Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Do What You Gotta Do To Get Paid

I read a couple of news stories today that peaked my interest. First up, another proposed fare hike for the New York MTA. This news comes just after the agency announced massive service cuts across their entire system. Honestly MTA?! New York is a great city and everything, but they run their government agencies ass backwards and are completely incompetent. The trains are always dirty, late and you can never hear/understand the conductor's announcements over the PA. Ugh. They clearly just don't give a fuuuuuuuck. MTA - you gotta hustle to make that paper! Thank goodness I live in Tokyo right now.

Which brings me to the second story I read today. Suntory, makers or beer, whiskey and other things that turn my face pink, has paid Japan Railways to change the station melody at Shimbashi Station to their highball commercial jingle. If you don't live in Tokyo, that sentence may register in your head like this "whiskey...trains...shimdla;ighwo....jingle...whydoireadthisblogagain?" Let me break it down --

In Tokyo, the government run train operator is called Japan Railways (or JR if you're cool) and at every JR station in Tokyo, there is a jingle that plays when the train arrives. Each station has a different tune and I presume they do this because it's adorable and so you know when you've gotten to your stop. Here is my favorite, Takodanobaba. They play the theme song to Astro Boy because in the manga, Astro Boy is born in this neighborhood of Tokyo.

Getting back to the point of this post. So Suntory paid JR to change the melody at one of the busiest hubs in Tokyo to promote their whiskey which I think is super rad. It's cool because it shows how much Japanese people love to drink. It's cool because Suntory is thinking of new ways to promote their products and this is pretty unique. It's also cool because it shows how JR is willing to sell any kind of advertising space so that they make money thus keeping fares low and rats and puke off of the trains. The grossest thing you'll find on a Japanese train is a foreigner. No lie. Because we smell. But really, whose fault is that? Maybe Procter & Gamble should come to Japan and advertise antiperspirant on the trains!

Me = Marketing genius!

Also, do you know what Japanese people call puke on the train stations? Platform pizzas. Isn't that so gross and accurately descriptive?!

Oh, here's the Japanese news story on the Suntory jingle via Japan Probe.

shimbashi melody
アップロード者 Japanherpderp. - ウェブカムでもっといろいろな人と出会いましょう。

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