The award-winning “Share a Coke” campaign launched in Japan last year with bottles that invited consumers to share a memorable song, connected with a particular year, with a friend. Now, name-printed bottles – a part of the campaign that’s already launched in different countries around the world – have made their way to Japan. In grocery stores around the country, you can happily root to the back of the chiller cabinet looking for a Coke with you or your friend’s name on it (if you have a Japanese name, that is).
And it seems some bright sparks have hit on a brilliant money-spinning idea off the back of this: collect the names of all the members of a pop group, and sell them on online auctions. A set of Coke bottles with the names of all five girls from idol group Momoiro Clover Z, printed complete with -Z suffixes, has sold on Yahoo Auctions for 15,000 yen.
The auction finished on May 25th with 14 unique bidders, and the winner came in at 15,000 yen.
The seller claims the set is “the only one in the world”, although in the auction description they remain tight-lipped about how they got their hands on them. They are also clear that the bottles aren’t official Momoclo merchandise, saying only that they got the bottles from someone they know.
Coca Cola runs events around the country giving people the chance to have their own name printed on a bottle (great for those of us whose names didn’t make the list of 232 common Japanese first and last names that are printed on the bottles in stores). However, it’s specifically prohibited to print brand or celebrity names at their events, and says they will ask for ID if they suspect the name you’re asking for isn’t yours. We can’t imagine that the seller would’ve been able to convince anyone that was their real name, especially as the names on the Momoclo bottles are Momoka-Z, Ayaka-Z, Kanako-Z, Shiori-Z, and Reni-Z.
Momoclo aren’t the only idol group whose names Japan wants to see on a Coke bottle: an auction for a set of two bottles, with the first and last names of Tamamori Yuta from group Kis-My-Ft2, finished up at 6,250 yen. In Japan, the “Share a Coke” campaign features a lot of family names, as well as given names. So if you’re lucky enough to have both a common first and last name, you can get your full name spread across two Cokes.
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