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Jul 11, 2018

Super Wordy Advertisements on Trains. Why?

Advertisements are everywhere in the world. You are constantly surrounded by marketing messages that are trying to sell you their latest products or services, and they use some very eye-catching ad campaigns to catch your attention and hopefully make a spot for themselves in your short or hopefully long term memory. In Japan, however, printed advertisement campaigns are.... wordy. Japanese TV commercials are renowned for being creative and outside the box, but the printed ads, especially the ones on the train are often the complete opposite. They are so boring, PLUS they have so much text... why!?


Super Wordy Advertisements on Trains. Why? photo


Advertisements in Japan are like reading comprehension exams for me, especially the ones on trains. They might have a simple photo of something on one side, a popping title font for one thing, then it is just paragraph after paragraph of heavy text in boring standard black fonts. In this day and age when people prefer starring down at the phone instead of up when they are in a train, who is going to lift their head and be looking at an advertisement long enough to read everything?


Not to mention: those who are not standing close enough to the ad are simply too far away to read the text! The seated people are, of course, blocked by everyone else who are standing too. So for everyone except the passengers standing super close to the advertisement (and are tall enough), the wordy advertisements are simply not effective if the goal was to convey most or all of the messages the poster had written on it... are they?


Actually, I wonder if those ads are working? In the western culture, ads are often simple and clear, but those ads might miss out on things that Japanese consumers would appreciate, such as carefulness and attention to detail. Those are just speculations, so if you have some insights or thoughts, please share them with me below!


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