Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More food and food-like products.

Let's start out with Boss. Boss is a fairly well-known line of canned coffees, and it's hard to come up with new marketing strategies to promote what's essentially an unchanging commodity item. One of the more recent attempts was "Boss Simple Style", tied in with the Batman movies. Each can was packaged with one of the Batman magnetic windup up toys. Each toy represented a vehicle from one of the movies. Pictured here is the Bat Boat. The idea is that because the cans are made of steel, you can put the toy on the can, roll it back to wind the spring, then let go and watch the toy crawl around the can. It's an interesting idea, but the toys have limited play value. That and the boat reminds me of a cockroach. (You can see more on Eddie Wong's blog.)

Then we have Pepsi's latest gimmick flavor - Mont Blanc. The marketing copy on the can advertises this as a dessert product. Initially, it tasted fairly vile, but after it was allowed to sit for a few minutes the hazelnut flavor became more distinguishable. By the end of the bottle it was tasting like hazelnuts and cream. The cola element didn't stand out much. It's an interesting concept and not all that bad, but not one I want to try a second time.

Now here were have a Pepsi item that really failed to work. This one is still sitting in Jason's, unable to move at 40 cents a can. Pepsi thought that they could compete either in the Red Bull, or can coffee markets, with a version of the soda that had extra caffeine. The yellow warning label says "Caution: can under extreme pressure. Please wait 15 seconds after setting the can down before opening it". Imagine Pepsi with lemon flavoring added. Best left unopened long after the recommended 15 seconds.

SMAP is one of the most over-promoted "boy bands" in Japan. While they're not that bad in terms of synchronized stage vamping, their songs are the standard j-pop pablum. The thing is, they've got several of their own TV variety shows, and for a short time they had their own soft drink. There's a reason why Jason's discount store still has cases of this stuff that they can't sell off months after the campaign ended.

Sanko Seika has this line of rice crackers and peanuts running under the "Three Flavors Story" brand (三つの幸せ物語). The featured model looks like an actor that had been in some recent samurai TV series, but the product name isn't showing up in connection with some show. You can see the making of one of the TV ads here. Interestingly, the Sanko website doesn't have pictures for the Three Flavors package with the actor on it.

1 comment:

TSOTE said...

About the crackers - the actor is Ken Matsudaira, and the samurai drama he's currently starring in is Abarenbo Shogun.