Godzilla's Latest Venture in Japan's Economy

Product placement and Godzilla go together like green eggs and ham. Most notably, Godzilla has been used to advertise drinks. He is known in the US to have helped the Dr. Pepper company make some dough in 1985 when the King of the Monsters was featured in accouple of commercials by the Dr. Pepper company and when the US version of "The Return of Godzilla", aptly titled "Godzilla 1985" had most of it’s American scenes having something Dr. Pepper-related in it - from a military smart ass drinking it to the Pentagon having a Dr. Pepper vending machine. But now Godzilla is entering a new age with a new company asking for his pop-culture status as help. Guess who?

It was a company shown in "Gamera: Giant Monster Midair Showdown" and "Gamera 2: Advent of Legion", with the latter being used to more extent. The company is also based on a Yokai-esque entity which was a focal point in the latest remake of "The Great Yokai War". Give up? It’s Japan’s own Kirin beer company. Evidently they have made a new coffee beverage called "fire". But Godzilla is not alone.

Also helping to add star value to the mostly viral advertisement campaign is a person who has been nick-named Godzilla since he came over for a little while to play for the Yankees (and I own the New York Times issue which calls him this; thanks to my grandfather in NY): Hideki Matsui. Many fans know that when he came over here, he was nicknamed "Godzilla" for his Japanese nationality and his skill. Hideki would also gain popularity when he makes a came in the 2002 film, "Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla". In something most probably more than coincidence, the Godzilla suit used for the campaign is in fact the Kiryu-Goji suit (variation unknown).

At the link below, you can easily navigate through the main Kirin beer website to find good of all sorts. There is a commercial, a making of the commercial, and a message from Hideki himself. Also of interest are some exclusive screen savers, which the picture at the top shows what it looks like on my laptop. Better save them onto your hard drive before they are gone!


Special Thanks Goes To James Ballard for notifying me that "Fire" is an energy drink...

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