Sunday, October 29, 2006
Building a Holiday (Halloween)
As Luis mentioned in his blog, the Japanese seem to be pushing Halloween as a holiday more and more each year. A flyer that was recently left in my mailbox which includes the above insert seemed to further support this notion. The above picture (click it to see a larger version with more detail) was included as part of an (Sony) Avic sale flyer for T.V.s, DVD recorders, and video cameras. The picture is printed on light card stock and says "Avic Halloween Festival (matsuri)". The box at the bottom is for kids to write their names and ages in.
The back of the insert talks about the fact that this is a (coloring) contest and that applicants get the jumbo bag of "Big Katsu" items pictured in the lower right as a "present" for entering. The items in the bag appear to be a variety of salty, deep-fried snack foods. There's nothing like getting your kids started on their hardened arteries as early as possible.
While I don't think Japanese kids will ever embrace trick or treating because the concept of going door to door for free candy doesn't seem to suit the Japanese character, I do think they could eventually build festivals around it that will allow kids to dress up, play games and get free treats. The contest Avic is offering seems to be a move to that end. As with all holidays, where there is a commercial opportunity, companies will be exploiting it.
I have to give Avic credit. The presence of this unusual Halloween flyer (at least I've never seen one like it before) made me pay more attention to their ad. I paid attention to the fact that HD flat screen T.V.s are outrageously priced (between $4000-$8000) and thought about how I hope our T.V. doesn't crap out on us for a long while.