Friday, December 4, 2009
How about this; instead of doing it at home, maybe you should just try and stop?
Since a while ago, probably at least a year, the Tokyo Metropolitan subway has been running a poster campaign to try and improve the manners of the users of the subway. Nothing particularly wrong with the general idea since some of my fellow travellers can be more than a little annoying on occasion.
The images and the concept itself is really dorky and I know that it has been made fun of plenty among foreign bloggers here in Tokyo and that many Japanese people find it ridicilous. And it's hard to disagree, the posters are ridicilous and beg to be made fun of. But on the other hand, as a professional in the marketing communications business, I must say that I believe that they most likely have been very successful in achieving what they are meant to do; they do make people think of their behaviour and make people aware that certain activities are not appreciated by fellow travellers. In any case, you can take a look here and make up your own mind.
But I have the feeling that they are now starting to run out of inspiration, but are reluctant to kill the campaign just yet and want to milk the attention these posters get, just a little bit more. The latest one you can see here above; it portraits something that looks like a salaryman completely drunk, lost one shoe and lying on the dirty floor of the subway platform with empty cans surrounding him and even if the picture does not contain it, I'm sure there's plenty of vomit everywhere as well. And then the text says "Please do it at home".
My immediate reaction is that this is not a behaviour that is especially good for anyone in the long run and that perhaps this guy should try to cut down a little and not do this in the subway stations, at his own home or any other location? Shoes are not cheap either.
I can see how this concept can be taken to even further heights adding some on the theme of "don't do this at all, anywhere, ever" instead and some concept that could be used are of course smoking meth when you are a famous celebrity and got everything to lose, not calling the ambulance when that nude hooker you were partying with has OD:ed, gassing the subway with sarin gas, rape-murder English teachers and then run from the police, vote for the LDP or whatever you can imagine. Eidan - the ball is on your side now, run with it!