I have no idea why I decided to get on a food kick. Not a normal food kick either. In this post, I became fascinated with corporate advertising. Although we're all familiar with advertising in our American shows (30 Rock and Arrested Development came to mind). I've never seen it in an American cartoon. Well, that's not true. I must have. This is AMERICAN television, after all. I just cannot think of any major example. After all, we create televisions based upon toy lines (transformers and GI Joe, for instance). However, I noticed this in Japanese animation too!
"Darker than Black" offers a simple example of in-show advertising. In this case, animators drew in Pizza Hut restaurants into a background. It doesn't interrupt any plot or contribute to any character development.
Now, we get to "Code Geass." Notice that Pizza Hut box next to green haired anime girl in a boy's uniform? Well, the pizza actually contributes to her character/personality! She's like 500 years old and first defined by her addiction to Pizza Hut pizza. Not convinced?
They even bothered to show scenes of her accumulating points on an application card! What is Cheese-kun though?
That is Cheese-kun! He is a giant piece of mozzarella specifically designed for Japanese advertising. Pizza Hut in Japan made me start Google searching.
Danny Choo's blog offered a very interesting investigation into Pizza Hut's presence in Japan. I borrowed some images from him to showcase how different the Pizza Hut experience is in Nippon!
It is important to first remember that Japanese people live in neighborhoods that are pretty packed together. The primary vehicles for delivering pizzas lies in these Vespas. These are also depicted in "Code Geass" as well.
According to Danny Choo, this pizza's "crust is filled with prawns and mayonnaise and the main body can be filled with whatever you want. A large one for 3,550 yen (31 USD)."
I'd recommend looking at this pizza menu by clicking on the image to zoom in. It's pretty extraordinary. Pretty interesting...