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Greeting Are Magic (Japanese : あいさつの魔法。, “Aisatsu no Maho.”) is a public service announcement launched by Advertising Council (AC) Japan to encourage youths in using proper greetings in their daily life. Specifically targeting grade school students with cute animal mascots that also serve as puns for the greetings, this highly optimistic TV commercial became a subject of online mockeries after it was heavily broadcast following the earthquake disasters in early March 2011.
AC Japan’s PSA
The “Greetings Are Magic” ad campaign was first launched in July 2010 by AC Japan, a nonprofit organization that runs PSA commercials to raise awareness on various social issues and agendas (ex: prevention of bullying in schools, acting kindly towards the pregnant and elders, etc).
Hello! (KonnichiWan!) = Konnichiwa (Good afternoon) + Wan(Bowwow / Dog)
Thank you! (ArigatoUsagi!) = Arigatou (Thank you) + Usagi (Rabbit)
Good evening! (KonbanWani!) = Konbanwa (Good evening) + Wani (Crocodile)
Good bye! (SayonaRaion!) = Sayonara (Good bye) + Raion (Lion)
Fun-loving friends suddenly appear by the magic of greeting words! (POPOPOPON)
Good morning! (OhayoUnagi!) = Ohayou (Good morning) + Unagi (Japanese Eel)
Let’s eat! (ItadakiMausu!) = Itadakimasu (Let’s eat) + Mausu (Mouse)
The more we say hi, the more we can make friends.
AC~ [Sound Logo]
AC Japan’s Greetings PSA has become also recognizable by its cutesy chorus line, which has been turned into the onomatopoeic catchphrase “POPOPOPON” (Japanese : ぽぽぽぽーん or ポポポポ～ン).
2011 Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster
On March 11th, 2011, an unprecedented scale of earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear power plant accident struck the nation of Japan. Unequivocally affected by this horrible disaster, many Japanese companies decided to withdraw their commercials from regular TV broadcast and had them substituted with AC Japan’s public service announcements.
The emergency broadcast of PSAs began around March 14th, heavily taking over the Japanese television. Unfortunately, many of them weren’t quite suitable for a time of disaster, as they typically featured happy, upbeat music with smiling animated characters. Annoyed by their inappropriate nature, many Japanese viewers filed complaints and even threats to the TV stations, ultimately leading AC Japan to issue an official apology and promise revision to the clips.
AC Japan’s unintentional faux pas was soon picked up by the Japanese news media and online news sites, as well as an English article by Wall Street Journal on March 21st. Eventually, as the month passed with the Japanese people’s everyday life on the recovery, the campaign was turned into a laughingstock on the web and a popular subject of video parodies and image tributes.
The remix fad based on the PSAs began on the Japanese internet on March 17th. On Nico Nico Douga, over 600 MAD movies, music remixes, parodies and other fan-fictions were posted within its first week. And many of them were reproduced to YouTube.
pixiv, a social networking platform for illustrators, also jumped in aggressively, producing over 1,500 user-generated illustrations in the first week and accumulating over 1.2 million views in a single day.
Finally, “Popopopon” got the gold prize of Japanese internet buzzword contest in December of that year.
For more musical remixes, check out the videos section.
- BUBBLE-B feat. Enjo-G (3 million+ views): They were important members of “Nerdcore” the Japanese underground techno music movement in late 1990’s.
- 8bit Remix
- Hardcore Techno Remix
MADs and Parodies
- 【完成版】POPOPO PONE【AC×RED ZONE】(See also : RED_ZONE)
- ACのあのCMに修造が乱入したようです (See also : Shuzo Matsuoka)
(See also : Moe)
Remixes & Mashups
Sub-meme: Hard-line Armored Empire
This cool handmade animation inspired many other NND users to contribute to a subjoke known as “Hard-line Armored Empire – Armored Chrysanthemum” (Japanese : 攻強皇國機甲 – Koukyou Koukoku Kikou -). This is nothing but a phonetic equivalent. its pronunciation is same to AC Japan’ previous name. “Chrysanthemum” comes from the seal of imperial Japan.
People soon started fantasizing Great ArigatoUsagi’s anime program, transforming other animals to super robot as well and making fake storyboard that they fight against the huge crisis in Japan.
Over 300 movies and illustrations were posted to NND and Pixiv in 3 weeks. This birth of new robot hero on the internet was reported by several Japanese and Taiwanese news site.
King SayonaRaion (+2.9 million views)
ZAKZAK – AC Flooded With Commercial Complaints … And Advertising Space Was Not Purchased?! / 03-17-2011
J-Cast News – “What is AC?” Commercials Playing to Death During Earthquake Specials 03-17-2011
Sankei Sports – AC Apologizes for Increasing Commercials, Complaints About Repetition / 03-18-2011
Seachina News – AC Japan Apologizes for Airing Repetitive Commercials, Moves to Make a Temporary Replacement Commercial / 03-21-2011
Wall Street Journal – Advertising Council Japan TV Commercials Driving Viewers Mad / 03-31-2011
ITmedia Gamez – For Those of You That Can’t Get Enough Popopopo~n, A Button That Lets You Popopopo~n All You Like / 03-22-2011
Impress Internet Watch – Remaking The Famous Commercial “Popopopo~n” Is A Popular Fad / 03-22-2011
Getnews.jp – Everyone, "Let’s All “Popopopo~n!” Magical Greetings are Hot / 03-24-2011
Nico Nico Douga – Search results for 攻強皇國機甲 (Hard-line Armored Empire)
ITmedia – Too addicted to Popopopon ? ArigatoUsagi’s anthropomorphic figurine was also made / 03-25-2011
J-Cast News – ArigatoUsagi in AC advert is transformed into a giant robot /03-29-2011
techbang.com.tw – Does it comfort Japan after disaster ? : Hard-line Armored Empire’s spoof animation / 04-06-2011