Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Good Luck Ad

Many students have devoted all their energy to the examination grind to enter the school of their choice.

To bring good luck to students, many products include an interesting pun to capture public attention and to boost sales.

Let's take a look at the following ad by a hypermarket chain Ito Yokado.

A Japanese word "katsu" has two meanings; one is a noun meaning a pork cutlet (カツ) and the other is a verb meaning to win (勝つ).

There is a superstitious belief that eating a pork cutlet might help students win not only in the examination ordeal but also in any other competition.

In some areas in Japan, "ブイブイ (Bui Bui)" is used to represent the sound a pig makes.

That pig's sound is heard similarly to the initial of victory.

Natto is a sticky traditional Japanese food made from soybeans, which is said to do us a lot of good for our brain.

Sticky is "ネバネバ (neba neba)" in Japanese.

Eating sticky foods means "Never (neba) give up" or "ネバる (nebaru = Stick at it)."

Fish also has a great effect on the working of our brain.

Mackerel ("Saba" in Japanese) is a perfect fish for students because eating mackerel may bring them a high survival (saba-ival) probability in the ordeal of the entrance exam.

The other side of the ad has a lot of puns to wish for students' good luck.

But I think some of them are inappropriate to the occasion...

Ginger is called "Shoga" in Japanese, and its sound is related to the Japanese word "勝 (sho = winning)."

There are thousands of ginger products in Japan because of its popularity, but I wonder why Ito Yokado has chosen zha cai (pickled mustard plant).

It must be unpopular for students.

No relation between the product and a prayer for passing exams...

It is against the rules to ignore using puns as a superstitious item.

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