December 18, 2002 5:32 PM   Subscribe

Tissue-san! In direct contrast to the recent IKEA ad campaigns, Japan seems to embrace the concept of product as person, with the same end result -- consumers buy more stuff at an accelerated rate. Both routes utilize the same tact though, using Anthropomorphism to grab the viewers attention. Is this the natural progression of things to come? (link via boing boing)
posted by hulette (12 comments total)
(link via boing boing)
scooped by mr pants...
posted by badstone at 5:40 PM on December 18, 2002

Worth mentioning that San-X belongs to a fairly infamous licensing ripoff company, and is noted for such characters as Beer Chan and Kogepan (made of, I am not kidding, burnt bread). Gael of well-known PCJM had a bit on them a while back.

Also worth noting that there is a nice bit in Jerry Hirshberg's Creative Priority about the failure of a new Nissan concept in Japan because it was "frowning".
posted by babylon at 6:11 PM on December 18, 2002

Some of you feel sorry for this tissue. That is because you are crazy. Tissues have no feeling, and the new tissue is better.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:13 PM on December 18, 2002

Another IKEA ad.
(2.5 meg MPEG)

posted by Wet Spot at 7:27 PM on December 18, 2002

Wet Spot that ad made me giggle.
posted by bonheur at 8:10 PM on December 18, 2002

This is the first time I've seen the IKEA lamp ad. It contrasts a lot with their current UK advertising which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever (I assume bewilderment is the desired effect!) The 'lamp' ad appears to owe a lot to some campaigns started several months ago by a major British cellphone retailer.

They used computer animation to bring the phones to life, and showed people abandoning their phones on the street. The poor little phones had to fend on their own, until 'SoAndSoCorporation' found it, refurbished it with new accessories, and brought it back to life. Very cute and memorable.
posted by wackybrit at 11:13 PM on December 18, 2002

That 'phone' now sits on top of their building in London. Makes me smile each time I see it. It currently wears a Santa hat, and during the World Cup, they put an England top on it.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:42 AM on December 19, 2002

Never underestimate the power of cute in Japan. When I first opened a bank account here, I couldn't believe that there was no alternative to the Mickey Mouse motif bank book or the Winnie the Pooh ATM card.
posted by planetkyoto at 4:47 AM on December 19, 2002

I'm a sucker for this type of stuff. Although I'm an adult I still feel a compulsion to purchase miniature staplers emblazoned with cartoon cats. I own a camera case made out of a smiling piece of toast and a happy cheese family notebook.

While Sanrio is great at making those little sugary characters, half of the characters in the San-X line have suffered some sort of horrible accident or mental flaw. One of their most popular characters is an embittered burnt piece of bread with a drinking problem, the above mentioned kogepan.

There are probably hundreds of little stationery supply companies in Japan that are always trying to out cute each other, but Sanrio and San-X are the only ones I've seen in the States. I've never heard of San-X ripping off characters before, although I'd be interested in hearing about any cases.
posted by Alison at 5:36 AM on December 19, 2002

San-X rocks...and I wouldn't call their concept "rip offs" but something more along the lines of satire. The Tare-Panda character is the total antithesis of the happy, genki Hello Kitty that we all know so well.

My ATM card is plastered with Tom and Jerry.
Like that's supposed to inspire confidence in the JuRoku financial establishment.

The smiling piece of toast (if it's the same one on my fridge) is Shoku-pan(White Bread) Man. Martin Mull, maybe?
posted by squasha at 6:01 AM on December 19, 2002

My toast is from gladee. I don't think it has a name. I also broke down and bought their little happy fridge, too.
posted by Alison at 12:42 PM on December 19, 2002

Both routes utilize the same tact though

It's not tact.

It's not tact.

It's a tack.
posted by soyjoy at 1:55 PM on December 19, 2002

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