Monday, May 4, 2009

Sakuranbo KitKat

When my husband brought home this KitKat, I thought, "oh no, another pink KitKat". In the past, there have been several variations on this. There was a triple berry one and strawberry Senga Sengana one. There have also been numerous cherry, berry, and strawberry ones which pre-date my writing this blog. Does Nestlé Japan really need yet another one of these? The answer appears to be, yes. Yes, they do.

The hook for the marketing on this particular KitKat is the ability to download one of three pop songs produced by Jin Nakamura for free if you buy it. The songs are "Sakura Million", "Merry-Go-Round", and "Flower of Life". The names are written in English on the inside of the box the KitKat comes in along with a serial number and a bar code which will allow you to download one MP3 per serial number.

The box says that this is on the KitKat "Through the Break" label, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean anything as it's not so much a label as a distribution network for those who promote themselves via KitKats. When you go to the site, they ask you to enter your gender and age in addition to the serial number, so I'm guessing part of this promotion is gaining demographics on who buys their candy.

With exceptionally low expectations, I opened up the package on this KitKat. It smells of cherry and sweetness. On the first bite, the cherry flavor is neither too strong nor too weak and the bar isn't as sweet or cloying as some white chocolate-based KitKats. There's a nice, tart aftertaste that reminds me of sour cherries. Unfortunately, as you eat more, the sweetness tends to build up and it approaches throat burning levels after the first finger. As seems to often be the case with KitKats, this has a pretty soft exterior at room temperature and will melt in your hand if you hold it for long. You can always tell by my pictures when a KitKat is on the soft side because it does not break cleanly when snapped in half. The wafers are nice crispy and fresh and make for a nice textural contrast with the softer coating.

If you're a fan of Japanese pop, this is probably a pretty good deal. You pay about 130 yen (about $1.30) and get the candy bar and an MP3. I downloaded "Sakura" and found it about usual for Japanese pop. It's cheaply produced bouncy pop music with a lot of synthesizer music. It has elements of ripped off rap rhythms inserted into it, random English words here and there, and pretty boy crooning. It's perfect music as a background in a commercial, unsurprisingly. It's just not my sort of thing, but it may appeal to some people. Since the download page is so simple, you could probably manage to download the songs even if you know very little Japanese. Just enter your serial number in the first box, click a radio button (for gender, but it doesn't matter which you choose), and enter your age in the third box then press any button that says "ダウンロード" (download) and you'll get there.

As for the candy bar itself, I was really on the fence with this between a "happy sumo" (might buy again) and "indifferent sumo" (will finish, but not buy again) rating. If I was in the right mood, or found this for a pretty cheap price, it's not out of the question that I'd buy it again. Mainly, I went for the more favorable rating because my husband really liked it and he's not even a fan of cherry so I figure it deserves a little boost.


Kelly said...

I find it hilarious how the up and coming pop singers try to put english into their lyrics. It usually doesn't make sense, but it's good for a laugh.

Marvo said...

Free MP3 with purchase? That's an awesome way to sell candy. It's the 21st century version of the toy in Cracker Jack boxes.

Orchid64 said...

Kelly: I never understood that tendency, but I hear it all the time when there are commercials for Japanese "greatest hits" compilation albums. If you understand katakana English, you often hear "English" anyway, but the songs are full of what seem to be total nonsequitors.

Marvo: Haven't some products in American included free MP3's with purchases? Maybe I'm confused, but I thought that Pepsi at one point was doing free iTunes certificates with random purchases (though not every purchase). Certainly it'd be quite a break for up and coming groups if they could get the maker of a major snack product to include free MP3's with purchase. Given that distribution is not all the complicated, I'm surprised someone hasn't done this.

Thanks to both of you for your comments!

Kelly said...

OMG, thank you for this post.
You know what happened? I bought this for Yasu thinking he would want the mp3, as he had been talking about it, then he didn't want to download the songs. So today was the last day and I thought I should better download the song, but when I went to the kit kat site there was no link from the cherry kit kat, to download the song! I panicked, and madly looked on the net for answers, then remembered you had reviewed it, and you lovely lady had put the link to the download page! My saviour.

I agree, all the songs are pretty much the same aren't they...pretty bland. I downloaded "flower of life" as I thought that was the least laughable.

It's okay background music haha. Thankyou so much! If it wasn't for you...:)
I guess they don't expect anyone to download it on the last day? maybe Japanese are more organised.

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Kelly, and thanks for your comment. Since it was on an old post, I was a little confused, but Gmail came to the rescue and let me know which post it was.

I'm glad you got your song, and they do all sound the same! But, hey, for the price of a KitKat, we can't expect much. ;-)