Been so busy these past few weeks I didn't get a chance to mention this ground-breaking new media that appeared on Tokyo trains about a month ago.
Japanese printing companies have started offering advertisers the ability to display moving pictures on paper advertisements.
The above ad announces the debut of a new mascara from Lancome that uses a vibrating applicator brush. The poster is made from electronic paper—a technology that allows paper to be written and rewritten repeatedly. So what you're looking at is essentially a paper poster hanging from the ceiling of a subway train in which the image changes.
Similarly some train stations are now equipped with poster banks for electronic paper ads that can refresh with new images at specific intervals. If you're an advertiser and you rent the space, you can replace the ad whenever you want while sitting right at your office desk, since the wall frames are connected to PHS phone networks that tap into the internet.
With today's difficult economic environment, a lot of Japanese consumers have been pinching pennies more than ever before (well, pinching yen anyway). As a result, major Japanese supermarket chains have been slashing prices, and this has put a lot of pressure on smaller operators who lack the same economies of scale and bargaining power with suppliers.
But a couple of smaller chains have stopped wringing their hands, and have been fighting back with a clever approach: subsidized price cuts.
This TV commercial from Softbank does a great job selling the Samsung 930SC. Not only is it incredibly eye-catching and engaging, it covers the bases in showing how the device offers a lot of the things Japanese consumers feel are missing from Apple's iPhone (e.g., it lets you watch TV, lets you send mail with emoji*, has a 5.1 MB pixel camera).
Academy award winning composer Ryuichi Nakamoto appears in the spot and composed the music as well.
See the full-motion version on Samsung Japan's website here.
I love the playfulness of this online catalog for Jeanasis. Interestingly, the catalog also incorporates ads from other manufacturers (you're shown an ad for another brand, product or service when you first open the catalog).
While this poster from Meiji Seika might for a moment confuse some English speakers, the Japanese text beneath the headline makes the ad crystal clear to Japanese consumers: Xylish gum's juicy flavor now lasts longer.
I nearly got double-take whiplash from this poster series that was splashed all over Tokyo's Shibuya Station the other day (click for a larger view). Advertising MAX, a canned coffee brand from Coca-Cola Japan, the poster, roughly translated, screams "Totally super sweet coffee [that] gives you energy to the MAX".
I'd love to peek inside the creative/art directors' heads to see what else is lurking in there besides fragments of Superman and R. Crumb.