From my sickbed

Asahi recently launched Gubinama, their new third beer. The advertising campaign stars KONISHI "Blue" Manami (小西真奈美), and its station poster prong looks like this:

Yes: an illustrated guide to the correct supralaryngeal configurations for (the vowel sounds in) each mora in the word Gubinama. I have summarized this information, as I now understand it, in the table below.

/gu/Lips pursed, head tilted to one side like a curious innocent seeking guidance and protection
/bi/Lips drawn back, teeth displayed in smile, chin brought near shoulder as though communicating an unconscious, instinctual desire for physical contact
/na/Eyebrows raised like one reacting with surprise but not displeasure to an unexpected event or suggestion
/ma/Head thrown back with laughter, possibly inspired by sheer joy of speaking word Gubinama

So be sure to practice before your next night on the town, because improper modulation of your coquettishness may lead to misunderstandings.

(Note: There are also some posters for the ladies with FUJII "Matthew" Takashi, which I really wanted to contrast with the Konishi version, but it seems they are much rarer and I haven't managed to capture one on film.)

As for the name Gubinama itself, nama ("raw, unprocessed") means "draft", while gubi is a relative of the more common mimetic word gui(tto), used to evoke the idea of gulping a beverage down. (And note the similarity between it and gulp, too.)

Popularity factor: 6


I guess the true /u/, which is unrounded, or at least only pursed instead of puckered, wouldn't have that extra appeal, eh? Even now I can imagine ppl trying to say gubinama while making those faces, and already sounding drunk.

Mark S.:



This campaign is brilliant, as is your description. I just feel sorry for the model: now every time she goes out for the next ten years or so, whenever anyone gets even a little bit drunk, she'l hear 「xxxさん!あれをやって!ぶび。。。ぐびなま!ハハハ!」


Anon: Yes, I personally find the true /u/ rather drab and boring, and look forward to the new, sexier, hyper-rounded version's widespread adoption.

Mark: You never heard of an X-pronged advertising campaign? My usage here is perfectly cromulent!


DS!!!!: Thanks! And yeah, I know I wouldn't give her a drink now without getting a performance.


When will the analysis of the male version come out?

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