Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Depresso'd? F U !

A good friend of mine raised a very valid point... namely, if you drink DEEPRESSO, how deeply does the depression sink into you? How would one ever keep from being constantly DEEPressed while enjoying the tasty beverage that picks you up and brings you down all at once?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And seriously, who planned this ad?


A: Um....ok... we need a young guy... he's got to have long hair, and he has to look sexerious... not too serious, not too sexy... sexierious.

B: Ok... and what about the boomers, the middle aged people that want to drink our coffee, and think that drinking coffee is fun and meaningful.

A: Dude, Deepresso is a serious brand, but... ok... we can ad an old guy.

B: With a big smile.

A: Ok...a smile, but only a little bit of a smile. And his eyes can't be too silly.

B: Ok... he can look off into the distance, away from the camera!

A: At the camera.

B: Away from the camera.

A: Let's compromising?

B: Ok, Ok, Let's compromising. One towards and one away.

A: Done.

B: And I want something with an edge. That says "I'm bad, but not too bad. I'm Deep and I'm Espressing my feeling. I'm Depressoing!

A: Chain Link Fence?

B: Brilliant!




I was totally lost about how these people kept themselves from falling into the Depresso trap... and then, riding home the other day, the solution hit me right in the advertising gland...

They visit this mental clinic!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Depressed?

F U!

next.


Sad? Angry?

F U!

next.


Bored?

F U!!!

next.


Come solve any and all mental issues at the F U Mental clinic... where a new perspective and reworked self worth is just a quick "FU!!" away.

12 comments:

.H said...

Excellent :)

ed said...

heh.
Let me guess, you were packed into the Yamanote, trying your damdest to protect your nose from short-salaryman greasy-combover, wishing you were ten strap-hangers down sharing your apprentice japanese with the cuteish chick in a shortpants business-suit and your eye fell upon this advert.
First stop off the train, a vending machine to purchase an overpriced tin of sugared depression.
Me too. I haven't opened mine tho. Saving it, coupla years it might be worth big bucks on ebay. Plus those canned coffees taste like shit.

Now that big has grown up and moved back to Canadia or San Fransisco or wherever the hell he came from, I think I'll add your blog to my regular dose of online stupid.
Perhaps you can start a resurgence in 'important Expat Japan bloggers' since all the old-school wienies have split the country and moved on to sharing boring pictures of their children.

Hey, wanna see my new favourite Japanese band? Check out the Vacations at dress-tokyo tommorrow night.
http://www.dress-tokyo.com/top/live/live.html
http://www.star-kiwamu.com/vacances/b_index0.html

Anyone who finds humour in Shitte-eki and a chubby dude with a happoshu can hanging out of his zipper will enjoy this band.
See you there.

ed said...

oh fuck. Broken links, its all Bloogers fault, has nothing to do with my mad typing skillz.

wienies =
http://www.japanmediareview.org/japan/internet/1048789636.php

dress TOKYO=
http://www.dress-tokyo.com/index2.html
http://www.dress-tokyo.com/top/live/live.html

Cut and paste if you care.

Merry Man In Japan said...

Ed,

I'm so glad you've enjoyed my particular mosh of juvenille humour and english criticism. I'll try to keep the wackyness coming. Of course, judging by EVERY FREAKING DAY I LEAVE MY APARTMENT, finding madness in Japan shouldn't prove that difficult. I'm more than open to guest hilarity, so if you stumble on something that you think might fit in here - by all means, drop me an email. I'm at the gmail with the username "bemerry".



Cheers man.

The band looks hilarious, by the way. Thanks for the link.

ed said...

I'm so glad you've enjoyed my particular mosh of juvenille humour and english criticism.

Im a huge fan of fifth grade doodie humour. Really, is there any other kind of humour? Chesnuts like this, never fail to get a laugh from me. Please keep at it. English criticism is just an added bonus.

I sent a jpg of that advert to my buddy Masashi in London. Masashi is perhaps the most gifted electric blues guitarist alive today, a world-class drinker and japanese, and he is also really bright.
Masashi's take on the ad, "I cant believe that advert is made without any of advice from native english speakers. I think they made it on purpose."
I'm thinking he may be right. Consider-
1. Major advertising campaign, that picture is all over Tokyo.
2. We ain't talking political campaigns here, where stupid is a given, we are talking advertizing in a country RULED by capitalism.
3. Most urban japanese citizens might not be comfortable speaking english, but have no problem reading basic english.

Advertizing agencies hire smart people. We are talking about the cohee, we both bought a can. How many other people saw the add and went all, "Hey that's 'depresso', Get it?!" and bought a can?

I'm thinking we got pwned.

You should repost your thoughts on racism in Japan, something about seating on the train and how you got thrown out of an eating establishment, cuz i had interesting, insightful even, comments on that, (I think you are completely wrong, and for about a minute I was willing to explain why i thought that) but i'm far to lazy... er busy, to go and find that old post.


Gimme a couple more days and I'll have some video of The Vacances online. Those guys crack me up.

Merry Man In Japan said...

Hmm.... I think your buddy Masashi is right, but not for those reasons. I think they had purpose for the ad, but it wasn't to amuse the relatively small portion of English speakers who will make that connection. It might be an added bonus to their sales, but as I said, I suspect it has more to do with the fact that most Japanse would connect "Deep" and "Espresso" together.

Why do I say this? Well, for starters, the ad is directed at Japanese folk. It's written for their eyes, and not for english speakers. I know that Japanese companies write to their audience because I've seen countless ads for ENGLISH SCHOOLS that have glaring grammatical mistakes and nonsensical phrases. These are companies whose product is English, and they don't care to take advantage of the fact that they have hundreds - if not thousands - of native English speakers who would gladly take a few minutes to prevent hazardous grammar (See my recent penis-related post for another example). Your man Masashi may indeed be right... but I'd bet againt his reasoning. Writing to your target audience trumps being funny to touring visitors.


As for racism, Japan has no monopoly on having a few racists in the closet (I'm looking at you, America, and you, France, and just about everywhere else to boot.) They make up an extremely small percentage of the population, but they can have a huge impact.

I'm too tired now to make any (more?... nope... "any".) insightful comments about racism. I will revisit it in a day or two when it's not 5:45 am.

In the mean time, you can find that old post here:

http://merrymanjapan.blogspot.com/2006/07/sweet-japan-pics-4-cheerful-racial.html

ed said...

I suspect it has more to do with the fact that most Japanse would connect "Deep" and "Espresso" together.

Yes, and also depress.

Why do I say this? Well, for starters, the ad is directed at Japanese folk. It's written for their eyes, and not for english speakers.

I think we are agreeing here. The ad is directed to Japanese folk. You seem to think that Japanese folk will only see the 'deep' 'espresso' connection, I'm saying that Japanese folk aint that dumb, they also see the 'depress' connection.

...relatively small portion of English speakers...

Not 'speakers', readers.

I know that Japanese companies write to their audience because I've seen countless ads for ENGLISH SCHOOLS that have glaring grammatical mistakes and nonsensical phrases.

No offense, merryman, but you are mixing apples and oranges. I'm suggesting that a world class advertising agency is manipulating us and you are offering examples from ENGLISH SCHOOLS in japan.
Again, no offense meant, and you haven't mentioned which school you work for, but let's be serious here, english school advertising is not on the same level as Georgia, a Coca-Cola product.

Merry Man In Japan said...

I'm saying that Japanese folk aint that dumb

I never said that they were "dumb". English is a difficult language, and Japanese do remarkably well with a language that is so completely different than their own. Still, I've asked a bunch of my friends/students whether they picked up the connection. Some of them caught it, others, not so much despite having a very high level of English. Maybe it doesn't jump out quite as hard as you would think.

Still, one friend suggested a third hypothesis that seems about right to me: They know that the connection is there, but they don't care. She explained that older Japanese people (and those with lower english *READING* levels) have a lot of trouble remembering English/Romanji names, so the sound has to be connected to something and very catchy and easy to say/remember. We both agree that Japanese readers are the target here, and that English readers are an afterthought.

Maybe in this case someone realized that "Deepresso" sounds hella funny in English, but it seems much more likely to me that that argument came long after the "this is easy to remember and connected to these two important coffee words" discussion.

You're right, this is a Coke product, but I'd be willing to bet both my apples and my oranges that their ad agency is Japanese.

Japan is a conservative place... I have a hard time imagining that a company would use an inverted english joke designed to appeal to bloggers and expats as a major part of their marketing strategy. I'll give you "footnote" and "afterthought", but I don't think it really factored into the decision.

English school advertising is not on the same level as Georgia, a Coca-Cola product

No, it isn't on the same "level", but the objective remains the same. Both companies want to appeal to the market. My point was this: the business of an English school is English. They have even more of an incentive to check that their English copy makes sense than Coke.

Merry Man In Japan said...

You know, I sometimes wonder whether correcting people all day, every day, has somehow rusted my ability to give ground in an argument.

hmm...I'll have to pick a few fights to get some empirical evidence.

ed said...

Japan is a conservative place... I have a hard time imagining that a company would use an inverted english joke designed to appeal to bloggers and expats as a major part of their marketing strategy. I'll give you "footnote" and "afterthought", but I don't think it really factored into the decision.

We are on the same page but not. Sorry for the confusion. I am absolutely not talking about expats and bloggers. Fuck them, minor, exceedingly tiny market. I'm talking about the mass quantities of people who see this advert every day.


You know, I sometimes wonder whether correcting people all day, every day, has somehow rusted my ability to give ground in an argument.


heh.

hmm...I'll have to pick a few fights to get some empirical evidence.


Nahh that wont fly, thats Aldwinkles problem, after all these years he still hasn't copped to the idea that confrontation don't work in Japan, its all about super polite discussion and eventual consensus.

Still, I've asked a bunch of my friends/students whether they picked up the connection. Some of them caught it, others, not so much despite having a very high level of English. Maybe it doesn't jump out quite as hard as you would think

Thanks for that. So you still think its 'engrish'? Maybe you are right. Maybe we will never know.
I too am curious about this advert. I passed it around to people i know. Everyone I've asked gets it, "ah 'depression', but then everyone I've asked is bilingual.

Here's the solution, a case of free Georgia Deepresso, a video camera, a Thane Camusesque "Now English please" interviewer- Shibuya crossing.

I got a Sony dcr-vx1000 (the camera that makes you look sorta important), you up for playing Thane?

Merry Man In Japan said...

I got a Sony dcr-vx1000 (the camera that makes you look sorta important), you up for playing Thane?

I had no idea who Thane Camus was until a quick google search turned up enough to make a snap character judgement. Looks interesting.

Regardless, I've been playing with myself for years. Add a video camera, a mission and a significant opportunity for comedy, shenanigans AND caffination?

I'm in.

ed said...

Drop me an email when you are ready to go.
Batteries charged.

Thane's bits were always filmed at Harajuku, but Harajuku is overrun with foreigners now.

Got to be Shibuya crossing.