Wistful Japanese commercials featuring a talking bean who spouts trivia. SO KAWAII!
Aug 21, 2009
Mame-shiba isn't well know as Hello Kitty, but with all of these fabulous branding commericals he should be! He's little known character from Japan, with the name meaning bean (mama) dog (shiba, as in shiba inu). He's one of many quirky Japanese characters that are part animal, part food. What? Yes, animal characters that look like edible food. There's An-Pan Man (Bread Pastry Man), the Sushi seals (the seals are the rice part of the sushi), and the takoyaki cats (octopus pastry balls that have cat-like faces):
Anyway, what the other animal/ food characters don't have are an amazing series of melancholy commercials, where the character will pop out of a food item and spout off some obscure fact, like "did you know a squid has three hearts?"
In Mameshiba 5 (Edamame), a business man is squeezing the bean part out of an edamame pod when the bean (who has the face of a dog) sprouts off a bit of trivia about a kangaroo's pouch. Mind you, it's accompanied by sad music and the bean has the voice of a child. How manipulative! It's simultaneously delightful and sad mainly because we think the bean is spouting off a factoid to convince him not to eat him. Interestingly, "did you know" style facts do make you stop, think, and ponder, which is not unlike what happens when you find some usual tidbit of information online (a duck couple stops liking each other after they create a nest! A flamingo's mother's milk is red!). Before I knew what these commercials were advertising, I thought perhaps they were advertising the Japanese Google because of how prominently the factoids were positioned. If they aren't being used as search engine commercials, they should be! They're perfect branding pieces. And just SOOOOOO cute too.
I'm a writer interested in technology culture: video games, personal technology, mobile phones, and even karaoke. I'm the author of Hit Me With Your Best Shot: The Ultimate Guide To Karaoke Domination(Chronicle … more
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