The rapid changes brought by the Internet have forced just about every industry to adapt. Anime is no different, and large and small animation studios are still trying to come to grips with how to flourish in a world where fans don’t spend $800 for a series on Laserdisc anymore. (Yes, kids, that’s what anime used to cost.) One result has been anime studios getting smarter about how to turn a profit in the 21st century, which is why the new Evangelion movies feature plenty of Doritos® corn chips and UCC Coffee® sold in Lawson® convenience stores, product placement that helps the studios’ bottom lines. Pizza Hut has made an art out of tying itself to popular anime shows like Code Geass, Macross Frontier and OreImo, likely getting a sizeable boost in awareness outside Japan through YouTube and blogs, and this month customers who go into Seven Eleven will see many One Piece products on display, thanks to a cross-marketing agreement between the convenience store chain and the publisher. Of course I don’t want to see my beloved anime imitating Hollywood too much, since the uniqueness of the medium is part of its attraction. Still, anime studios coming up with innovative new ways to market their products can’t be a bad thing.
So what do you think of product placement in your favorite anime?
Anime has gotten better at modern marketing itself in the 21st century.