Canned and bottled drinks often come with an omake, a little extra giveaway perched on top or hanging from the neck – some tiny value-add to stand out. Character charms to put on cell phones are common, but oil-blotting sheets, model airplanes, PET bottle pouches, and even miniature Le Creuset cookware barely raise an eyebrow. (What’s that? You wish someone had kept a blog with pictures of all these Japanese drink bottle giveaways for the last five years or so? Enjoy.)
Zima is taking the art of the omake to a new level with its spring “Kiss A-ZIMA” campaign. The party may be over for the sweet, clear “malternative” beverage that was axed two years ago in the states, but it’s turning into a make-out fest in Japan now that each bottle comes with a pair of silicone lips. With the tag line “Zima taste is kissing taste,” the campaign suggests drinkers can enjoy their citrusy 4.5% alcohol beverage and steal a kiss from a celebrity at the same time.
Models Yukina Kinoshita, Aya Kiguchi and Yuu Tejima and soccer player Yuto Nakamura and actor Kensei Mikami all had their lips immortalized in the soft, pink plastic. The Kiss A-Zima campaign Web site has films of the lip-casting process for each person. A CG animated version of the lips twirls endlessly in a companion screen, accompanied by five measurements in millimeters (under, top, depth, width and height) and six dimensions (thickness, weight, firmness, etc.) plotted on a radar graph for each set of smackers.
In scenes that would be horrific if they weren’t so comical (or is it the other way around?), each set of lips is molded and then, several weeks later, presented back to the original owner in a black velvet jewelry box. Each star puts his or her lips around the mouth of the bottle, acknowledges what a strange feeling it is, and then takes a slobbery slug of the drink to loud lounge-y music.
The bottles come with instructions and a few do’s and don’t's, laid out and explained by Gigazine. There is so much more one could say about all this, but, like step three on the instructions, I think we’re just going to let you “imagine.” And we’re going to try not to imagine where this could all end up if the booze giveaways are a hit.
We wouldn’t leave you without an omake. And, as with so many of the little drink bottle trinkets, it may actually be better than the thing its attached to. From Gigazine, video of the lips being made in a factory in China.
Mind-boggling highlight: Line workers elbow-deep in piles of lips, tearing them out of their webbed strips and chucking them into bins and big plastic bags for usable and unusable lips.