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First Ovular Ad Promotes Chicken Noodles (March 27, 2007)


The first egg-based advert in Japan (PANA)

Eggs are being used as the latest innovative advertising medium. In February 2007 Japan got its first egg-based advertisement, with Nissin Food Products, the company that invented instant noodles, becoming the country's first "ovular advertiser." The ads, which tout Nissin's flagship chicken ramen, take the form of small stickers affixed to individual eggs, which are packaged and sold at about 200 stores of the Daiei supermarket chain. The company expects sales to total about 300,000 cartons a month and plans to conduct a campaign for chicken ramen while the ads run.

The Egg Advantage
The groundwork for Japanese egg advertisements was laid by the Japanese Association of Egg Producers and a Tokyo public relations firm named Sunny Side Up Inc. The two organizations realized that eggs offer a powerful channel for reaching consumers, since the average Japanese consumes 300 eggs a year and every day as many as 53 million eggs are purchased around the country.

Egg advertisements have already appeared in the United States and elsewhere, but in these countries the messages are applied directly to the eggshell using inkjet technology. In Japan, however, it was felt that consumers would be uncomfortable with this method, and the advertisements were instead put on stickers that could be affixed to individual eggs.

A close-up of one of the ads (PANA)

Nissin's ad features the chicken ramen logo along with the egg's expiration date. The egg pack is wrapped in paper detailing tasty recipes that use chicken ramen and eggs, and the supermarkets where the eggs are sold display the noodles alongside them. The firm says the setup makes great business sense, because it provides a new place for selling its product away from the noodle aisle.

Ads That Can Be Grasped, Literally
A pack of 10 eggs at Daiei's supermarkets sells for ¥238 ($1.98 at ¥120 to the dollar), about the same as other brands. The advertising fees for 300,000 packs come to about ¥8 million ($66,667). The JAEP has high hopes that egg consumption will rise and plans to seek out new advertisers. As a spokesperson explains, "An increase in advertising revenue could bring down egg prices, which could in turn boost egg consumption."

Eggs have an added advantage as an advertising medium because they allow companies to reach a targeted audience and specific regions. An executive at a leading advertising firm comments, "New attention is being paid to advertising media that can actually be held, particularly at a time when Internet ads are on the rise."

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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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