Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Trends in Japanese Beer Commercials

I, like probably ninety seven percent of the heterosexual male population of Japan, kind of dig Dan Rei in those Suntory Kin-Mugi commercials.

(Rough translation: she's running, running, RUNNING through the park to tell you something, but when she reaches you she forgets what she was going to say.)

At first I thought I liked them because it was a beer commercial and she was actually acting drunk. I mean, that should be a no brainer - it's gotta play a pretty big part in motivating people to drink beer - but it's incredibly rare to see anyone actually acting believably drunk in any kind of alcohol advertising. From acting tipsy it's a slippery slope to vomiting and vehicular manslaughter I guess.

(An aside now to point out that Kin-Mugi isn't even, actually beer, but happoshu, something that wikipedia describes, mouthwateringly, as a "tax bracket of japanese liquor", and a "beer like beverage." It's cheaper than beer, that's for sure, but my main feeling whenever I'm drinking happoshu is: man, I could really do with a beer. I tried to like Kin-Mugi, for both Dan Rei and my wallet, but... no dice.)

Then of course, I realised it was because she was drunk and talking directly to the camera as if you (the viewer) are her boyfriend. Or date. Or at least some dude she's willing to flirt with in the park. Of course this isn't new, but I do think that the fun, light, and... somewhat inebriated tone of the Suntory Kin-Mugi CMs is pretty eye-catching and, in a way, unique.

That is, until Asahi noticed how succesful the commercials were and got smart to advertise their new happoshu, Kutsurogi-Jikomi <4VG>:

(Rough translation: "Want a kutsurogi?" Short and to the point I suppose.)

What was it that Bill Hicks said about gum ads? If you want, you can check out the accompanying Asahi website too, and pretend that you're actually in that appartment... ah... I mean your appartment, with Kitagawa Keiko. I warn you though, there are no pictures of you, only her, which is kind of vain when you think about it.

Really though, the top rated youtube comment on that advert says it all. I'd translate it for you but I don't want to be needlessly crude and... it's pretty much stating the obvious.

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