The state of Hawaii is facing a minor crisis: not enough Japanese tourists. So they’ve enlisted advertising megafirm Dentsu to sell the state to people in Japan. And, since every ad in Japan needs a cute face, they brought actress Mayumi Sada on board.
Well, okay, she’s not that cute. More “sophisticated.” Anyway, the Honolulu Advertiser reports:
Through November, Japanese visitor arrivals were down nearly 9 percent. Takashi Ichikura, executive director of Hawai’i Tourism Japan, blamed the decline on fewer airline seats from Japan to Hawai’i, rising fuel surcharges on air travel, rising hotel charges and a weakening of the Japanese yen. Hawai’i Tourism Japan was hired by the state to promote Hawai’i in Japan.
“With the rising fuel surcharge and other cost factors, Hawai’i now looks expensive in Japanese consumers’ eyes, and they expect Hawai’i to be a refined and sophisticated destination to match the price they are paying,” Ichikura said.
… The campaign, called “Discover Aloha,” is meant to depict the experiences of a female visitor who experiences the feeling of aloha through various encounters that could only happen in Hawai’i.
My dirty mind had high hopes when I read that last part, but Dentsu let me down.
The effort includes two posters featuring hula and lei-making and another showing Sada reflecting on her Hawai’i experiences from a lanai overlooking the ocean.
It still sounds kind of like running “Visit Texas” ads in Mexico, doesn’t it?