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Advertisements Printed on Back of Paper (January 26, 2007)

A tadakopi machine (Oceanize)
Free photocopying facilities funded by corporate advertising printed on the back of the paper are proving a big hit at universities in the Tokyo area. Known as tadakopi ("free copying"), the scheme was set up by Oceanize, a student start-up venture. Tadakopi facilities have now been installed on 18 campuses of 11 universities in Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture. Oceanize intends to expand into the Kansai area in western Japan, and there are plans to vary the advertising according to the particular university. Women’s universities, for example, could be one special target group.

Copier Usage Doubles
Oceanize was set up in November 2005 by five students at Keio, Chuo, and Hosei universities. The first tadakopi machine was installed in the students’ cafeteria at Keio University’s campus in Minato City in April 2006. Being free of charge, it immediately became very popular, with long lines of students forming to use it. Very soon the scheme spread to other universities. The copier installed at Hitotsubashi University’s West Campus is being used twice as much as the previous facility, which charged ¥10 (8 cents at ¥119 to the dollar) per copy.

The paper used in the machines carries color advertising on the back, and this is why it is possible to offer the service for free. Oceanizes charge advertisers ¥400,000 ($3,361) for printing their advertisements on the back of 10,000 sheets (A4 only). The paper is rather thicker than normal copying paper so that the ads on the back do not show through. This has the added advantage that paper jams are less frequent. With monthly sales of ¥10 million ($84,033), there is a profit left even after deducting installation, leasing, and maintenance costs.

Students line up to use the service. (Oceanize)

Expanding Beyond Universities
Given that the target is the student population, much of the advertising is for offers of part-time and full-time jobs, in addition to the usual ads for products. A recruitment agency that places advertisements with Oceanize explains: "If we advertise on a university notice board, the ad is lost in the sea of notices on the board, and flyers just get thrown away. These ads stay with the students for a long time."

Oceanize reports that once it has placed the business on a stable footing by extending the operation to universities throughout Japan, it plans to develop a system that is viable for use outside universities.

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Copyright (c) 2007 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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