They love Sarah Jessica Parker in Japan. When Sex and the City came out in Tokyo the city was fire-stormed with an advertising campaign pimping the four women and their lifestyle everywhere you looked, in fashion magazines, food magazines, on buses, on big LCD-and-loudspeaker-packing humvees parading around Shibuya, on TV shows, in books, everywhere.
Did you see Sarah Jessica Parker on a Coke can though? The chances are you didn’t, as to my knowledge these cans were never released for commercial sale- only used as giveaways and incentives for raving Sex and the City fans.
I got hold of these cans from a student of mine who worked on the advertising campaign for Sex and the City. I say worked on, but he was pretty much the guy in charge, and he told me how he met with SJP over coffee and coke and discussed their plans for the photo-shoot. Apparently she didn’t want to be on the can, and was quite diva-ish about getting her own way. That’s fair I suppose, it’s her own image. But, hmm, they did fly her out to Japan in order to take a photo and put it on a can. So…. hmm.
So- the taste. Pretty much like Diet Coke really. Flat, thin-bodied (pun!), not sugary. Of course it has zero calories. I’m pretty sure they didn’t mix up a fresh batch of Coke just for SJP- it’s most likely regular Diet Coke or Coke Zero.
Don’t believe me? See the video which proves it.
On a more serious note- the success of Sex and the City in Japan would be an interesting thing to study- here you’ve got these 4 ultra-empowered women living independent lives, wearing the hottest fashion in the hippest city in the richest nation in the world, talking frankly about sex, knowing what they want from life and from men, and going after it hell for leather. Then there’s Japan, which no doubt has some empowered women, and some fashion, and some hipness, but is trailing a long way behind the full-equality laddishness-for-girls model espoused in Sex and the City.
The women here are shoe-horned into ‘women’s’ roles in the workplace, into the role of resentful/desperate house-wife in the home, and encouraged by all the media to strive for the ultimate in youthful and inept cuteness. The country is still very traditional at it’s core, where the power is, centered in rich older men who like their hostesses pliant and young, their female employees deferent and easy on the eyes, and their wives out of mind as much as possible since their bitterness at their diminished role has shriveled up any attraction left in the marital bed.
Sex and the City is a breath of fresh air in a country gasping for someone to just step out of line, take the reins, and say- ‘dammit, we need to shake this place up!’ Unfortunately that’s just not in the traditional Japanese character. However, with the wild success of movies like Sex and the City, and the popularity of fashionable empowered role models like Sarah Jessica Parker, it seems the Japanese character might already be heading in that direction.
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