Marketing Halloween in Japan: Pocky

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Pocky’s been doing Halloween-themed packaging for a few years but I hadn’t written about it because the product was the same. This year, Pocky has Halloween packaging for the normal chocolate and strawberry flavors:

Via Glico
Via Glico

 

But also a Kumamon(the mascot of Kumamoto prefecture)-themed “sweet pumpkin” flavor that I found out about via @inheritingexile’s Instagram.

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I don’t know why #kumamon is the harbinger of sweet pumpkin #pocky, but there it is. #japan

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Here’s the set from the Glico press release: strawberry (ichigo, いちご), sweet pumpkin (suîto panpukin, スイートパンプキン), and cookies and cream (kukkî ando kurimu, クッキー&クリム).

Via Glico
Via Glico

According to the press release, the “Lovely Halloween” set was released nationwide in late August. One thing I like to do is look at the explanatory text to see if and how Halloween is described.

近年は日本でもハロウィンのシーズンになると街はカボチャのお化けでいっぱいになります。更に魔女やお化けだけではなく様々なコスチュームの仮装も増えるなど、ハロウィンの習慣が浸透しています。

Recently, when the Halloween season comes around, the streets are filled with pumpkin monsters even in Japan. Furthermore, Halloween customs are permeating [the culture]–for instance, the variety of costumes–not just witches and monsters–have also increased.

While Halloween itself isn’t explained, the increase in awareness about the holiday and its symbols (pumpkins, ghosts, monsters) is noted in the text.

The back of the boxes have finger puppets:

The pumpkin version is made of powdered kabocha with Kumamoto and is a collaboration with Kumamon.

Have you tried these? What did you think?

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