Check out PlayStation Japan’s new ad for Pro Evolution Soccer 2016

Japanese ads frequently miss the mark, often being overly bizarre or simply cringe-inducing, but sometimes the marketing gurus hit the back of the net, as with this latest TV spot from PlayStation Japan.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 (known in Japan as Winning Eleven) was released to most of the world in mid-September, but only came to Japan on October 1, which means that the marketing campaign is still in full swing over here.

Honda’s latest cinematic ad is inspired by space exploration

Advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy is responsible for the latest ad campaign for Honda launching a commercial that is heavily inspired by space exploration.

The campaign dubbed “Ignition” which has launched across Europe looks to promote the latest releases from the Japanese auto-maker, the Honda HR-V and Civic Type R. On top of the new cars, the brand is also returning to Formula 1 racing and is also promoting the Honda HA-420 Jet’s first commercial flight. Every division of Honda’s developments make an appearance in the commercial, including Honda’s ASIMO robot and stars the likes of Formula 1 driver Jenson Button.

This video of Tokyo shrouded in fog is the most beautiful commercial you’ll see all week

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RocketNews 24:

When it comes to beautiful landscapes, one of the best is anything with rolling banks of thick fog. Now, we imagine some people who live in places like Seattle or London might not agree with the sentiment, but for many of us, the heavy mist of a spring morning is like meandering through a dream. Maybe not the best way to get yourself ready for a day of work, admittedly, but it’s definitely affecting.

Of course, many in Japan would agree–from 12th century emperors to contemporary filmographers. Just check out this stunning video titledTOKYO DENSE FOG to see how something as simple as the weather can turn Japan’s modern capital into a mystical realm.

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The video, which was produced by WOW, a visual design studio that creates everything from installations and motion graphics to app designs and user interfaces, is part of a series of short films commissioned by NIKKOR to show of their very fancy (and very expensive) lenses. Though only three minutes and 25 seconds long, the video does a great job taking viewers around–and eventually above–Tokyo on what must have been the foggiest day in recent Tokyo history.

As you have probably guessed, the video was seemingly created using gear entirely from Nikon. The camera was a D810 paired with four different lenses: AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED, AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED. Sadly, we have to admit that we have almost no idea what any of that means, but if you do, perhaps you’ll find it tremendously impressive! Or perhaps not…

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As we mentioned before, this is actually one in a series of videos produced for NIKKOR, and you can find more on the NIKKOR Motion Gallery website. Right now, only one other video is available–a short piece called “Hope” by augement5 Inc., which is another creative agency in Tokyo.

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All these beautiful shots of foggy Tokyo have reminded us of an excellent poem by Emperor Go-taba in the Shin Kokin Wakashu, poem number two in the anthology:

“At last, glimpses of spring roll through the sky. A mist shrouds Mt. Amanokagu.”

We hope you enjoyed this stunning video as much as we did–it certainly provides a unique take on one of our favorite cities!

This Japanese robot feeds you tomatoes while you run

This Japanese Robot Feeds You Tomatoes While You Run

Gizmodo:

Okay, it’s not exactly a robot—but I bet it’s still the craziest thing you’ve seen all day. Japanese juice and ketchup company Kagome built a wearable tomato dispenser for a runner at the Japan Marathon this weekend.

The video pretty much speaks for itself:

What’s really going on here? Believe it or not, it’s a PR stunt to promote tomatoes over bananas. Dole Japan has sponsored the Japan Marathon since 2008, and reportedly provides giant bins of bananas every year to keep runners going. Kagome would obviously love if those runners picked tomatoes instead.

Blake Griffin thinks he’s a pilot in this Kia Commercial

As part of his ongoing commercials with Kia, Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin teams up with the South Korean car manufacture on another comical clip. In this short, the NBA All-Star trades in his jersey for a flight suit and helmet. Sat in the cockpit of the new Kia Optima, Blake prepares for take off despite reminders from runway marshals that he’s in an automobile. With a turbo charged engine, Blake’s ready to catch the enemy off guard in his new sedan.

Domino’s kinky Sriracha Pizza Ad is 50 Shades of WTF

FoodBeast:

This is a real print advertisement running in Israel for Domino’s Sriracha Pizza:

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Created by advertising behemoth McCann Erickson’s McCann Israel branch, this ad pulls no punches (or spankings) with this disturbingly realistic tongue. Bound, gagged and surrounded by instruments of torture, it’s not clear if this tongue consented to this BDSM play.

But who needs consent in a world where Twilight fanfiction can become a best-selling, inaccurate novel about an already stigmatized community?

The advertisement was a rejected pitch to a franchise in Israel. Tim McIntyre, a spokesperson told Perez Hilton:

“It’s real. The ad was created and pitched by an agency to the independent franchise in Israel. It never ‘officially’ appeared anywhere, because it was ill-advised, unfunny and not brand-appropriate. In a word, it was stupid…[The ad is] being presented as something that actually ran in Israeli media. It did not.”

 

China bans puns in media and ads

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Beyond Chinatown:

 

Last week, China’s State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (国家广播电影电视总局 / 國家廣播電影電視總局) announced a policy that bans the use of wordplay in media and ads ostensibly to “popularize and standardize the use of the national common language, a heritage of Chinese traditional culture”.  Since Chinese languages, like Mandarin, have a rich linguistic tradition of wordplay based on homophonic puns that, unlike puns in English, are much more ubiquitous and always seem clever and never groan or eye-roll inducing, the edict at first glance seems to be more ridiculous than SAPPRFT’s ban on time travel in TV shows and movies.   It might not be entirely ill-conceived.

The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time explains one example specifically cited by the Chinese version of the FCC as an “indiscriminate use” of language:

[T]he phrase “晋善晋美” was used in ads promoting tourism to Shanxi province, widely seen as the cradle of Chinese culture. The slogan — translated as “Shanxi, a land of splendors”–  was a pun on the Chinese saying, “尽善尽美,” which means perfection. The ads swapped out the character “尽” for a homonym, “晋,” a character often used to represent Shanxi.”

 

Shanxi Promotional Video:

 

The slogan was selected in December 2012 by the Shanxi Tourism Bureau after four months of competition and was heavily promoted on CCTV and other media outlets.  In July 2013, it was reported a fourth grade student mistook the tourism slogan for the idiom meaning “perfection”.

The clever phrase was deemed to “rape” the idiom and sullied Chinese culture.   This pun control can be seen as part of the Central Government’s efforts to promote standard Mandarin.

Many are sympathetic to the government’s concern about the irregular and inaccurate use of characters, especially among children, but find it at odds with linguistic appreciation and development.  Yi Ming (亦鸣 / 亦鳴), a contributor to China Art Newspaper (中国艺术报 / 中國藝術報), praises the slogan as a clever use of traditional culture for a commercial purpose and highlights the charm of Chinese characters.

Li Zhiqi (李志起) chairman of marketing group CBCT, linguistic innovation should be encouraged and new idioms created.  An editorial in Xinhua does not believe in a “one size fits all” prohibition.  The author calls for the SAPPRFT to “seriously listen to the reasonable opinions of language scholars and the public” and believes that people need to keep an open mind about language so that it can develop.

The rule naturally echoes efforts by the government to censor online taboo topics, names, and words which Chinese netizens often circumvent by slyly hiding behind puns.  For example, when the government censored the word “harmonious” (和谐 / 和諧, pronounced héxié) online because netizens began using it as a euphemism for censorship (which the government justifies in order to promote a “Socialist Harmonious Society“), “river crab” (河蟹 / 河蟹, pronounced héxiè) was used as a substitute.

Dissident artist Ai Weiwei later visualized the phrase in an installation and invited supporters to feast on river crabs to protest the government’s demolition of his Shanghai studio.

 

 

David Moser, academic director for CET Chinese studies at Beijing Capital Normal University, tells The Guardian, “It could just be a small group of people, or even one person, who are conservative, humorless, priggish and arbitrarily purist, so that everyone has to fall in line…But I wonder if this is not a preemptive move, an excuse to crack down for supposed ‘linguistic purity reasons’ on the cute language people use to crack jokes about the leadership or policies. It sounds too convenient.”