Friday, June 26, 2009

Variety Friday: McDonald's Quarter Pounder "Big Mouth" Campaign

I don't watch much television, and I watch even less Japanese television as a subset of my limited viewing hours. That means I rarely, if ever, see Japanese commercials. I'm sure many people view that as an utterly wasted opportunity since you often see weird Japanese commercials featured on American shows about the "world's funniest commercials". The truth is that most Japanese commercials are painfully boring, just like those in other countries. Only the odd strange one makes it onto American T.V.

I also rarely eat fast food of any stripe, and even more rarely eat at McDonald's. Most of my knowledge of what goes on comes via my husband, who eats out once a week (though not generally at Mickey D's) and occasionally allows himself an indulgence like a Quarter Pounder. After one such dip into the beef-filled fast food pond, he brought home the items pictured at the top of this post and I set about investigating why he was given a pink button featuring a disco ball.

Screenshot taken from McDonald's Quarter Pounder page

This particular campaign relates to a "rose color" T-shirt campaign and commercials featuring "Big Mouth" (an Asian hip hop band, or at least I think that's the group being featured in the ads - I'm not a J-pop aficionado). Currently, the campaign's information can be accessed via their Quarter Pounder page. There is a vast amount of information and a lot of different things going on including commercials, information on the making of those commercials, a rose color T-shirt "shop", and a "wiki" for the Quarter Pounder which features things like how to make a Quarter Pounder out of paper, manners for eating the burger (like not eating it with chopsticks) and ASCII art of a burger. It's all pretty silly stuff and you can see it even if you can't read Japanese by clicking on the "Wiki" in English and just systematically clicking on various hot spots on the image.

Screenshot taken from McDonald's Quarter Pounder page

For the consumers of the Quarter Pounder, you get a plastic packet with a button and a card. The button designs mirror (at least some) of the rose colored T-shirt designs. The card has a scratch-off area. If the card says "hazure"(はずれ), you don't get a T-shirt.

The campaign runs from June 19 to July 21 of this year. I can't say that I'd recommend anyone rush there to get a pink button with a weird picture on it and a chance to win a pink T-shirt, but if you're headed that way anyway, perhaps I've at least helped you understand why you're being given such peculiar and useless items.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I saw this on the news, and in the McDonalds they have a special area called the "bara-iro" (rose colour) shop, where you can purchase all manner of rose coloured shirts with different logo's on them for 1000 Yen. They have all different kinds, I think 50 designs. The most popular ones had some Japanese Idol's and Talents on them, of course they walked out the door first. It proved to be really popular and the store has been busy since day one. Note that only in Japan would this sort of thing be popular. I think in America or Australia, it wouldn't take off very well.

I really like the colour of the shirt and in particular the plain rose image. In particular a shirt for 1000 yen is a pretty good deal I thought.