Japan the land of the “kawaii”


For sure Japan is unique! I strongly believe that for Japan the most desired feedback on any marketing campaign has to be “可愛い, kawaii”, which can be translated as cute. Just have a look at the picture on the side, which reflects an actual marketing promotion event of a popular Japanese Ramen brand: チキンラーメン (Chicken ramen: “The origin of instant ramen since 1958” made by Nissin Foods). Some argue that this approach is only directed to young Japanese women, but the cute concept is applicable for the general market. Or just imagine where else in the world do you find marketing promotions even for technical goods that are mainly in pastel colors or then contain popular cartoon characters?
This cute concept does not only apply to common household goods, but let me give you another example of a major Japanese bank, which sends yearly as an appreciation some towels for the account holder. The picture below shows the actual towel.

Even major insurances or general service provider have to use the same approach so that they can be effective in the Japanese market. So from a foreign perspective if you want to be effective in marketing in Japan, don’t forget the cute factor!

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)

4 thoughts on “Japan the land of the “kawaii”

  1. Japan is such a land of extremities! On one hand Japanese people can be very strict and severe; on the other hand there’s an incredible amount of “kawaii”. On one hand they can be very quiet and solemn, and on the other hand their television is extremely gaudy and noisy compared to television in my country for example.

    I guess that’s one of the reasons why I still find Japan such a fascinating country, despite not liking many things about the Japanese culture.

    • Dear Mirkka,

      thank you very much for taking time to comment in regard to this article.
      Yes, I agree Japan can be understood as the land of opposites, where seemingly unmatching extremes can exists happily in the same environment. I guess this is for me one of the reasons, why I feel so comfortable living in Tokyo.
      All the best,

      Sibylle

  2. Dear Yuji,

    thank you very much for your comment. You definitely got me thinking, because I had not yet understood women as trend setters and men just as followers…

    All the best,

    Sibylle Ito

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