Just a few weeks ago, a Chinese detergent advert was under fire for racial discrimination. And now, a Japanese marketing campaign has been deemed ‘insulting’ for portraying cultural stereotypes. Oh dear.
Japanese beverage company, Kirin recently released an online campaign for the relaunch of a tea product.
The ad- Greeting Namacha explores how people greet each other in the country. It comes with a compelling slogan that says “Japanese greeting is way too difficult.”
As part of the promotion, the company has released a Japanese-versus-foreigner video. And, there the problem arises.
In it, an awkward situation ensues when a Japanese man is greeted by an African-American.
The video shows how the local was feeling troubled with Western greeting cultures such as hitting the shoulder and hugging. So, Kirin somehow thought they should teach the Japanese to ‘tackle’ these Western greetings.
The ad continues with a step-by-step guide, teaching how Japanese should approach the foreigner.
Based on the guide, the locals should open their hand wide like a peacock fan out its feather (Yes, there is a peacock in the ad.) before giving their foreign friends a hug. Oh, and the hug ought to last approximately three seconds to avoid embarrassing situations.
The advert has received some backlash from non-Japanese users when Kirin promoted it on their official Facebook page. The company is still currently pushing the campaign in hoping it will attract the attention of Western consumers.
Via Japan Trends