Give a hoot

This is how they advertise books in Japan. Specifically, books published by Shūeisha in the standard bunko small-paperback format and then selected to be part of their Natsuichi campaign.

The major theme of the campaign is... well, actually, it's "Doncha just love Aoi Yū? She's the new Ishihara Satomi!" The overt theme, though, is "Books. They're just a bunch of words lined up in rows... so how come they're so great?" The song further positions the reading of a book as a search for the words to say to that special someone when you finally meet them, which is mawkish but not entirely without merit as an idea.

The symbolism of the road trip is obvious: read a book and you too can depart on a pleasant but non-threatening solo journey in an appealing, unusual vehicle. The kid in the bunny suit represents the unexpected, exotic, and helpful things you'll find in books if you -- yes, you -- are individualistic enough to pick them up.

(Here's another one. Not as much to say here, except that the theme is still "Doncha just love Aoi Yū? Especially as genius art student Hagumi in the movie version of Hachimitsu to clover!" Yes, damn you, yes! We all love Aoi Yū!)

... Of course, the great thing about YouTube is that you can then click straight to the polar opposite of the naiive singing and subdued imagery of the Natsuichi material: Shiseidō's 2007/spring commercial.

There is absolutely no sign of irony or quirk here. These women are serious. They work hard, they smile hard, and they toss their luxurious waterfalls of shiny hair from side to side while crossing the street -- hard. Colors are merciless. Sunlight sears. SMAP take no prisoners.

Tsubaki is not for the weak.

Popularity factor: 3


What an interesting way to advertise books! I wonder how book sales are doing now that there are so many different forms of time wasters in Japan (even more so than in the US).

I think about my time in Japan on trains and remember that many commuters passed the time reading... but then again I wonder when young adults make the switch from Manga to Novels.


I understand that sales of "digital books" designed for cell phones (manga and non-) are doing quite well, at least.


She's no replacement for Ishihara Satomi, definitely.

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