A Miyagi summer promotional video has been under fire for using sexually suggestive lines in the effort to promote the prefecture. And it doesn’t help that the choice of celebrity to endorse it is Danmitsu (real name: Saito Shizuka), a talent notorious for her borderline sexually explicit comments on TV, and provocative videos.
Following feedback received through approximately 480 phone calls regarding the video, 80% of which was a complaint against its distasteful introduction of the prefecture, the commercial is scheduled to stop airing at the end of this week. The organization in charge has also voiced that the video has achieved its purpose and it is an appropriate time to remove it.
The official video alone reached over 3.5 million views on YouTube within 2 months, and with the news coverage on its removal, it is expected to reach even more viewers on top of those who caught the news.
I was initially wondering if the viewers were too prudish over a mildly wild commercial, but was surprised that the sexual innuendos weren’t the least subtle when I actually saw part of it. But depending on the purpose of the marketing team, this can be considered successful if their aim is to get the widest reach within the shortest time since summer is about to end. After all, a prefecture is a prefecture. Even with an inappropriate promotional video, people will more likely associate the indecent material with the company who produced and approved it and less with the prefecture. But I’m not sure if I would want to try their cow’s tongue after seeing how it was presented.
In terms of branding, it might not have worked out the best, but in terms of reach, it has done well. At least, the idea of a cooler (in terms of climate) Miyagi being a good traveling option during this hot summer has been input to the minds of many who saw the video.
* video below may no longer be available after this week