Advertisers often try to push the envelope in an effort to make a memorable commercial that keeps a brand in the consciousness of society. However when doing so, lines tend to get crossed and their promotion backfires.
Such is the case with a recent ad for the carbonated drink Mitsuya Cider, which, despite the appley sounding name, is more like Sprite or 7-Up in appearance and flavor. The spot, titled Bokura No Naka (Our Refreshment) has been pulled after receiving numerous complaints from viewers.
Why? Well, the commercial speaks for itself.
Then again, maybe it doesn’t…
Chances are, most people wouldn’t catch what triggered the uproar right away…or maybe ever, but those with some musical experience ought to be able to see it.
In the commercial, a young man and woman played by Ryonosuke Kamiki and Kyoko Yoshine enjoy adolescence to the fullest with friends and, of course, the great taste of Mitsuya Cider: available at a convenience store or supermarket near you.
However, in the latter half, Yoshine is seen practicing the trumpet on a rooftop when suddenly her friends – probably ecstatic about the refreshing flavor of Mitsuya Cider – come rushing up from behind, bumping into and surprising the aspiring Miles Davis.
And it is in this scene that tragedy is only narrowly averted.
It could be said that surprising someone from behind while they are holding a heavy metal object against their mouth tends to cause said mouth to slam against the thick metal mouthpiece, lips and teeth be damned. It also then becomes likely that the trumpet – which in Yoshine’s case is held over the edge of a rooftop – will be dropped and damaged.
After a steady stream of complaints came in about this display of consequence-free recklessness against trumpet players, Asahi Soft Drinks canceled the ad and issued an apology on their website.
“At this time, we have received a lot of opinions from our customers about Mitsuya Cider’s new commercial, Bokura no Naka Hen. We deeply apologize for our lack of consideration. We take your feelings seriously and have decided to cancel the ad. We would like to take this moment to sincerely apologize.”
However, following the apology, public opinion appears to be deeply divided on whether this outrage is justified or an overreaction.
“How is this dangerous? Sorry, I’m not making a joke. I really don’t get it.”
“I think people are expecting too much from a silly commercial.”
“The people who are complaining really need to get out more.”
“One time a classmate thought it would be funny to hit another classmate on the shoulder while he was playing the trumpet. He jolted, split his lip and chipped a tooth while blood poured onto his shirt. I don’t think people are overreacting to this.”
“So that commercial showing an office worker doing parkour is okay, but this isn’t?”
Although it was speaking against the complaints, that last comment inadvertently helps to illuminate why some people were troubled by it. Had the commercial shown something more absurd like a trumpet player getting hit in the back by a gigantic gushing stream of Mitsuya Cider from a fire hose, it might not have caused such a stir.
But it’s the down-to-earth nature of the advertisement that probably struck a nerve with some people while simultaneously flying right over the heads of others.
Even though this commercial would probably not have resulted in a spike of trumpet-related injuries, Asahi is probably wise to opt for being better safe than sorry. That mean’s we’ll just have to stick with the safer commercials Japan has to offer, such as school girls climbing the sides of buildings and young boys with human heads emerging from their mouths.
Source: Asahi Soft Drinks
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