avoiding product placement, which is why objectivity must come first. And that we will content ourselves with describing rather than bragging about. That said, these pages of advertisements have something to attract, betting first on impressionism, unrealism and exaggeration. All the art of selling. The motto of these few seconds must surely be “The more the merrier, the more it works” because obviously it is. Yet big-name brands are flooding TV screens with their logos, going so far as to cut your favorite series into 3 parts. Let us take the case of television in particular, the device with which everything began to take shape. Yes, advertising only developed with the arrival of TV, and even more so when it became accessible to all households. It doesn’t make us all look younger. Hilarity has not always been the primary characteristic of those few minutes between a show and a movie. If we do a little “pub culture” like the rising sun, we will notice certain things going back to the past decades: the simplicity of the message and the import of culture, for example. You will see in the video below that the ads of the 70s / 80s are almost the same as those that air on French channels in 2017! In other words, nothing crazy. And that the foreign culture in Japan, like that of the United States, was almost adopted by many companies for economic and historical reasons no doubt, unlike today when innovation wants the Japanese to have their own standards and is not content, as in the 80s, to copy an existing ad and insert a Tanaka-san or one Momoko-chan in order to Japaneseize it all.
Marketing strategy is undergoing changes and for each corner of the globe different references and standards. Thus, Europe sees its brands use a charming subtlety to attract the consumer while we wonder what Japan is basing itself on in order to arrive at such delirious content, high in zany characters, of already cult replicas. and worthy special effects straight out of a manga. Did you say manga? Relevant comparison which demonstrates the link which attaches any native to his culture and which says Japanese culture says: manga and anime especially. These are the same products that inspire others, even the most distant from Japanimation; everything goes there: car, food, clothes, music…. Etc. Certainly there is inventiveness, the fantastic, the sensational, but sometimes we border on the ridiculous or even the offense. One ad in particular whose brand name will not be mentioned uses stereotypes and racism as an asset to seduce, and casually it works.
Seen up close, this is quite a policy as this particular ad encourages the viewer to take sides between the characters. On the one hand we have the polite and shy Japanese woman, and on the other the typical gaijin confident and very curious about the land of pubs which he calls ‘What the F ** k ?!’