Have you ever seen any Japanese commercial video that absolutely blew your mind after watching it? I did twice when I was browsing my news feed on Facebook. I found it very ridiculous. But then it caught my attention so I started to watch more weird, funny and all sorts of Japanese creations.
But two commercials stood out for me. Watch it for yourselves.
(Subtitle is unavailable but you’ll still enjoy it.)
(subtitles are available in different languages when you click on settings)
Japanese commercial ads set a different tone from the rest. Why? Let me give you four reasons.
1. They are not afraid to be creative. The play of colors, movements, visual effects and songs create an entertainment for the audience. People’s span of attention is getting shorter. According to National Center for Biotechnology Information from 12 seconds in 2002, the average attention span in 2015 reduced to 8.25 seconds and the average length watched of a single internet video is 2 minutes and 7 seconds. Imagine how good your video must be in order for people to watch the rest.
2. They are good storytellers. I don’t speak Japanese and I certainly can’t understand it. But I got the message of the brand. The ending is not what I have expected but the commercials took me on a journey. They tell stories I can relate to and have experienced at least once in my life. That’s the magic why people were hooked, sometimes dumbfounded, after watching them.
3.They inject consumer behavior concepts in products such as Elaboration likelihood model. Elaboration what??? Let me explain what this is. ELM is a concept developed by Richard E. Petty and John Cacioppo in mid-1980’s that aim to describe an attitude change brought by stimuli, either a positive or a negative one. There are two major routes to persuading the mind: the central route and the peripheral route. The central route is used when the receiver is motivated and has the capacity to think about the message. On the other hand, the peripheral route is used when the receiver has little or no interest in the topic or has lesser ability to process the message. Using humor and ambiguity in the commercial ads make a person to consciously think about what he or she has just watched and try to make sense out of it. Another interesting idea is humor being often and best used in advertising for lower risk goods, those that are consumable and routine purchases such as snacks and drinks (Weinberger, Marc G., et al., 2016).
4. Function + emotion is applied. Who would ever think of representing the feelings of a cow through a person? Or a well-rounded excellent dancer as a tuna? Commonly, products in advertisement speak about their benefits only. However in these ads, from the functional aspect they moved towards tapping the emotions of the audience.They have personified the product, created a character out of it and then built a connection to the audience. For example the Blendy commercial, instead of using a usual celebrity drinking his or her favorite coffee in the morning, they showcased the struggles of a student who worked hard to graduate and hopefully achieve her dreams. It is given that a product must offer a benefit to the customer, however in this age, there are thousands of products out there. Therefore Japanese advertisers, through the combination of function + emotion, made sure that it stays with the audience.
I know I will continue to be entertained, most of the time dazed, by these Japanese videos. How about you? Let me know if you agree with me or not. I want to learn from you too.