Thigh will be done…a leggy new advertising strategy has hit Japan
Where the Eye Goes, the Ad Goes
Women in Japan have the opportunity to reap the rewards of using their thighs as an advertising space for brands and companies. A girl’s zettai ryouiki – which translates roughly as “absolute territory” – is apparently the highly coveted space that lies between the bottom of her mini-skirt or shorts and the top of her knee-high socks. The brand seeks to recruit girls over the age of 18 who have a presence on one or more social networking sites (SNS). To earn their commission, they must wear the stickers for eight hours over the course of a day, and then post photos of their new ‘accessory’ on their preferred SNS. And this intriguing new combo of guerrilla advertising and social media has been popular – around 2,800 Japanese women have registered, with an average of 330 friends on Facebook. Popular campaigns have thus far included promotion of Green Day’s latest album.
Behind the News:
The logic behind this marketing technique – summed up in this article with the headline “Where the Eye goes, the Ad goes” – is nothing new… beautiful women have been used to promote goods and companies since the dawn of advertising. The appeal of this “absolute territory” in Japan can be linked to depictions in Japanese anime and manga, and such is its popularity that it even has its own Facebook page with almost 3000 followers. The brand sees it as a sort of ‘win-win’ situation for both the girls and the brands they are showcasing. The former can earn money, set trends and receive what could be euphemistically described as “positive” online attention. The latter, for their part, are able to leverage the marketing potential of social media platforms in a decidedly original fashion, possibly even achieving viral success (one participant has 8,000 followers on Twitter). While similar tactics might draw criticism in other markets, this does at least provide ordinary women with a means of making easy money in a way that they find cool, empowering and fashionable. Though in many countries, there’s no escaping that the weather – rather than social attitudes – will be the deciding factor in the power of the human billboard…
What do you all think? Offensive, resourceful, sexy, trendy or just plain weird?