Saturday, June 5, 2010

Assaulted by Akihabara

One of the first things you see when exiting the Akihabara metro line is an advertisement of one kind or another. At first it starts out pretty tame with only a few posters here and there across the walls. But as soon as you leave the terminal it’s a never-ending assault on your senses. The streets echo with the voices of shopkeepers shouting our their special discounts, girls dressed in pretty clothes handing out flyers, flashing neon signs displaying shop stores, and television screens plastered to the sides of buildings informing bystanders of the latest and greatest products. I imagine it’d probably be a lot like going to Times Square.

Unlike Times Square however you’re still surrounded by ads, to the point where they can literally cover the walls and ceilings. You don’t really notice it a first since most of the ads use a lot of negative space, but when you have a moment to look around you notice them. Whether you look left, right, up, or down your eyes are bond to land on some form of ad. While this can make sense form an advertisement standpoint in which you want to provide the younger consumers with as many options as they need to select their own style. Which is the main goal of most advertisement agencies in Japan, because once a consumer chooses their brand chances are they’ll continue to buy that brand for the rest of their life. So the main thing an ad wants to get across to the consumers is that their brand is a brand they can empathize with. It’s much more important for the consumer to relate to a brand then for the brand to actually be functional, and it would appear that the ad companies can be quite aggressive to get their empathic messages across.

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