Wednesday, June 9, 2010

But is it really effective? (けど本間に効果的かな?)

Oftentimes I insist to anyone who will listen that Japanese commercials are far more entertaining than their American brethren. In fact, it is to such an extent that I often find myself looking forward to the commercials during Japanese programming, at least during the less engaging shows (or, you know, those ones wherein the vocabulary is a bit too difficult for me to follow along easily without getting a headache).

But then, do I ever offer proof to support this strong, perhaps biased and indeed subjective statement?

... the answer is no, I usually don't.

Well, I am here today to remedy that, and prove once and for all that Japanese commercials, are, on average, far more entertaining that you could ever imagine.

...though perhaps you can imagine quite a lot.

...and perhaps I should not set myself up to fail like that.

Oh well, here we go.

This is a commercial I only recently discovered, and never actually saw for myself; it must have run during one of my American periods.

Regardless, I think this is a pretty good start. On the surface, SMAP, advertising Dragon Quest IX for the DS. Sure, whatever.

But advertising the game as the most effective bait fishermen can use to catch the number one boy group in Japan from their... native ocean habitat?

Tell me you saw that one coming and I'll eat my hat.

...I must forewarn you that I am far more partial to a commercial that contains Kimutaku. But then again, who isn't?

Admittedly, I love this one particularly because it uses clever word-play. くどく is "to seduce, woo, romance"... you know, "hit on." Whereas くどい is "verbose." Wordy. AKA "shut up."

... ok, so I think it's clever. I apologize to all you non-Japanese speakers out there who may not be appreciating the joke due to my poor explanation skills.

I'll try to do better with this next one.

Gackt is similarly enjoyable to observe in the advertising field.

Basically, Tsutaya (a DVD/CD/Whatever rental shop chain spread throughout Japan) is advertising a new Netflix-type service in which people can receive and return DVDs by post. The first commercial simply reiterates this a number of times:

DVDはポストに届く A DVD arrives in the mail
ポストで返す You return it by mail
ポストに返し忘れても Even if you forget to return by mail
返却期限はありません There is no due-date for return

The second commercial has a bit more of a personal touch to it:

DVDがポストに届いた A DVD arrived in the mail
忙しかった You were busy
忙しかった You were busy
忙しかった You were busy
忙しかった You were busy
やっと見た You finally watched it
泣けた You were moved to tears
うっかり返し忘れても Even though you carelessly forgot to return it
返却期限はありません There is no due-date for return

Admittedly, that could have been translated in first, second, OR third person, but... well, I made a creative choice. (And I do apologize for that choppy last line; I'm simply not awake enough at the moment to tackle it properly.)

My favorite part is the surprised noise he makes when he realizes he forgot to return the DVD.

And to wrap it all up, let's jump back to Kimutaku, shall we?

Let me tell you, I've chewed a lot of Xylish gum in my day, but not once has Kimutaku popped out of my mouth all sparkly-like to have a chat. I'm feeling a little cheated over here.

Well, I'm not sure if I have convinced you of Japan's superiority in the advertising field, but... just think. If beautiful men are roaming through commercial time like nobody's business, aren't you more likely to pay attention?

I thought so.

This is Edo, signing off still a little bitter about that whole gum thing.

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