Japan's Largest Daily Offers Scratch-and-Sniff ROP Ads

By Kerwin, Ann Marie | Editor & Publisher, October 24, 1992 | Go to article overview

Japan's Largest Daily Offers Scratch-and-Sniff ROP Ads


Kerwin, Ann Marie, Editor & Publisher


JAPAN'S LARGEST-CIRCULATION newspaper, the Yomiuri Shimbun, wants United States advertisers to know it is ready to help them sell.

At a recent New York City luncheon attended by advertisers such as Tiffany & Co. jewelers, U.S. advertising director Jun Arita said that a common misconception among Americans is that the Japanese do not buy U.S. products.

On the average, he said, each Japanese person buys $391 worth of U.S. products annually compared with $374 worth of Japanese products purchased by each American.

U.S. culture is tremendously popular in Japan, Arita noted. In 1991, 3.6 million Japanese visited the United States, while just a half million Americans visited Japan.

The popularity of ads with American celebrities reflect Japanese fascination with U.S. life, Arita said.

Delta Airlines, Lever Bros. Japan Division, and Apple Computer are companies that have been successful in Japan, according to Arita, and, coincidentally, have advertised in Yomiuri Shimbun.

Japanese newspapers have a strong story to tell. Five major national newspapers account for 66% of the total newspaper readership. Their circulation exceeds the combined circulation of all the top U.S. 66 newspapers, Arita said. In Japan, the mass market is definitely alive and well.

Newspapers are perceived as the most trusted medium, according to a study by the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association, with 64% of respondents listing newspapers over television (41.9%), radio (6.1%), books, (4.8%) and magazines (2.1%).

With 98% of the readers of general newspapers as home subscribers, the audience is clearly defined for the advertisers. In contrast, daily U.S. newspapers had a circulation penetration of only 64.1%, according to an American Newspaper Markets Inc. study.

Female readership is also very high, which prompted Lever Japan to run a four-color, full-page ad for a moisturizer exclusively in Yomiuri Shimbun.

Meanwhile, U.S. newspapers' ability to reach women is slipping. A 1991 Newspaper Advertising Bureau study found that a smaller proportion of women are reading a newspaper on an average weekday, and tend to read newspapers less frequently than men do.

According to a Scripps Howard report, the number of frequent readers has declined at a sharper rate among women (down 26%) than men (down 16%), from 1982 to 1987. …

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