January 31, 2007

Cameron Diaz's big signboards at SoftBank Japan

Since the take-over bid of Vodafone by SoftBank, consumers in Japan were bombarded by new commercials featuring Cameron Diaz. SoftBank's ads feature only one celebrity: Cameron Diaz. And while DoCoMo's ads stress continuity and reliability ("That's why I'm DoComo"), and KDDI's make a big deal out of its wide variety of features (each talent represents one), SoftBank's give you nothing but Diaz. There's no pitch, no explanation, no jokes. In one, Diaz is in a supermarket, her basket overflowing with stuff; in another she looks businesslike, striding purposely toward the camera. In both she's talking on her cellphone, and in the print ad she just stands there with the phone to her ear, staring straight at you.

The implication is simple: "We got Cameron Diaz and you didn't." It's a move that's as cheeky as CEO Masayoshi Son's shock announcement of the zero-yen plan the day before the start of "number portability" on Oct. 24, which allows cellphone users to switch carriers without changing their telephone numbers.

Taken at Nagoya Sakae Softbank shop.

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