Rilakkuma + Yamanote
It’s always an interesting experience to stand in a train carriage with advertising devoted exclusively to one product. It doesn’t happen every day, but a few times a year one discovers such a thing on the Yamanote Line, the loop line around central Tokyo.
Usually the brands or products advertised are tangible (GAP, Sony, Panasonic, Uniqlo, etc.) but recently it was the turn of Rilakkuma, a rather popular character celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Personally I don’t find the Rilakkuma character interesting at all, but longevity in the world of characters is a rare thing so obviously Rilakkuma and friends have tapped into some demographic to appeal to such a great many people for so long. In the Character Databank survey of all Japanese characters, he is regularly among the most popular.
It was quite incredible to see the entire train decorated with Rilakkuma stickers, poster advertisements, cartoons, drawings and videos – inside and out.
In most such cases, the promoted brand uses 3 or 4 different images repeated in an ordered pattern throughout the carriages. But in these carriages, there was no repetition whatsoever.
From the small stickers squeezed into gaps next to the doors to the large posters hanging from the ceilings, every ad, every poster, every image was different.
It was pure Rilakkuma overwhelm. The designers had clearly been working overtime creating this extraordinary number of different materials.
Rilakkuma lovers – enjoy!
A commuter with Rilakkuma goods:
Posters and stickers of various shapes and sizes:
The outside of the train:
Images squeezed above the video screens:
And finally, a short sample of the video:
get your Rilakkuma fix with these links!
The overwhelming Rilakkuma homepage here.
The Rilakkuma + Yamanote page here.
An overview of Rilakkuma in English here.
And an interesting article about the changing fortunes of character popularity here.