All across the world the influence of modern media is changing people’s lives and Japanese society is no different. Media can influence the way people think, feel and act. As technology becomes more advanced and accessibility of various media sources becomes easier for everyone, the influences of advertising, radio, TV and the movies continue to make a greater impact on society. The Japanese are consider to be leaders in all forms of technology as for this reason people across the world look to them to set trends and lead the way in the future of the media.
Advertising and Transportation
The PASMO card is a pre-paid smart card use to pay for public transportation in Japan. According to the Japanese Department of Ministry there were nearly 11 Million PASMO cards in circulation in Japan in 2008 (Dept of Ministry, p4, 2009.). These cards are used to travel on any of Japan’s subway, train and bus systems. With the volume of people using the various forms of public transportation, the exposure for advertisers is immense. For this reason, many media outlets use public transportation as a primary source of advertising.
Within the metropolitan areas of Japan, as in the United States, the subway systems are a highly used form of transportation that allows travelers to get around to various areas of the city quickly and relatively inexpensively. Since millions of people, both locals and tourist, subway trains are a perfect place for advertisers to give their products the most exposure as possible. Advertisers place their ads on posters inside the train cars on small overhead poster banks as well as posters on doors and railings. They also create stick on advertisements that are put on the seats of the cars.
The Japanese subway system has given advertisers the ability to “wrap” entire subway trains in advertising. This form of advertizing is also called “train jacking” (Japan Marketing News, 2008). This popular trend has spread across the world and recently been used by advertisers in New York on the subways systems of the Metropolitan Transit Systems. Train jacking simply means and advertiser uses and entire subway train, inside and out, to advertiser their product or company. One example is when IKEA Japan jacked a train in the city of Kobe in Japan to celebrate the opening of a new store. For its advertising IKEA replaced the seats in the train’s car with sofa and upholstery from its store and covered the windows with its own shades. They also covered many of the walls in the trains cars with wall coverings sold at the store.
The subways trains are not the only space advertisers use in the Japanese subways systems. Advertisers have found a way to use every possible space within the subway and train stations to advertise. Entire walls are covered with advertisements, poles within the station are converted into bottles of drinks or perfumes, even the moving handrails of the escalators are covered with advertising. The...