Sarah Jessica Parker Coke

Mike GristFood / Drink, Japan 6 Comments

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.

An SJP a day keeps the doctor away....

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.

Hello ladies!

Hello Ladies!

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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Comments 6

  1. To paraphrase Family Guy: “They let Sarah Jessica Parker on TV and her face looks like a foot!” I just find her and the rest of the actresses like her insipid, Debra Messing, too.

  2. Ope! I have to say, I love SJP. And I love SATC. Typical American 30-something single woman, though, I guess, in that respect. But I’ve liked SJP since she was a Square Peg and the girl with real boobs in LA Story. She’s one of those women who is sometimes gorgeous and other times horsey; and I think that’s part of her appeal. She’s not beautiful in the American Supermodel sense of the word. And, she’s like 5 feet tall. Teeny, weeny little person. A true New Yorker.

    You say they flew her here to be on a can. I have a feeling they may not have told her 100% of the story before they got her here. Or, her manager didn’t explain it well to her. She may have thought she was promoting the movie and Coke; but might not have realized “and my face will be on the cans!”

    And, sorry, Mike, but those were on sale all over. I commented on how SJP was on the coke cans at our commissary on base. So, they even made it into the American realm here in Japan. 😉 I didn’t buy one, though, as I don’t drink sodas. I was also curious if it was just Diet Coke or what.

    It’s true- especially 20-something single Japanese women LOVE SATC. Those characters are role models for them. It’s the Japanese men, though, that need to be watching it. And like American men, many of them just don’t get it. Which explains a lot. 😉 (Of course, the American straight men who DO get it, aren’t apt to admit that in mixed company. 😉 )

    Renee Zellweiger, though? Total bitch. 😉

  3. Post

    Tornadoes and Karasu-kun- Small apology is due here- since I changed the post a bit after you guys commented, so now your comments just look kind of mean in a vacuum. Originally I opened the articles with some comments about how I didn’t like Sarah Jessica Parker but didn’t really know why. Then I changed it to be a bit less negative. So, uh. Insipid though Karasu- yeah, I feel that too.

    Emily- Really, it was available everywhere? Good spot. I had no idea- did some web research and didn’t find any record of it on other blogs, and don’t recall seeing it anywhere- but thanks for seting the record straight 🙂 Japanese men watching SaTC? Hmm- I see your point- but wouldn’t that just make them more girly than they are right now? They ought to be watching something about the modern man, no?

    What show is there like that? Hmm. Dexter? Maybe not…

  4. That’s brilliant. It’s always interesting to see what stars will be idolised in a place like Japan. You must find that in a lot of ways Lost in Translation was right on the money.

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      It’s odd, but the first time I saw Lost in Translation I thought it was a bit of a cheap shot- reducing the experience to a series of postcards from the outside looking in. I watched it again though recently and had more positive feelings about it- it is right on the money for some things.

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