commercials

This Year’s Trend in Japan is 1% Alcoholic Drinks for Some Godforsaken Reason

A week or so ago, I noticed that Kirin was running weird commercials advertising a new drink called Butterfly (バタフライ), which contains 1% alcohol.

The flavors of Butterfly available are “Take It Easy! Apple” (気楽にいこう!アップル/Kiraku ni ikou! Apple), “Let’s Go! Ginger” (ゆけ、ゆけ!ジンジャー/Yuke, yuke! Ginger), and “Happy-Go-Lucky Tea” (のんきに紅茶/Nonki ni koucha). They sound good, but unfortunately I can’t sample them, because they’re full of artificial sweeteners, which I am allergic to.

While I was wondering what kind of people would drink 1% alcoholic beverages (lightweights, I guess), I noticed that Suntory also had its own 1% alcohol, “The O.N.E.,” with commercials starring Lily Franky (リリー・フランキー) and Kiko Mizuhara (水原希子):

Does two make a trend?

By the way, The O.N.E. doesn’t have artificial sweeteners, so I could drink it, but the only flavors available are lemon (レモン) and grapefruit (グレープフルーツ), which are pretty standard, so it doesn’t seem worth it to drink them for only 1% of drunk.

But if you’re someone who usually can’t handle the booze, you might want to check these out.

More Japanese Skaters in Commercials

Before, I introduced Yuzuru Hanyu’s (羽生結弦) all-singing no-skating gum commercial, but turns out that was just part of a greater trend of Japanese figure skaters doing things other than skating in commercials. Today, I have two more to show you.

One this commercial for cold medicine Stona (ストナ) starring Mao Asada (浅田真央) and her sister Mai Asada (浅田舞). Like Hanyu, Asada sings in this commercial, but she doesn’t sell it as well as Hanyu does.

Lacking singing yet far sillier is the series of commercials for the lottery, Takarakuji (宝くじ), where shogun-descendent-and-former-Olympic-skater-cum-variety-show-fixture Nobunari Oda (織田信成), along with Kayoko Ookubu (大久保佳代子), join a long-running campaign starring Taizou Harada (原田泰造) and Ryouko Yonekura (米倉涼子) to advertise the year-end lottery (年末ジャンボ/nenmatsu jumbo). The commercials play on Nobunari Oda’s reputation as a crybaby, which he often takes advantage of for comedic effect on variety shows.

There were lots of new faces on and near the podium for the All-Japan Championships this weekend. It’ll be fun to see what commercials the new kids find themselves in in the coming years.