- 90.8% of people in Japan do not know what a “smart TV” is, although some of that percentage had heard the term before, according to goo research.
- 84.5% of men who answered a poll by the Communication Design Research Institute said they are more attracted to women who eat a lot (note: most men said they prefer to see women eat healthy foods such as salad).
- 79% people in Japan agree with the idea of charging a fee to climb Mount Fuji, according to research conducted by Yamatokeikokusha Company.
- 63% of junior high and high school female students polled by Fumi Communications said they plan to vote when they reach the voting age of 20.
- 56.8% of people who own digital devices such as tablets and smart phones use security software to protect their private information.
- 45% of single women between aged 25-29 want to have a baby within the next three years. That percentage is larger than that for married women in same age range, according to research by Dentsu Souken Mamalabo.
Archive for the ‘Marketing/advertising’ Category
On Meiji Dori, between Harajuku and Shibuya, I recently came across a tall futuristic titanium-silver contraption staring down at the street with what looked like six portholes. When I got closer, I found it had a window display of small bottles with three signs below saying “touch here!”
Being the tragically curious Alice in Wonderland type, I did.
As soon as my hand passed over a sensor, a cool fragrant mist drifted out from a blower above and descended over my head. Naturally, I touched the other two panels . . . And then the first one again . . . and then the other ones again . . . then the first one yet again — and I was just considering doing it all again, despite how daft I looked with my nose in the air, when it happened . . .
I discovered how scent-marketing works: I saw the store behind the silver machine and walked straight in.
This is how @aroma, an aromatherapy and scent-marketing company, is enticing customers into its first Tokyo store. And once you’ve been lured you in, there’s a whole range of essential oils for you to explore — this time invoked by 15 buttons.
Japan has no shortage of retailers selling essential oils, but @aroma has a few things that puts it notch above.
First is its gadgetry — the outdoors Aroma Shower mega diffuser is a novelty and staff will also let you test the store’s range of sleek personal diffusers (battery and USB powered). But most impressive is its Aroma Oil Blender. Hooked up to 15 different bottles of essential oils, you can push a few buttons of your choice to create your own blend and it will be dispersed in a mist above your head. If you like your custom scent, the staff will make it on the spot for you to purchase (allow for a 30-minute wait, though).
@aroma products are marketed with a design-conscious consumer in mind; no flower-child or pot-pourri aesthetics going on here. The packaging is simple and brightly color-coded, while the naming of the essential-oil ranges is no nonsense — Design Air, Clean Air, Botanical Air or Eco Air.
And, as a Japanese company, it also focuses on native fragrances with three of its lineups. Botanical Air Japan includes a woody Mount Koya scent, a Kyoto cedar one and a Japanese citrus yuzu one. Sense of Japan uses fragrances associated with the country — including hinoki wood, perilla and sandalwood — and is named with words associated with Japanese tradition, such as Sei (purity) Miyabi (Kyoto aesthetics) and Iki (Edo aesthetics). The Message Aroma range uses Japanese phrases as names, including the virtually untranslatable Otsukaresama (the thing you say when you finish work — a concoction of hinoki, pine, marjoram, sandalwood, clary sage, and kopa iba) and Gambate (try hard! — spearmint, rosemary, niaouli, tea tree and lime).
But what about the aromas that lured me in the first place? It started with a floral Stylish Glamour, followed by an original blend called Scent of Tokyo. And when the real smell of Tokyo returned, the minty Eco Air -2 Cool Feel was enough to make me want to follow my nose into the store.
A whiff of scent marketing in Japan
Japan, it appears, is at the forefront of scent marketing. At least, plenty of scent marketers like to quote Japanese companies on the subject.
- 20% fewer typing errors with lavender-scented air
- 33% fewer errors with jasmine-scented air
- 54% fewer errors with lemon-scented air
Micro Fragrance is rolling out Japan’s largest-ever scenting program and using thousands of Prolitec diffusion systems to pump a Pomegranate Fusion fragrance into possibly the smelliest places in country — every single Maruhan pachinko parlor.
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology announced in April that it’s working on a Smelling Screen display system, which will release different odors depending on what is being shown on the screen.
Japan’s household goods market is seeing a boost in scented goods, particularly fabric-softeners, which some people are preferring to the smell of perfume. Lenor is even suggesting you mix laundry scent boosters to create your own personal aroma.
- 97.4% of people use PowerPoint over other visual presentation tools, such as Prezi or Keynote, according to a poll by Goo Research.
- 73% of those surveyed by Goo Research said that they believe electric vehicles will continue to gain popularity in coming years.
- 52.3% people who responded to a poll by Asahikasei Homes said Abenomics is motivating them to spend.
- 49.6% of families have at least one member who owned a smartphone at the end of last year, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Two years ago, that number was only 29.3%.
- 25% of blog readers polled by MyVoicecom said they have purchased something online because of a particular blog post.
- 23.6% of Japanese Facebook users polled by Cross Marketing said they visit the site more than one time a day, while 24.6% of users use LINE daily.
Kirin is currently collaborating with Disney to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Disneyland. Not only are they giving away a grand prize of a 30-night stay for four at the DisneySea Hotel Miracosta, year-long passes to both parks and a resort giftcard worth a million yen, but each flavor of their popular Gogo no Koucha (“Afternoon Tea”) features a different character on the package: the straight tea has Mickey Mouse; lemon has Winnie the Pooh; and milk has Donald Duck.
Recently, an observant fan noticed there are different numbers on each bottle and decided to investigate. To his delight he found 60 numbers on the the straight tea version and 18 on the lemon tea and milk tea. His interest piqued, he bought all of them and took photos of each in sequence.
Although it is hinted at on Gogo no Koucha’s site, only a clever and dedicated tea drinker would go to all this trouble. By lining up each “frame” in video form, he revealed short animations of each character.
While we’d like to praise this creative campaign, it’s a bit ironic considering Disney just laid off nine veteran hand-animators.
Here are the latest Pulsations, links to fresh stories and visuals about Japan, shout-outs to fellow bloggers, and highly clickable stuff that we think you might enjoy.
In no particular order, they are . . .
- Darth Vader: Attack on Nagoya, Japan: The big guy and his stormtroopers still seems to be lost in Japan but he also appears to be closing in on his target — Tokyo Disneyland.
- The Story Behind the Hand: Robert Parent, a self-described “Army brat,” shares his story of attending a Buddhist kindergarten in Iwakuni.
- Shibaful lush lawn iPhone case puts Yoyogi Park in your pocket: The grass is always greener on the other side your phone.
- Photos from the “Lost in Translation” hospital: Attracting a big buzz on Reddit, these candid shots from a recent-day patient give us candid peeks of Tokyo Medical University Hospital, 10 years after Sofia Coppola shot her cult classic.
- Free Wi-Fi in Tokyo for Tourists During 14 Days: Planning to visit Japan? You’ll can get 14 days of free Wi-Fi, as along you use a hotspot operated by ISP Flet’s.
April Fool’s Day doesn’t have very deep roots in Japanese culture, but obviously branding creatives and open-minded corporations are seeing the potential benefits of making potential customers laugh. Rather than pulling a fast one, these pranks put their silliness up-front and center.
Introducing the iKA Organic Ebook from publisher Kodansha. Drawing its power from the squid’s natural bioenergy, there’s no need to recharge the batteries. The iKA’s long tentacles serve as a handy neck-strap, it glows in the dark and has endless supply of ink. The iKA is provided via a subscription service, which delivers a fresh squid each week (note: size and weight may vary). You get the added bonus of being able to cook and eat the old one (special squid dish recipe available to early buyers!). How’s that for eco-friendly technology?
Don’t you hate how unwieldy pizzas can be? Dominos’s new canned pizza is not only compact, it’s long-lasting, so you can stock up your bomb shelter and never go without a slice!
Need something with a bit more substance? How about Hanamaru Udon‘s giant squid, caught daily by harpoon fishing and fried up as tempura, from That will be ¥87,000, please.
Taking aim at Line, the runaway hit app of the past year, search site Goo offers Silky, the old favorite for free and simple communication. And you can send silly stamps too! And yes, it’s biodegradable tech, too?
We have to give full props to Eiga.com, a movie info site, for its execution of Yoda’s account on Forcebook. They got every detail right … from George Lucas friending J.J. Abrams to Anakin Skywalker changing his account name to Darth Vader to R2D2 denial of Jar Jar Bink’s friend request. One ad shows has Imperial Storm Troopers raising funds to rebuild Death Star. May the forceful guffaw go with you.
By the way, did you spot this one in The Japan Times. I mean we highly admire professor Mogura Tataki’s mission to eliminate society’s bias against lefties but something tells us we’re being pawned.
(Research by Shinjin Ono and Kazuhiro Kobayashi)
FoodEx is the largest trade exhibition for food and drinks in Asia, with about 70,000 visitors checking out the products presented by hundreds of participating companies. I was lucky to enter as press; otherwise, visitors must be affiliated with the food industry — and pay ¥5,000 — to enter.
The FoodEx menu is global, including everything from cherry beer from Germany and premium Mexican tequila to top-class French and Chinese dumplings. The event was a rare chance to try out both well-known and exotic foods and even see professionals making them.
In addition to booths offering traditional Japanese favorites such as udon and maguro sashimi, there were plenty of innovative twists, such as dorayaki, a sweet snack made of two pancakes and a red-bean filling, that came in coffee and tomato flavors.
While I was there I was lucky to catch the World Sushi Cup Japan 2013, where top chefs from around the world were competing … and presenting a wide range of styles that you would not normally see in Japan, like the flower makizushi above.
An unexpected surge in sales of fashion magazines aimed at men in their 30s and 40s has taken the magazine industry by surprise. Bucking the general downward trend in sales for print magazines, titles like Leon have been getting snapped up by style-conscious guys over the past two years.
According to the National Publication Association’s Publishing Research Institute, sales of men’s magazines for the 30-40 age bracket began to rise around 2010. Sales of these magazines were up a whopping 38.3% from Jan. to Nov. in 2012 compared to the same period the previous year, climbing from 2.66 million copies sold in 2011 to 3.68 in 2012. Just five magazines fit into this niche market, with Leon taking the largest slice of the market share, accounting for a third of sales. The other magazines are Oceans, Uomo, Men’s Ex, and 2nd.
Though Leon was responsible for creating the concept of the “choi waru oyaji” — which roughly translates as “bad-ass middle-aged dude” — personified by fashionable middle-aged guys like Italian heartthrob Panzetta Girolamo, this does not appear to have been the trigger for the trend. It’s more likely that the recent women’s magazine concept of the “ikedan,” or cool husband, has inspired women to buy men’s magazines for their husbands in an effort to get them to improve their appearance.
For single men in their 30s and 40s, it may have been the explosion in en masse dating activities, such as machi kon events, that drove them to the magazine racks for tips on sharpening up their looks, making them better equipped to duel it out with younger, more fashionable rivals. According to J-Cast, these guys aren’t a bunch of aging rams dressed up as lamb, they’re simply men who would like to take care of their looks, whether to score a date or simply to score brownie points with the wife.
The trend has, of course, had a positive impact on the clothing industry. Yano Research Institute reports that in 2011, sales for menswear (including suits, western clothing, and accessories) were up 2% on the previous year. Meanwhile, the Japan Department Stores Association reported a 1.7% rise in the sale of men’s suits in 2011 compared to the previous year. Furthermore, the men’s department of Isetan in Shinjuku reported that sales of suits and western clothes were up 2% for the period between April and September in 2012.
The growing market has inspired Hankyu department store, which previously concentrated on women’s clothing, to open up Hankyu Men’s Tokyo in Yurakucho in Oct 2011. Since then, they’ve clocked in impressive sales of over 12 billion yen. We expect to see other department stores follow their lead.