The Bottle Boys are a five-piece band from Copenhagen, who shot to fame last year after performing ‘Billie Jean’ using nothing but (a large number of) beer bottles. And now they’ve been snapped up by Kirin Ichiban, in a slick production that sees them team up with Iron Chefs to record a track blending their musical bottle-playing with the sounds of sushi.
In the two-minute video, the musicians play eleven bottles each.
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 titled “TOKYO DENSE FOG” to see how something as simple as the weather can turn Japan’s modern capital into a mystical realm.
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…
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.
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!
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.
Okay, technically you won’t be able to see Mindy Kaling out on the actual field, but you will be able to see her in a Super Bowl commercial for Nationwide Insurance. Last year’s Super Bowl drew 111.5 million viewers and the price for a 30 second Super Bowl commercial is at least 4 million. So yes, Mindy Kaling’s commercial is a huge deal. Ironically enough, the commercial seems to revolve around Mindy Kaling turning invisible.
How does this relates to Nationwide Insurance? We are not sure. While we are tempted to write to Nationwide Insurance with our theories (is this a commentary on Asians being the invisible minority or are we overthinking it?), it may be better to ask Mindy herself.
“My writers and I had so much fun brainstorming ideas for this ad because it was all about wish fulfillment,” Kaling told AdWeek.
“For instance, I have always wanted to walk through a car wash, and then I got to do it for the ad! In this ad I was able to have fun fantasizing about all the ridiculous stuff you would do if you were invisible…and mischievous.”
Outside of Super Bowl commercials, Mindy remains plenty visible. The Mindy Project is still going strong at it’s third season. Ugly Betty‘s Vanessa Williams will be a guest star on an upcoming episode and Mindy Kaling is nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy Series at the NAACP Awards. Mindy will also be starring in Pixar’s upcoming movie Inside Out in July and her second book Why Not Me is tentatively scheduled for a September release.
When you get to be as big a company as Toyota, you can afford to go out and get A-list talent for your commercials. Over the last few years, the automaker’s created a series of ads starring boy band SMAP’s Takuya Kimura and film icon Beat Takeshi.
In the commercials, collectively known as ReBORN, Kimura and Takeshi play historical figures Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, reincarnated in modern Japan. The latest installment even has a special guest star as Hugh Jackman, Wolverine himself, shows up to help spread the word about Toyota’s newest eco-friendly cars.
Jackman actually appears in two Toyota ads. In the more straightforward of the two, he drives along the coast in a hybrid Crown sedan, sings an English version of J-pop vocal group Greeeen’s “Kiseki,” and really doesn’t do a whole lot else.
On the other hand, the actor’s work in the 18th ReBORN commercial is a little more surreal. Titled Ferry Chapter, and viewable here on Toyota’s website, it opens with the reborn samurai Nobunaga and Hideyoshi reminiscing on their experiences trading with European merchants in the 16th century.
“In those days, we were overwhelmed by the technology and production of the rest of the world, and how they had things like guns and cakes,” recalls Hideyoshi.
Nobunaga thinks Japan may have reached a turning point, though. “Japan can become a world leader in hydrogen technology,” he points out, before going on to talk about a new car from Toyota that produces only water as a byproduct of its operation.
“It’s called the Mirai,” Nobunaga explains, which is also the Japanese word for “future.” “The name’s a little on the nose,” he admits as footage is shown of the car, which Toyota expects to have ready for market next March.
“Japan, which has few natural resources, can develop a hydrogen society for the future of the planet,” Nobunaga declares. “Doesn’t that sound great?” he asks. Before his companion can answer, though, their conversation is interrupted by some very thickly accented Japanese coming from a very famous face.
“That’s the golden country, Jipangu, for you!” the sea captain exclaims, using the name for the country which Japan thinks used to be much more in vogue among non-Japanese speakers than it really was.
▼ In a way, it’s a little like how some Japanese people think native English speakers pepper their Japanese sentences with the word “me” all the time.
Startled by the newcomer’s sudden appearance, Hideyoshi asks Nobunaga if the seafarer is an acquaintance of his. “Nope,” he responds, and as Jackman continues watching them while they climb into their Prius, Hideyoshi implores the other samurai,“Let’s get out of here, quick!”
It’s an unusual, off-beat ending to the encounter, even by Japanese commercial standards. In the ad’s final moments, the samurai decide to head for a skyscraper in the distance. The camera doesn’t show us the next stop on Jackman’s voyage, but if we had to guess, our money would be on a repeat visit to the port of Tomonoura, the town where Wolverine fell in love.
Honda has released what is sure to go down as one of the most memorable ads in recent years for its 2015 Honda Civic and Type R. Watched once through, the 3-minute commercial is a well-shot and heart-warming, but somewhat lackluster account of a suburban father picking up his kids from school in his Honda Civic, albeit pervaded by a sense of unease. However, with the addition of the instruction at the beginning of the video to “press and hold the R key to see the other side,” a heart-pounding alternate plot for the sportier Type R is revealed.
Featuring slick cinematography and atmospheric settings along with a tense car chase, each scene, angle and location of the two storylines is perfectly synced to create a spellbinding effect that will have you watching the commercial multiple times. Without revealing much more, watch the teaser above and make sure not to miss the entire ground-breaking ad over here.
Japanese brewery Kirin unveiled a new campaign for their Off White brand of imitation beer products known as happoshu. To help promote their cheaper beer substitute, Kirin will be dispatching six drones painted like pigeons to fly around and record the people of Taketa City in Oita Prefecture.
We can’t promise you we’ll succeed but we’re sure as heck going to try and find a link between drones, a rural community, and an alcoholic beverage produced to take advantage of a tax loophole.
First here’s an overview of the Off White campaign. In the city of Taketa, Kirin constructed the Off White House, a quaint countryside home where the Po pigeon/drone family lives.
▼ Bro Po, Ma Po, Grandpa Po, Grandma Po, Pa Po, and Sis Po
Residents of Taketa are given a special smartphone app called POTLINE which they can use to contact the Po family. By calling up the pigeons people can arrange a time to meet when they will all fly out and find you with their attached cameras.
So, say Satoshi up the street is planning to deal with that pesky giant hornet’s nest out back once and for all. You can call up the Po’s and get them to come and record what’s sure to be a hell of a show. Then when it’s finished and Satoshi is discharged from the hospital, you can all head down to the Off White House and enjoy reliving the pain while knocking back some cold happoshu.
Why? That explanation may have left you with more questions than answers, so let’s start with why Taketa City was chosen out of all the places in Japan. Recently the town has enacted the Rural Regression Proclamation which is a project aimed at rebuilding its population which has dwindled as younger generations moved away to urban centers.
Someone at Kirin took note of this and decided to help the small community grow to its former glory. Using one of the city’s vacant homes they established the Off White House as both a community center and house for their robot pigeons. Not being completely altruistic, Kirin also sees this as a great cross promotion for the “clean living” image they want for their Off White beverage.
Speaking of imagery, the pigeon theme was chosen to ease people’s tensions around the flying robots. Drones tend to get a bad rap in the media, often appearing next to words like “attack,” “kill,” and “Amazon.”
▼ “What?! ‘Flying killbot?’ No no, I’m just a widdle pidgeon wooking thwoo yo window.”
I’m not sure how many people will make the move to Taketa City because of this campaign. Kirin opening up a brewery or bottling plant would have probably helped the community’s deep-rooted problem more. Still, having a small fleet of drone copters available at your beck and call is a pretty nice incentive. If that alone doesn’t float your boat, the city also is known for their brown rice ice cream, giant daruma figures, and tomatoes.
There’s now less than a week left until the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and media and businesses all over the world are gearing up. Japan is no exception, with celebratory events going on and brands rushing to launch special themed products. In amongst it all, one particular advert from Cup Noodle maker Nissin has caught our eye for its great combination of traditional Japan and modern Brazil.
Although there’s nothing to give it away during the ad itself, this two-minute video has been created by Nissin Cup Noodles to advertise their instant noodles under the slogan ‘Samurai, Fujiyama, Cup Noodle.’
As the title states, it features a samurai in modern-day Brazil, who’s come back from medieval Japan to demonstrate to the world…his freestyle footballing skills?!
Locals look on in amazement as the masked and armored samurai pops up all across Brazil to demonstrate his tricks with the ball, before ending in a freestyle-football-off. So maybe his armor’s not as heavy as the real deal, but it sure looks the part, and the way he kicks the ball and flips himself, all while maintaining perfect control of the ball, is incredible to watch.
Behind the samurai get-up, the video features talented Japanese freestyle footballer Tokuda Kotaro, who has a string of wins under his belt including at freestyle world championships.
Here’s your daily dose of WTF and OMG all rolled into one jubilant GIF. The nonsensical joy embodied in this infinite loop of a sumo wrestler bursting out of his own back to soar into the sky on grand angel wings is DaDaist on a level that would make Marcel Duchamp stare in slack-jawed amazement.
We found this on one of Japan’s message boards with no explanation except for the title: I have no idea why this was made, but I thought it might pique people’s curiosity.
Well, it worked! (As Annie pointed out in the comments, it’s actually part of a commercial for D’Station, a pachinko chain.)
Source/image: Agohige Kaizokudan
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