Japanese patriotism ‘made in China’?

nihonjin de yokattaA A rather bizarre development: the national association of Shinto shrines has sponsored the production of posters that effectively translate as ‘I’m glad I am Japanese/was born Japanese’ with a picture of a young woman. Yet it turns out that the woman featured is Chinese and that the image was available for use on Getty Images‘ commercial photobank, upon payment of a license fee. The BBC has a print story on it. The posters started appearing around Kyoto, without attribution, and attracted some criticism for nationalism. The Shinto association has defended the posters, saying that the objective is to encourage the flying of the national flag.


Example perception topic

Asahi Beverages has a new campaign for their water/dairy product. We will look in class about reactions to some of the events that have been staged as part of the campaign.



high heels as persuasion (with men only)

An interesting study that shows the profound difference wearing high heels made to men’s preparedness to cooperate with a woman’s request; although also to be approached at a bar when alone (astonishingly soon but the study was conducted in France..) To quote a little..

“The study found if a woman drops a glove on the street while wearing heels, she’s almost 50 percent more likely to have a man pick it up for her than if she’s wearing flats. Another finding: A woman wearing heels is twice as likely to persuade men to stop and answer survey questions on the street. And a high-heeled woman in a bar waits half the time to get picked up by a man, compared to when her heel is nearer to the ground.”

changing behaviour through creative comm

A great example – characteristically Kiwi – of using quirky creative to rethink risky behaviour. A campaign against texting while driving has gone so viral that views from all over the world on Youtube will see overtake the country’s population.

tyranny of 20th century mass communications

The notorious propaganda film for the nazis directed by Leni Riefenstahl that further aestheticised, for a wide audience, the 1934 Nuremberg rally that was itself a dramatic designed mass event.


A simple example of eye tracking technology at work..

An interesting series of still frames selected by Business Insider magazine here and a short video on how little attention recruiters give to CVs, and what they are looking for.

buzz through content

The new Ginza Six retail development has attempted to attract attention through a big investment in promotional material featuring a leading singer and a major video production.

SAPE… must know

One of the most remarkable cultural phenomena of late.. the sapeurs of Congo Brazzaville (Congo Republic)  and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). The former was ruled by a one party Marxist-Leninist state for a time and the latter by an anti-communist dictator Mobutu Sese Seko from the mid-1960s  until 1997. Both governments suppressed what they saw as cultural signs of colonial legacy and Western decadence; yet this ultimately provoked a vibrant cultural backlash that centres on the stylish gentlemen of Le SAPE (Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes = The Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People). We will see more in class.

The BBC reported on the embrace of sapeur on advertising by the beer brand Guinness.


Documentary version sponsored by Guinness…

An interesting 15 minute report in French, for those comfortable with or learning the language, on Sape culture, its broader context and focusing in part on a guy known as ‘the Japanese’ because of his love of Yohji Yamamato and other Japanese designers.

A collection of sapeur images, edited with an operatic soundtrack, from the Italian fan..

edgy Shiseido campaigns from the more than four decades ago

From the late 1960s through the 1970s Shiseido embraced creative and edgy advertising that contributed to  a significant national reimagining of women’s identities, lifestyles and social position. Here are several examples.

First from 1967 …

Same product, from 1971…

A girl with attitude in 1970..

Sweating beautifully in 1970…

Modern class from 1973, and an entranced young man looks on..

And another beauty cake CM from 1973, with confident women who know what they want (each other perhaps?), a German VW car, and an American Cessna..

And a 1974 four minute CM featuring beautiful filming of two Japanese models in France, some corny narrative, connecting with a French guy, and Shiseido’s pledge to help women find a summer romance..


Diesel JoggJeans campaign & Jacob Sutton creative examples

Diesel’s campaign to promote its ‘JoggJeans’ product range, which is its variant of a now common jeans product that combine 90%-odd denim with a high tech nylon or polyester stretch fibre for comfort and shape retention, has been effective. It couples the usual website presence, including direct retailing defaulting to local site based on user ISP, and  a much shared video promotion. The video is high quality, very engaging, and by featuring dancers in Diesel product it directly transmits the intended messages about the versatility and style of their new JoggJeans product.

The JoggJeans campaign was developed under the leadership of Diesel’s young creative director, Nicola Formichetti, who did a lot of work for Lady Gaga before being hired freshen up the Diesel brand. Here is a LINK to one profile of him.

The video is directed by renowned fashion still and moving image photographer Jacob Sutton. See his portfolio for a range of interesting work. Two examples follow; the first showing a typical aesthetic for Armani mens’ fragrance but with some remarkable underwater cinematography.

The following two are in a common ‘fast fashion’ format. One is for Uniqlo, the other for H & M. Both economise on setting and model spend, but are effective because of the quality of the artistic direction.