October 07, 2006

Japanese food ads

Japan seems to have perfected the art of annoying catchy jingles that drive you mad, and the TV commercials are full of them -- especially for food. Even if you don't have a TV, you can't escape them, however, as they are played incessantly in supermarkets, children sing them, and, if you're not careful, you can find yourself humming the melody to yourself!

Now, not wanting to deprive any readers who don't happen to be in Japan the pleasure of this experience, I have posted some links to clips of some of the better known jingles. They really have to be seen to be believed.

First up is the ad for Hokto Mushrooms, which is accompanied by the cutesy animated mushrooms. In many larger supermarkets, there will be a small TV in the veg section, playing these ads on a constant loop.

Wander further round the supermarket to the fish counter, and you are sure to hear the fish song, the title of which is Osakana Tengoku, which translates as Fish Heaven. The chorus reminds us that we will never grow up to be smart if we don't eat fish, while the verses are lists of fish. Classic stuff.

Now topping those two, the latest hit commercial jingle is for Kewpie cod roe pasta sauce. It sounds like a weird approximation of eastern European gypsy folk music that seems to go on for ever (well, 4 minutes anyway) complete with the funky choreography from two girls wearing cod roe hats.

Which do you find the least annoying?

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