Saturday, December 11, 2010

Xmas in Japan

ahhhhh ...xmas.

It's actually starting to get to me, but there are things about Life in Japan (not just Tokyo) I miss, and the upcoming Holidays are starting to tug on the ol' nostalgia heartstrings. One thing that seems to remain the same however is Chanuka and Kwanza coming and going without anyone really noticing -snark-.

It would seem however that some Cross Cultural Christmas Creep is ...Chappening between Chapan and Camerica. (ok I'll stop with the retarded illiteration). Yes friends, there is no greater shame than someone who calls themselves an Otaku, yet remains ignorant of the connection between the beloved Colonel Sanders and Christmas in Japan. (Link. Another Link with creepy accompanying photo, and finally to bring it back to grown up land, a more reputable Link).

Yes friends, the Colonel owns Christmas in Japan, where he dawns his santa hat and provides round-eye style deep fat fried poultry to the masses for $50 per order. You'll see some refrences to this in the popular culture of the Land of the Rising Sun, but none more concentrated as the short contribution they make to Duane Johnson's very classic and skillfully made AMV (back when there was such a thing), "Dare to be Stupid."

It's somewhere in there I didn't upload the thing and only know it form other sources... Hey, I've had this thing on VHS since 1997 so ....get off my lawn!

So here I am, sitting in my jail cell of a room with a TV on, always looking for ways to make obscure connections between marketing and Japanese pop-culture (I haz MBA, I kan make teh smrt) when I notice a KFC commercial air that was obviously made for domestic U.S. audiences.

Now, while KFC has been running Holiday themed advertising for years (was it KFC that did the Lake Wolbigon spots way back when, or was that Wendy's?) the particular spot that has aired this year is different. Now the following observations may not be new, since by living in Tokyo I was not watching American TV last December, but the observation none the less is the following; That while many winter holiday advertising from KFC (and many other entities) has taken a Xmas "flavor" so to speak, this seems to be the first that I've seen to explicitly suggest purchasing and eating this KFC product on Christmas itself. The message of "saving time" is simply, don't cook, buy and eat KFC, not "it's a Kuriisumasu thing" that those gaijin celebrate.

Is this a correlation = causation instance? Um no. The reason that Japan loves KFC on Xmas is very far removed from the reasons that an advertizing agency believes that this will be effective in boosting sales, or the Yum!Brands Marketing Department believes it would be profitable to keep a significant number of KFC locations open on Christmas. Still, it's nice to see yet another creepy Christmas cross cultural commonality ....c-develop between Japan and the US, if not for this one being one of the few examples of the door swinging the other way.

So there you go, you American Otaku. Now there's no excuse not to sink your teeth into a piece of golden deep fried awesome. Whether it's to bring the family together, or to avoid them all entirely, get to a KFC, where they'll charge you 25% of the price of the same than Japan will, because America has illegal immigrant labor pick lettuce, slaughter chickens, and work in food-factories for less than minimum wage, all so you can buy 12,000 callories provided by the cheapest third party for the lowest bid price. ...Enjoy.

... I miss Tokyo, but not it's prices.

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