How the Japanese Companies Marketed at SxSW

What Americans think of Japanese culture is quite interesting. From Sumo wrestlers, Sony Playstations and Samurais, our view of the Japanese come from books, games and movies. So, the on flip side, it is interesting to see how the Japanese App makers want to market themselves here in the US.

Texas Rangers pitcher, Yu Darvish, wasn't the only Japanese to make a splash in Texas in 2012. The Japanese area in Exhibition Hall 4 was the talk of the 2012 SxSW show as they were showcased in a group of 20 companies a few weeks ago.

Some of the notable companies include: ringreef, mashroom, beatrobo,, beautecam, Pico Tube, zakuri, KAYAC, Pitapat, Palmu. Many used popular icons in Japanese pop culture costumes and characters like geishas, maid, and Hatsune-Miku to help bring attention to their booth. One of the most interesting was KAYAC.

To market the Photobag app, KAYAC's geisha or Kabuki actor took a picture of a SxSW attendee and gave it to a Manga artist. The Manga artist would then turn your digital photo into a Manga-style trading card and upload it with a "Magic" number. The attendee can then access the Manga card through the Photobag app. KAYAC pumped over 200 attendees cards to the mobile space.

Interesting way of integrating the PR/marketing from face-to-face to gain engagement, to on-line to have people interact with their app in a fun way.

Interesting to consider that using typical cultural icons will perpetuate a skewed understanding of the culture or will it make people more curious.
Quick Uptake:

Photobag - Check out the Nerd Stalker review here.

This app is downloadable in the iPhone App Store and the Android Market.

MusicParty - Check out the Nerd Stalker review here.

This app is available in the iTunes App Store.


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