travel

ANA opens ‘Is Japan Cool?’ campaign, offering free tickets to Japan

66 Comments

ANA has launched its “Is Japan Cool?” website. The “Is Japan Cool?” site introduces current Japanese trends through articles and video clips of people, places, and social phenomena.

Sumo, carousel sushi (low-priced sushi served on a circulating conveyor belt), maid cafés and comic book cafés are just a few examples. Visitors to the website will judge if the featured items are “cool” or “not so cool.” The site was designed to spark interest in Japan, deepen understanding, and encourage people to visit.

ANA is also running a “Cool Campaign," which gives website visitors the chance to win free round-trip tickets to Japan.

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, ANA has been striving to increase tourism to Japan through a wide variety of approaches, including a campaign to attract students from abroad.

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66 Comments
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Most of the items are evidently pretty cool so the website seems a bit zurui...

For balance they should include some more items leaning towards uncool...

Xenophobic salaryman

Unpaid overtime

high school boys with one trouser leg rolled up

Japanese rappers

Shaved eyebrows etc

14 ( +19 / -7 )

Now THIS is a good idea! They could also go a step further and monitor basic data (age, sex etc) on competition entrants and what they click on as "cool" for analysis and more tailored future marketing campaigns.

will be very interested to see the results. Only disappointment is I think there is so much MORE they could have added to the list - but maybe there is and we just cant see it on the screen dump?

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

I would add: the mountains (take your pick of any of them), diving and beaches in Okinawa, Kyoto city, the Autumn leaves, o-hana-mi, Tokyo Bay skyline, the wilderness in Hokkaido, Kabuki (not my taste but def for some), bentos, sake, shinkansen ( V V cool for young boys) - hell, even the spotlessly dressed impeccably polite staff at dazzlingly clean Narita airport (bear in mind I am someone who flies through Heathrow regualrly!). Go Japan! Bloody well SELL yourself!!!

-8 ( +10 / -19 )

Asking if you are cool is very very uncool

23 ( +26 / -3 )

Once again, Japan is seeking validation from the outside world. Sumo - a dying sport that even the Japanese can't even be bothered to go and see. Maid cafes and manga... oh yes, oh so cool. If you're a 13 year old boy who is a geek.

Why not push those things that ARE nice - as Nicky suggested, the beaches, the mountains, the hot springs, the cute ele kids in the uniforms... The beer vending machines all over the country...

1 ( +12 / -11 )

It's all about marketing whether cool or not. If they thought to promote unusual thing to persuade people to come and visit, so be it.:)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan is cool, but not because of Sumo, carousel sushi (low-priced sushi served on a circulating conveyor belt), maid cafés or comic book cafés, all of which I can do without.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

In terms of the campaign, "Is Japan Cool?", I personally don't feel that natural things are part of that concept. I mean the Great Barrier Reef is cool but Aussies did not create it. Same for the Grand Canyon in the US. It may be more aiming more at things that the Japanese have created, or do as part of their culture. I would, however, include onsens as many countries have hot springs but they way they are enjoyed here is unique and many potential tourists from abroad would enjoy it. Besides kaiten zushi, how about izakaya - much more fun. Agreed, maid cafes are so...peculiar... essentially just another type of hostess bar, underwhelming, not cool. Traditional crafts are definitely cool. There dozens of shotengai in many cities that are retro-cool and are interesting. Just some ideas.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Agree with Cleo and Nicky! Japan is cool and there are a ton of other things. But as Gilberto says its all marketing. I wonder what age group they are really targeting??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Of all the things that website asks about, the "high tech toilet" outranks everything besides "Japanese Hospitality. So the toilet is cooler than Mt. Fuji, Sake, pubs... I like me a strong stream of water up the caboose as the next guy, but I never thought it was that cool.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The quirky stuff like high tech toilets are always going to get more votes than a mountain. I wouldn't say Mt fuji is cool though - it's beautiful, but not cool in the kakkoii sense. Cool at the top in the temperature sense though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"carousel sushi"

Hee hee! For some reason this tickles my funny bone! Kaiten sushi is the best fast food, hands down.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@tmarie - how could I have missed beer vending machines off the list??! What is wrong with me today??!

-7 ( +10 / -16 )

ps. i think japan rocks ;)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“Is Japan Cool?”

Short answer: No.

Correct answer, which you must give if you wan to win one of ANA's prizes: Yes.

This asinine campaign puts me in mind of Louis Armstrong. "Lady, if you gots to ask..."

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

"Is Japan Cool?"

"No."

I can't wait to hear what country IS cool.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japan is cold, not cool. It's amazing that they need TV shows and ad campaigns to try to affirm (in their own minds) these things! There are many cool things to do here but it can get expensive. If I were giving advice to someone about coming to Asia however, I would recommend Thailand or even Vietnam. Those places are cheaper, the weather is better and the people are friendlier.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So if you go to the site, fill out name and details (to receive heaps of junkmail in the future), and praise some of the odder elements of the culture you have a CHANCE to win a free flight?

Not a bad idea for a campaign, I suppose, but I agree with element that there are things far 'cooler' to Japan than the aforementioned. I haven't checked the site or the questions asked, but I hope there are far more options to rank as 'cool', and a place to list your experiences, what you know of the nation, and what you find personally or would find for others attractive, interesting, etc. Otherwise this will lead to some pretty vapid tours, or at least they would cater to very specific audiences (cosplay fans, etc.). Simply hearing what you want to hear is not constructive feedback in the least.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, I meant to say I agree with CLEO that there are things far cooler... not sure why I typed 'element'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So far the Most Cool is Japanese hospitality, Least Cool is Japanese 'idols'. nattoku.

In the intro video, the shot of the kaiten sushi is followed immediately by a shot of a tank of goldfish. A bit off-putting...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Classic Cleo. You'd think they look into how foreigners feel about knowing what the dead thing on their plate looks like alive. I don't get it. A cute pig as a character of a pork place makes me ill. Seems the pr company is pretty clueless in how to market Japan. No surprises. I recall a tear or two ago someone was smart enough to ask foreigners in Japan. And then they blew it by asking uni students, not us lifers who have money, lived here years and have family coming to visit. .

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Free?? Seeing is BELIEVING!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What's with the electronic flagger. They usually have ten guys sitting around watching one guy do the road work, yet they need the electronic flagger.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

wow! Look at all my thumbs down! A new record! You guys really dont see anything good in Japan do you?Thats a shame.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Fukushima Reactor #3: Very uncool

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I signed my brother up. The page has annoying music, but they tried and I like that. Thumbs up ANA

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's definitely not "cool" in the summer

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm a little surprised they didn't include Taiko drumming in that list of cool things. That was one of the things I saw as a youth back in the US that I really did think was cool.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Going to guess that our comments were once again translated and sent out to Japanese who've registered and now thumb down anyone who makes any sort of negative comment about Japan.

Don't they get that this is "uncool"?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

With "Japan Thank You" and "Is Japan Cool?" campaigns both being publicised this week, it is obvious that the English language copy-editors have not been very busy...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For a developing country (basically any part of Japan outside Tokyo's 23 wards) it's COOOOL

Street lighting and widening medieval roads is for dorks!

Walking down the street is an XTREME sport! feel the force of multiple freight trucks passing as you brave the imaginary footpath RADICAL!

as for Tokyo? Tokyo is for HIPSTERS

1 ( +2 / -1 )

vending machines for everything under the sun: flower arrangements, veggies, eggs, porn, girls used underwear, toilet paper, hot dogs, hot soup, french fries, beer, juice, soda, snacks, ice cream - and this is just a short list.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Some things in Japan are "cool", no doubt about it. Food, nomi-hodai, matsuri and skiing in my opinion! Putting "comic book cafes" in the same sentence as "cool" is a bit of a stretch though: it's like saying the dudes from Big Bang Theory are cool (much as I love them!).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How about Japanese technology? Neon signs? Robots?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wow! Look at all my thumbs down! A new record! You guys really dont see anything good in Japan do you?Thats a shame.

:) - Have you been upsetting people? Amazing isn't it?

Definitely the beer vending machines, but also the 50cl beer cans. Great omiyage!

Did anyone mention toilet seats and トイレ姫?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What's cool about Japan? For me the fact that I can leave most of my tools in my half-finished garden-house on an empty lot off the main road with quiet surroundings without having to worry that somebody might go ahead and help themselves out!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@seawolf - yup, and dropping a wallet in the street and getting it back with all the contents. Forgot that bit, got used to it I guess ;-p

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Some of the Japan bashing comments here are quite ridiculous. People, its an advertising campaign (and a very successful one). I don't see any reason for all this hatred.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If social ineptitude, repressed emotions, and the immediate reflex response of "Stop Japan-bashing! You should go home if you don't like it" (when somebody offers the mildest suggestion that even a slight improvement could be made to any aspect of one's daily life) are indicators of cool, then yes.

By that definition, this place is the very Henry Winkler of cool.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

If I were in charge of their website, I'd kill the music after the intro video for two reasons: 1. so people can view their website at work and 2. after a few minutes it gets irritating.

Also, in the intro video, I'd make the English titles larger than the Japanese titles. This is designed to attract foreign tourists, right? Not Japanese. And I'd add a Chinese title, too.

However, the English in the explanations is good. It isn't oyaji-created Janglish that assumes foreigners are all idiots that need to be talked down to. Very refreshing.

So far the top five cool things about Japan are, in order:

hospitality

high-tech toilets

hot springs

Mt. Fuji

Vending machines

Three old Japanesque and two new. Pretty cool, eh?

Finally, we need a word for kaiten sushi. Carousel sushi, conveyor-belt sushi, and sushi go-round just don't cut it. I vote for kaiten sushi, myself. Anyone else?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No Japan, you're not as cool as you think you are. First you ask for opinions and criticism and then bitch and moan about them. And Tai iced coffee/tea is better!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Is it me or the site can't be viewed on iPhones/iPads since it's Flash only?? Doesn't look cool to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Unfortunately,Japan is not cool...not anymore

When a business (ANA) is offering free services to consumers it is a sign of desperation-not cool!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I like the way it is shot - and the music too. Quite cool. Of course Japan is cool - it's been cool for a very long time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So many NaySayers on this!-I'd go at the drop of a Hat, as a vacation destination it's Oahu or Okinawa for the R&R this puppy needs!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm surprised they didn't put a picture of Shintaro Ishihara up on the site & asked that question...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Some of the Japan bashing comments here are quite ridiculous. People, its an advertising campaign (and a very successful one). I don't see any reason for all this hatred.

Not Japan-bashing so much as making fun of this campaign set up to pander for flattery.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@seawolf - yup, and dropping a wallet in the street and getting it back with all the contents. Forgot that bit, got used to it I guess ;-p

Sadly, I must have been the only person in the history of Japan to drop 2 wallets over the years and never get a thing back - not even the bloody gaijin card! Anyway, gotta agree that I have never worried about personal safety here compared to a few other places o/s I've been - that's cool.

Finally, we need a word for kaiten sushi. Carousel sushi, conveyor-belt sushi, and sushi go-round just don't cut it. I vote for kaiten sushi, myself. Anyone else?

It's gotta be Sushi-train, my friend. And yep - it's damn cool and damn cheap too. Way cheaper than the Aussie sushi-trains...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan is not so much "cool", although it IS, but HOT, in two senses. Hot as in those short short short skirts and Hot as in "Thank you very much, Daiichi/TEPCO". Agree that you can not call yourself "cool". It has to be from an observer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's a rare day when I find myself agreeing with cleo. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some of the Japan bashing comments here are quite ridiculous. People, its an advertising campaign (and a very successful one). I don't see any reason for all this hatred.

Hahaha! "Hatred" for pointing out how this "successful" campaign could be better. Oh please. Keep them coming.

And how on earth did I forget nomi-hodai??

My top five? The nomi/tabe hodai Fuji - I LOVE zipping past Fuji on the shinkansen when I head to Tokyo. I spend the whole time staring out the window hoping it will be clear and I can see her! Onsens. Love them. Tatami. Love the smell of new tatami. Don't have them in my place now - pain to keep the dust out - but love them when we go to an onsen. Shinkansen - love how fast, clean and quiet they are. I love watching the countryside pass by.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it just co-incidence that Nicky's and Ivan's posts are being down-voted into the basement, or is it a direct result of a blog translating and reproducing entire JT threads?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think it is a direct results. If you pay attention to some threads, well thought out and popular with foreigners who are up 10 "like" votes end up in the negative in a matter of minutes. Pretty sad and pathetic but no surprise really. i had one post the other day that was about 15 likes and then went to hate dislikes in about 30 mins. Seems some folks have faaaar too much time on their hands - me included with all the posting! ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's too bad they don't have the guts to post here, to our faces.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Is Japn cool? This begs the answer "No". Is this another barfable grammatical mistake? Should it not be "Japan is cool" (?). Japan. Thank you. English ability not rising, I am being thinking.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just like my speling

0 ( +0 / -0 )

japan is really very cool..........

in technology very advance country of the world.........

a great idea of building space elevator i.e upto 96000km. from the earth

<> people are very polite and cool

roads and malls are very neat and clean, drainage system is good, every public service system is of top class

i would like to see the whole japan.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Read the terms.... You win the ticket only, doesn't cover the fuel charges and fees... Can't use in holiday periods of other blackout periods... and it is 1 ticket only...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For those complaining about some of the items on the list, I think you're missing the point. They WANT to know what is looked down on as much as they want to know what is admired. As others have pointed out, it narrows their advertising dollars into the areas that would attract the most passengers to Japan. Of course, what's cool to someone from one country might not be cool to someone from another. To someone from Switzerland, the Japan Alps might be a big yawn because they have the same in their backyard. To someone from flat-as-a-board Kansas, USA, however, the Japan Alps might be a big deal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looking the amount of negative point to positive comments, there is too much naysayism in here. That doesn't talk bad of Japan, on teh contrary. But westerners.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why does ANA think ice coffee is Japanese?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Didnt they have free airfares before but withdrew from it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

personally i dont think this is going to help tourism in any way. untill they dont come totally clean about the nuclear radiation issue

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Singh Kulwa -

japan is really very cool..........

in technology very advance country of the world.........

a great idea of building space elevator i.e upto 96000km. from the earth

<> people are very polite and cool

roads and malls are very neat and clean, drainage system is good, every public service system is of top class

i would like to see the whole japan.......

Um said from a tourist. Try living here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Two words. Japanese women. End of list.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

japan is a great place to all who want see the real paradise....... i love japan.... godbless

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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