These companies are very aware the absurdity of their brands.

Japanese companies are always looking for innovative ways to promote their products, sometimes resorting to unhealthy doses of chicken rock bands and rapping pigs. Which is fine really, but sometimes they do come across as trying a little too hard.

Recently though, some companies decided to take a step back and examine their products from a logical perspective, indulging in self-deprecating humor to entertain their customers.

Take Nozaki corned beef for example. Essentially canned precooked meat, they’re the Japanese version of SPAM, so few would choose it over real meat. But in these four ads on Twitter, they embraced their second-rate-ness with hilarious self-aware statements:

“Seriously more expensive than fresh meat.”
“There’s practically zero product information you can glean from the packaging.”
“First timers trying to open it will be killed.”
“Anything you can make with corned beef is just as good made with tuna.”

Pretz is a pretzel snack in stick form. While it does have a unique taste, people usually have the impression that it’s just a lackluster version of chocolate-covered Pocky, leaving Pretz in the shadow of its sweeter competitor.

“This is basically our hierarchical relationship.”

Pharmaceutical company Asadaame’s reaction to the picture on its artificial sweetener is brutally honest.


In Japan, incense and candles are burnt as offerings to the deceased, and Kameyama Rosoku specializes in just those products.

“Honestly, we want to eat the real thing.
But only the deceased can eat these.”

Bus company Engan Bus pitched in as well. They have a bunch of cute female mascots, but at some point made an odd decision to change that. Now they can look back on that time and laugh at themselves.

“When we changed our icon to an egg for
two months, our Twitter followers dropped by 800.”

Ellen Baker is the fictional English teacher featured in the New Horizon series of English textbooks. She stirred up quite a controversy when she first debuted, resulting in lewd images and products popping up online and the company having to reassert their control over the character.

But now, almost a year later, all of that is in the past. The stationery company Eight Station that’s in charge of producing the recently-announced Ellen Baker calendar posted this, showing Ellen-sensei taking all of her controversy in stride:

“I’m still in Japan.”
“I’m not going to expel anyone [for what they did].”
“No new drawings of me!.”

But then afterward they also tweeted this, the ultimate table turn, showing off New Horizon textbook student Deepa:

“We prefer the students to the teachers anyway.”

It takes some serious brand confidence to bash your own product in front of customers, but it can be a great marketing strategy if pulled off successfully. If all else fails though, I guess they can rely on the age-old beautiful women flirting with viewers.

Source: Togech
Featured image: Twitter/@EightStation