Japanese Advertisers Save Electricity & Impress Consumers with 'Powerless Ads'

Less is more? In post-disaster Japan, that seems to be the case. The government urges everyone to cut their power usage by 15 percent while approving breezy Hawaiian shirts and blue jeans for government bureaucrats in its Super Cool Biz campaign. It seems everyone's getting with the program and being part of the solution... even advertisers, whose time-tested MO has been to boast about the best in the biggest and brightest ways possible.

Times have changed, however, and traditional overblown, supercharged advertising runs a real risk of alienating a consuming populace already hunkered down on a near-warlike footing.

See the ad above for Takano Fruit Parlor... and do it before sunset. That's because, as the red-circled text on the billboard advises, “Images here are not using electricity” (こちらの画像は電気を使用しておりません).

Amazing how we've come full-circle, back to the very first advertising signs which date from before the discovery of electricity. Even more amazing is how today's advertisers are presenting these energy-neutral ads as a demonstration of virtue: “as good corporate citizens, we deserve your patronage.” It may be too early to tell, but “powerless ads” like this one could turn out to be a powerful selling point for their sponsors. (via Asiajin, Yoshinaga, and PChome