There seems to be an interesting trend in tourism campaigns recently. First there was Disney’s gorgeous anime-style commercial for Tokyo Disney Resort which covered the life of a woman in 30 seconds and managed to pack in so much emotion and pathos that it went around the web like wild fire. The current top comments on Youtube are “Sh*t, why am I crying?” and “Still a better love story than Twilight.” Correct on both counts.
A few weeks later, Saitama Prefecture upped their game with an entire Original Net Animation campaign. There are four short films revolving around the seasons, each in a different genre and covering different locations. The animation is lovely and the stories are really well written. Cute, funny, entertaining, and lots of heart strings tugged, they almost create an instant emotional attachment to locations in the shorts, while also clearly showing how to go about getting there.
This isn’t the first time they’ve done something in animation, but they definitely learned a few things last time, and the overall product is much more polished and geared towards an international audience. There are versions subtitled in French, Korean, and Chinese in addition to English. Each film has a few minutes of story followed by a few minutes of directions so that you can see the locations for yourself, and ends with the (slightly self-deprecating?) tagline: Saitama, next to Tokyo!
The most surprising thing about these short animations is their effectiveness. I pass through all the time, and I’ve hung out with friends that live there, but I’ve never really spent much time or energy in the prefecture. Amazingly, Saitama’s tourism campaign makes me actually want to go to Saitama.
Do you know of any other prefectures with such lovely campaigns? I wish they all were this nice!
Spring | A sweet school-age Love Story
Summer | High School Comedy
Fall | Fantasy with a Samurai flavor. Super cute, and funny too!
Winter | Tear-jerker about a family dealing with illness. Grab the tissues!