The future of pitching alcohol has arrived in Japan.

Japan has, for generations, been fond of putting big-name celebrities in their commercials. Spend enough time flipping through the channels on TV, and you’ll eventually come across a famous face in an ad, with both indigenous entertainers and international show biz icons endorsing a variety of products.

But at the same time, even large Japanese companies sometimes take a quaintly simple approach to marketing. For example, visit a large supermarket on a weekend, and you might see representatives for one of Japan’s major breweries handing out samples of beer, and maybe even some snacks to go along with them. These aren’t high-priced celebrity endorsers, but just earnest, hard-working staff members stationed in the liquor section to put a personal touch on beverage-makers’ promotional efforts.

Now, though, the question to consider is whether that touch still counts as personal if the young lady encouraging you to take home a six-pack is actually CG.

Japanese Twitter user @dotno_hamutarou, who lists his location as rural Kanagawa Prefecture, was recently walking through a grocery store where he could hear a woman enthusiastically beckoning customers to come over and take a look at her company’s wares. With her hair neatly styled and smartly dressed in a wrinkle-free button-up shirt and apron, she warmly smiled and waved, maintaining the high standards of customer service that Japan expects. However, her politeness didn’t come from reading an employee handbook, but from her programming, as she was actually a projected and computer-generated image.

With her apron clearly and proudly bearing the Asahi logo, this seems to be an official promotion by the Japanese brewer. While the setup isn’t by any means commonplace, Asahi’s massive distribution network means that they could potentially start showing up in stores across the country.

Unfortunately, the simulated saleswoman isn’t capable of pouring samples, since she doesn’t have a physical form. Odds are she can make up for that through sheer novelty, but if not giving out samples puts a damper on her ability to earn sales commissions, we suppose she can always get a side job as an idol singer.

Source: Hachima Kiko
Images: Twitter/@dotno_hamutarou