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Shoshu-Riki (Japanese : 消臭力, lit : Deodorant Power), also known as Air Wash-Liquid in some Southeast Asian contries, is a Toilet/Room deodorizer produced by the S.T. Corporation, a Japanese personal care company that has been famous for its humorous commercials. A commercial aired in 2011 became a viral video, and the subject of many fanfics, and video remixes through Nico Nico Douga, and YouTube.
On April 22nd 2011, S.T.Corporation started new CM series for Shoushu-Riki. While several versions were made, the most frequently commercial featured a foreigner singing on a street corner with no explanation.
The strange combination of the boy’s song with the vista in the background were confusing to viewers. It was apparent that this was a commercial movie for Shoshu-Riki until he sang its trade name at the end. Moreover, the direct trade name written in Kanji characters is not considered sophisticated by Japanese sensibilities, and the video was considered to be a joke by many.
S.T. Corporation Response
S.T.’s publicity team updated their web page with behind-the-scenes information the same day the CM began to air.
In the statement, their manager said that the new CMs were planned and shot in only 2 weeks, and they were forced to change course due to the Great East Japan earthquake. It was also revealed that the boy featured in the commercial was Miguel Guerreiro, a 12-year-old Portuguese singer, and that the commercial itself was shot in Lisbon, Portugal.
Lisbon was hit by a giant earthquake, fires and a tsunami in 1755 that caused over 60,000 deaths. However, Lisbon was beautifully reconstructed and its people able to return to a normal life even after such a terrible disaster. S.T. claims to have chosen Lisbon by chance without knowing about the historic disaster. The manager said that he felt something special led them to Lisbon after the disaster came to light.
This was reported by several online news site as well as in English article by Rokecetnews24 around the beginning of May 2011.
This CM was uploaded to YouTube on April 22nd, 2011, and soon made headlines among Japanese internet users. Many people were inpired this CM, creating fanfics, singing covers, and music remixes.MADs were posted to Nico Nico Douga (NND) around April 27th and the number of them has increased rapidly. Over 600 videos related to Shoshu-Riki were posted in the first 2 weeks, and many of them were uploaded to YouTube. Many of the videos were covers of “Utatte Mita”(I’ve tried singing it), one of the most popular activities on NND.
This Shoshu-Riki’s online phenomenon was also described in Nico Nico Pedia, an internet encyclopedia in NND.
On May 1st, 2011, the star of the commercial, Miguel Guerreiro, commented to his page on Facebook.
Hi uncle Goucha! Have a nice trip to Portugal! And if you could, look at me in this video. It’s me bringing Lisbon to… Japan! That’s a popular commercial for TV. After the commercial, you’ll find me singing in youtube. Come to my facebook page, and become my fans! It’s pretty known, but can’t understand what they say in the comments, what a pity! Take care, uncle Goucha!
Miguel also left a comment to the original video on YouTube.
By the big hit of this CM, Miguel became to be spotlighted by many Japanese media. He visited Japan several times, appeared on some TV shows and held charity concerts in aid of the earthquake disaster.
Among them, Miguel made a guest appearance to the live concert of a well-known Japanese singer Takanori Nishikawa a.k.a T.M.Revolution, and they sang the CM song together. Mr. Nishikawa had praised Miguel’s singing on his Twitter before, and this collaboration came true by the call of the advertising manager of S.T. Corporation to him on Twitter.
This scene was aired as the special version of TVCM for Shoshu-Riki in July 25th, 2011.
In September 2nd, 2011, the major debut of Miguel from Universal Music in Japan was announced, and the CM song “The Song for Shoshu-Riki” (消臭力のうた) was released on iTunes Music Store in September 13th. Unfortunately, this release is limited to Japan.
Cover Art for the song for Shoshu-Riki
In an unexpected turn of events of this, Miguel Guerreiro became to the first Portuguese singer who had succeeded in Japan.
For more videos, check out the videos section in this entry.
消臭力 唄う男の子 【戦闘力５３万】
【櫻里】 消臭力 元気いっぱい 歌ってみた 【教員試験】 (this cover includes Shoshu-riki’s previous CM series)
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RocketNews24 – Message Of Hope Hidden In Toilet Deodorizer Commercial / 05-09-2011