AKB48 member Atsuko Maeda, 20, has been chosen to play a detective in a series of ads for an ice-cream range from Glico.
Maeda is to take a starring role in a series of television commercials and print advertisements for Ezaki Glico's Aisu no Makoto product, according to Nikkan Sports.
The same product range became a talking point last year when the ad agency responsible for the campaign introduced Japan to a new AKB48 member named Aimi Eguchi, who was actually a composite containing elements of the existing members' faces blended together using computer photo manipulation software.
Glico, the company perhaps most famous overseas for its large neon sign depicting an athlete located above Dotonbori in Osaka, takes its name from glycogen contained in oysters used in confectionery production. In a press release, the company announced that the theme of the ads is to be "The AKB48 Murder Mystery."
The idol group becomes embroiled in a murder mystery in which each member is a suspect. Glico said the early installments of the series were filmed before the group members themselves knew who the killer was, in an attempt to draw natural reactions from the young cast.
Glico says that viewers can also get involved in the hunt to catch the killer by looking for clues on the company's website. The first installment in the series is to be broadcast from June 25, with four more installments planned before the killer is revealed in September.© Japan Today