New Japan Tourism Promotion Campaign

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    Japan has launched a new tourism promotion campaign in which the pop group Arashi calls on foreigners to come visit:

    A film entitled “Message from Japan” featuring the five-member pop idol group began airing simultaneously across the globe in more than 133 countries and regions including the outdoor screen at New York City’s Times Square.

    The video footage was also broadcast in places such as Seoul and London, and will also be shown at airports and Japanese embassies worldwide in the coming weeks.

    “We would like to again issue an appeal through this film that it is safe to travel to Japan,” Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Hiroshi Mizohata told a Tokyo news conference launching the broadcast of short messages by Arashi, who were appointed last year to be the agency’s ambassadors and are popular at home and abroad, particularly in Asia.

    Since they’re apparently popular in Asia, it’s probably a good idea to use them in an advertisement aimed at Asian tourists. This ad campaign might have some success in Asia.

    Unfortunately, it seems poorly matched for the American and European markets. Arashi is unknown outside of Asia, so it’s almost pointless to have them star in a commercial aimed at Americans. Moreover, they seem to be speaking in Japanese the whole time. Paying to run an unknown foreign pop group’s subtitled foreign language advertisement on the big screen in Times Square is the equivalent of flushing money down the toilet.

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