Japan is one of the leading countries in Media Innovations. This is easy to see on the amount of new materials and strategies developed to create media presented in advertising reports and marketing reviews.
A great place to see this innovations are at the Subway that holds a large variety of advertising formats. Such as the one below presented by Japan Marketing News Blog.
Here is a part of the article :
Japanese printing companies have started offering advertisers the ability to display moving pictures on paper advertisements.
The above ad announces the debut of a new mascara from Lancome that uses a vibrating applicator brush. The poster is made from electronic paper—a technology that allows paper to be written and rewritten repeatedly. So what you’re looking at is essentially a paper poster hanging from the ceiling of a subway train in which the image changes.
Similarly some train stations are now equipped with poster banks for electronic paper ads that can refresh with new images at specific intervals. If you’re an advertiser and you rent the space, you can replace the ad whenever you want while sitting right at your office desk, since the wall frames are connected to PHS phone networks that tap into the internet.
Another great example of using space in the Subway Station and creating some kind of interaction of the brand with the consumers are the gift wall such as used by the Ipod Nano and Canon. (Pictures and info from Ping Mag)
But using the walls are not enough, so why not use every little space to do advertising, here are some examples from Ping Mag also.
The ticket gates:
And of course inside the subway
But this last one is one of my favorites – a tunnel print animation – incredible.
I just this great video from Creative Review about some Mobile Art Movents and I would like to share them with you.
The Pocket Film Festival held in Japan is an event that explores the potential for audio-visual expression that lies hidden in a “practical high-tech toy,” and through various media, aims to construct an ideal method of communication that excites our sensibilities – something not yet obvious even to artists.
Pocket Films Festival is a partnership between the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and the Forum des images of Paris.
Mobile Novels are growing rapidly in japan.
A mobile phone novel typically contains between 200 and 500 pages, with each page containing about 500 Japanese characters. The novels are read on a cell phone screen page by page, the way one would surf the web, and are downloadable for around $10 each. The first mobile phone novel was written six years ago by fiction writer Yoshi, but the trend picked up in the last couple years when high-school girls with no previous publishing experience started posting stories they wrote on community portals for others to download and read on their cell phones.
The Economist says that the growth of mobile novels in Japan noting;
“with sales of books in decline, a new market has come as a godsend to Japan’s publishing companies. Sales of mobile-phone novels—books that you download and read, usually in instalments, on the screen of your keitai, or mobile phone have jumped from nothing five years ago to over ¥10 billion ($82m) a year today and are still growing fast.”
Here are some websites where you can download and create your own Keitai Shousetsu.
But as an evolution Mobile Soap Operas are becoming a fad in Japan also. Here is what the article from Creative Review says.
M-SOAP OPERAS: Voltage
Production company Voltage specialises in M-games and M-soap operas. Shooting for half an hour a week, Voltage breaks weekly stories down to five-minute chunks which get downloaded by young girls largely in search of romantic titillation. It claims hits of up to 10K per episode. CEO Tsuya Yuuzi likens the current era to the early gaming industry.
U-Japan (Ubiquitous Japan) is a strategy formulated in 2004 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) to continue the previous Japanese information society strategy (E-Japan).
The aim of the U-Japan strategy is to “make Japan the world’s most advanced IT nation”. The strategy reaches up into the year 2010 and aims mostly at developing wireless infrastructure so that exchange of information would be possible anytime, anywhere and from any appliance. In a technological sense, the question here is of convergence of telecommunication, mobile technology, broadband and digital broadcasting, as well as the development of sensor technologies. As said by Dr. Katja Valaskivi in the 2007: Mapping Media and Communication Research: Japan. Here is how she describes the strategy:
“The ubiquitous strategy project itself has ambitious and futuristic visions of how ubiquitous technology will change everyday life in the future1. In addition to technology, the strategy aims at developing applications and supporting citizen’s possibilities for usage of new technology. In practice, most of the visions are already realized: mobile phones with television broadcastings, mobile browsing of the Internet, mobile phones as credit cards, etc.
Reaching the strategical targets of the u-Japan strategy are made easier with the penetration of Internet-compatible mobile phones (currently about 90 percent) and by the cheapest broadband providers in the world. Half of the Internet-compatible mobile phones currently used are 3G.
The u-Japan strategy points the direction for research and development and has an influence on what kind of research is funded in the media and communication field. For instance, since the strategy emphasizes citizen’s abilities to utilize media technology, projects in media literacy and education on media usage are considered important and are also focused on increasingly in research.
Worries about digital divide are also central in the u-Japan development strategy, and research projects involving digital divide and possible ways of diminishing it are underway both in private research institutes (e.g. KDDI research institute) and in universities.”
Click here for the website of the project – U-JAPAN with some videos and different applications.
And here are also some graphics showing how U-Japan works in Commerce and Industry.
U-Japan is one of basis of my research project. Japan is a lab for possibilities in media convergence, developing business models and social/cultural applications.
Below are some videos developed by NTT-DoCoMo with some examples of the Ubiquitous life the strategy is aiming at.