Hay fever ad campaign nothing to sneeze at

February 9th, 2010 by Felicity Hughes

“What is the true identity of this HanaBlo beauty?”

That’s the tagline for a teaser campaign promoting the hay fever medicine HanaBlo (literally, Nose Block) manufactured by Fumakilla, a company better known for its household pesticides. The campaign for HanaBlo features an attractive woman who is saved from sneezing by a chirpy gent in a pork pie hat who turns up, removes her mask and rather presumptively sticks a cotton swab doused in HanaBlo up her nose. The mystery lady is grateful, and for good reason: Japanese hay fever is a hardcore affliction and many Japanese are doomed to wear surgical masks when they’re outdoors to reduce symptoms.

In the advert, her face is visible, so surely her identity is easy to guess – or is it? The campaign’s effective use of social media  is clearly having the desired effect since Twitter users and bloggers have been buzzing about her identity since the campaign launch on Feb. 1. A quick look at Twitter reveals that most people think she’s comedienne Miyuki Torri, whose stage persona is rather off-kilter, very unlike the elegant woman in the campaign. The hunch makes sense: Despite her good looks Torri is rather orthodontically challenged and the mystery woman doesn’t show her teeth in the ad. How this syncs with the product is anybody’s guess.

All will be revealed on Feb. 15.

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