Raise a toast with special ingredients designed to enhance the traditional Japanese Christmas meal.

Back in June, Pepsi surprised its customers with a new Japan-exclusive cola called “Pepsi Karaage Senyo Cola” (“Pepsi Cola Exclusively for Karaage“). As the name suggests, this limited-time beverage was specifically designed to complement the flavour of karaage, or Japanese-style fried chicken, and now there’s a new version hitting shelves just in time for Christmas.

The new release is called “Pepsi Fried Chicken Senyo Cola” (“Pepsi Cola Exclusively for Fried Chicken“), and this time it’s not designed for eating with bite-sized Japanese-style fried chicken, but the larger fried chicken pieces eaten in Japan at Christmas.

For the uninitiated, Christmas is celebrated a little differently in Japan, with the celebratory meal being fried chicken instead of turkey or ham, as a result of a clever marketing move by fast food chain KFC that took hold years ago.

Now Pepsi is jumping on a niche in the market by aiming to provide people with the ultimate drink to pair with their Christmas meal, and they’ve even created a new commercial to help cement it as the toast of the season.

The commercial stars comedy duo Korokoro Chikichiki Peppers, commonly known as “Korochiki”, with member Nadaru in front of the camera expressing his surprise at how well the Pepsi pairs with fried chicken. Directing him is the other half of Korochiki, Soto Nishino, who asks Nadaru to amp up the sense of deliciousness in the second take, do it with more Nadaru flair in the third take, make the chicken more prominent in the fourth take, and then in the final take, he’s asked to do it like Santa, but in the end, nobody gets his performance.

▼ So… is this cultural appropriation?

Like the previous edition, the new Pepsi contains dietary fibre to help cut through the oiliness of fried chicken, and the scent and sweetness of cola has been reduced to enhance the flavour of the meat. This time, however, lemon has been added to further cut through the oiliness and dial up the refreshment. It also features a new label, with water droplets to symbolise the fizz of the cola, and a bucket of chicken that cleverly references the buckets sold at KFC without overtly doing so, to let everyone know that this is a drink to have with your Japanese Christmas dinner.

The limited-edition drink will only be available during winter, and it will be hitting stores nationwide from 6 December, in 600-millilitre (20-ounce) bottles priced at 160 yen (US$1.18) each.

Source: PR Times
Featured image: YouTube/サントリー公式チャンネル (SUNTORY)
Insert images: YouTube/サントリー公式チャンネル (SUNTORY), PR Times

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