Monday, May 25, 2009

Lawson's Tie-Ins

Previously, I wrote about the promotional items that were specific to Lawson's convenience stores - the ANA flight attendant figures that come with various coffees and teas, and the Dragonball figures that come with Coca Cola soft drinks. Well, unlike the U.S., when the Japanese run with an idea, they push it as far as they can. And, also unlike the U.S., product tie-ins don't produce outraged cries of "you sell outs!". Instead, these products are embraced and accepted for what they're marketed as - a way to get more of your favorite characters on stuff (not everyone feels the need to buy this kind of stuff, though).

No where is this more blatant than with Lawson's June product catalog (available free at all Lawson's stores). "Evangelion's" Rei Ayanami comes out of the convenience store, holding a plastic bag with the logo clearly shown. Inside the catalog, there are ads for Evangelion ramen, curry, gum (gum bot), ballpoint pens, clear files (note paper holders), bread and trading cards. But, it's the "Rei in front of" set that's so mind-boggling. Rei in front of the sandwich case, in front of the cooler shelves, and in front of the "Loppi" automated event ticket ordering machine.

I wonder what would happen if Quentin Tarrentino licensed "Kill Bill" in the U.S. so we'd get figures of The Bride carrying a "7-11" basket and buying wine and cheesewhiz...

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