Third Party & Independents Archives

Japan, WOW, Japan, Just WOW

At the top of the electronic industry, the strange cartoon industry, and just making shocking products stands Japan. But the Asian nation has now topped themselves. A Japanese company has recently introduced possibly the most shocking / strange product to come out of the island nation, Kidsbeer.

Yes thats right Kidsbeer. Kidsbeer is a non-alcoholic drink that looks like real beer. Even better, and by better I mean stranger and comical, the label of Kidsbeer reads in part "Even kids cannot stand life unless they have a drink" (1).

The president of the company behind Kidsbeer had this to say, "If you get this drink ready on such occasions as events and celebrations attended by kids, it would make the occasions even more entertaining" (1). Well thats good to hear, you know its a good idea to get kids to become potential alcoholics as early as possible.

Another great ad by the company states, "For you who cannot drink, a bubbly head that you will like and a fizzy flavour that spreads refreshment through your body - perfect for those evenings when you want to be a bit like an adult" (2)

Although as of now there are no plans for this product to come to the United States, shipments to Britain will be coming soon (2).

Could this be the next level of corporate corruption? The tobacco industries have been villified and scared to come up with such a blatantly immoral campaign. But judging by the kahunas of one Japanese company the alcohol industry has not.

1. http://www.boingboing.net/2005/08/18/beer_for_kids.html
2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/08/21/wbeer21.xml

Posted by Richard Rhodes at July 16, 2006 4:00 AM
Comments
Comment #167976

kahunas?

Corruption? Who did they pay off? Immorality and stupidity, Maybe.

Posted by: gergle at July 16, 2006 7:12 AM
Comment #167988

Just to be clear, it’s nonalcoholic, but still, it does glamorize drinking by underage children. Then again, Japan is a strange place by our standards.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 16, 2006 9:37 AM
Comment #168001

In France, I am told it is common for parents to introduce children to real wine. I was introduced to real beer by my father by the age of two. Corporations will do anything to make a buck, however.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 16, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #168011

Ray, wine in france is like pop here. Yes the kids drink it early, and it usually served at the meals, but it is not adverstied as this Kidbeer is to target the kids.
Also if you take a look at Starbucks, they are starting to target kids/teenagers. New generation and new money.
The almight dollar or yen counts.

Posted by: KT at July 16, 2006 11:24 AM
Comment #168014

This from the country that gave us Pocari Sweat.
YUM.

In case you were unaware, in Japan, beer is available, for about $5 a can American, in vending machines virtually everywhere, including street corners and at the airports.

Posted by: Rocky at July 16, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #168015

Man, get some of this beer with my candy cigarettes… DAMN! Gonna me real class. And, hey! How about making me one of those Playhouse Disney blow up friends…? I can be just like Dad!

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #168018

This is exactly the same as those candy cigarettes backed by the Tobacco industry back in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

But like Congress for the President, Parents control the purse strings for children’s choices. Parents should be able to do a FAR better job than Congress, don’t you think?

I am not too worried about it. It is a novelty, and when the novelty wears off, the product dies. Just like the candy cigarettes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 16, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #168019

Japan - the country that brought us both the Helloy Kitty rice cooker and the Hello Kitty dildo.

Don’t think I’d allow these guys to have direct access to my kids. (Or am I failing to be PC about this?)

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #168020

“But like Congress for the President”

Was this intentional? I like it…

“It is a novelty, and when the novelty wears off, the product dies.”

… unlike real tobacco products

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #168022

As I mentioned before, beer is available pretty much to anyone in Japan, no matter the age of the consumer. Beer is the #1 alcoholic drink consumed in Japan.

Why is a beer flavored drink such a big deal?

Marketing?

You’re joking, right?

Posted by: Rocky at July 16, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #168026

This is right there with marketing cigarettes or pre-teen thongs to kids… it’s a mentally undeveloped market - and it can lead to long term product attachments. There’s a difference between adult products being marketed to adults - and taking those same products and spinning them for a child market.

I’m not going to go out and protest the Japanesse consulate over this - but it does have a developmental influence.

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #168033

Tony,

Japan cannot be judged looking through the eyes of a westerner.

What we Americans see as “sins of the flesh”, are recognized as part of everyday life in Japan.
Public drunkenness is not illegal.

Need I say that Japanese culture is quite a bit different than it’s American counterpart?

Posted by: Rocky at July 16, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #168036

David-
Candy cigarettes disappeared largely because of the villification of the tobacco industry as a whole and anything involving smoking. There is no such widespread societal villification of the alcohol industry. Now I am not saying there should be a widespread villification of the alcohol industry as they do provide a service for adults. But thats the point they provide a service to adults.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at July 16, 2006 1:45 PM
Comment #168037

Rocky among others-
Yes obviously Japanese society is different than our own. However the company behind Kidsbeer is preparing to ship to Britian. The company behind Kidsbeer may be ok in Japan’s society however there ultimate goal is the almighty dollar and how long will it be until that goal makes them try to bring this product to the US.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at July 16, 2006 1:48 PM
Comment #168039

tony- When you said that Japan was the country that brought us the Hello Kitty dildo I thought you were joking so I decided to google “hello kitty dildo” and quickly found out you were not. I can’t believe it, haha wow.
Hello Kitty: My Little Bedtime Friend
http://www.newmoanyeah.com/2003-reviews/082503_hello_kitty_my_little_bedtime_friend.php

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at July 16, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #168040

Richard,

“The company behind Kidsbeer may be ok in Japan’s society however there ultimate goal is the almighty dollar and how long will it be until that goal makes them try to bring this product to the US.”

It would appear that when plans are made to “bring it to the US”, is when it would be time to bitch.
For now it is Japan’s problem, and maybe Brittan’s.

Oh, and BTW, do you buy your children, or allow them to buy, everything that is marketed to them?

Posted by: Rocky at July 16, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #168043

Richard, no, candy cigarettes were hard to find by the early ‘70’s before the villification of the tobacco industry began in the late 1980’s. Like I said, it was novelty item whose novelty wore off.

That is not to say that couldn’t or wouldn’t be brought be back as a novelty to new generations - but, the fact is, parents today would insure, should insure there is no market for them, and that seems to be the case.

Alcohol is not addictive for the majority of our population, and even less so when used in moderation, for moderation precludes psychological addiction for those who may not be genetically disposed to physical addiction.

Hell, ice cream is addictive to probably as many folks in our society as alcohol, if not more.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 16, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #168046

David said: “Richard, no, candy cigarettes were hard to find by the early ‘70’s before the villification of the tobacco industry began in the late 1980’s. Like I said, it was novelty item whose novelty wore off.”

Well David I am 23 and I remember seeing packages of cigarette like candy-gum being sold.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at July 16, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #168047

richard -

Odd but true. I do thinks it’s one of nature’s warning signs if you find yourself in a woman’s appartment and she has either of these items.

Rocky -

yes, I agree that Japan has a vastly different culture than we have - and I have no issue with the way they live. However, I am very suspect of their livestyle when it comes to my family - just watch an episode of Sailor Moon or any other child animation… they are extremely sexual in nature for the age of the characters on the show… and extremely violent.

I know my daughters will be sexual at some point soon in their lives (too soon for this old man) but i would prefer for them to live their childhoods free of as much of the this rush to adulthood as possible. I also want to make sure they don’t feel the need to wear thongs and knee highs with super short skirts… which is the standard hero girl attire in Japanese cartoons.

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #168051

Tony,

“I know my daughters will be sexual at some point soon in their lives (too soon for this old man) but i would prefer for them to live their childhoods free of as much of the this rush to adulthood as possible.”

Then it is up to you to teach them the “values” you espouse to. If that means turning off the TV, and not allowing them access to the shows you find offencive, so be it.
We cannot assume the “outside” world will conform to our moral views, and we shouldn’t expect it to.

Posted by: Rocky at July 16, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #168060

Rocky -

I think I elluded to the fact I do control what my kids watch. My point above was simply a discussion of what I’ve seen with the Japanese culture - specific to media. They are quite in their rights to do whatever they feel - and if marketing kiddy beer is what they want, then that’s their choice. I would never advocate for judging anyone else’s lives or choices other than my own.

I’m not making a personal commitment with this conversation - simply making comments on the post.

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #168067

Tony,

I understand your position, I was only making mine a litle more clear.

Posted by: Rocky at July 16, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #168069

Young people don’t need to be taught to drink beer. They learn plenty fast on their own. I can’t get very upset about this development. Beer is just not that big of a problem.

Of course, you heard about how beer helps you get to heaven.

He who drinks beer gets drunk. He who gets drunk sleeps. He who sleeps cannot commit sin. He who commits no sin goes to heaven. So drinking beer is the road to heaven.

Makes as much sense as the 72 virgins crap, doesn’t it?

Posted by: Jack at July 16, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #168071

Jack -

No. being surrounded with 72 virgins sounds like complete hell.

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #168089

abhcoide -

Seriously. How obnoxious can you get? 72 virgins… Can I trade them in for 2 lesbians? (muh hu hah ha ha ha ha)

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #168100

Tony

It just occured to me. Perhaps those terrorist do indeed get 72 virgins. But Allah stipulates that they STAY virgins. Anyone dumb enough to buy into the blowing himself up thing deserves nothing more.

Posted by: Jack at July 16, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #168110

David
They still have candy cigarettes. I used to have them in my store. Only they can’t call them candy cigarettes anymore. But they still look like a cigarette.

Jack
The hell beer ain’t no big problem. Folks drink it and get drunk. Then they try to drive home. And a whole heap of them hit some innocent motorist and kill them. So it’s a real big problem.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 16, 2006 10:21 PM
Comment #168149

Richard and Ron, and LIKE I said, they come back every now and then with new generations until the novelty wears off again. But, who should police such items, the parents who SHOULD be controlling the money and guiding their children’s purchases? Or the Government like our enforcement agencies don’t have bigger fish to fry?

C’mon, can’t folks learn that legislating responsibility is a doomed effort? You all do want to see government reduced in size and cost, don’t you?

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 17, 2006 3:11 AM
Comment #168154

David-
Whether the parents control the children’s purchasing habits or not the mere fact that items like Kidsbeer exists has an effect on the psyche of children. In my opinion we already have enough people in AA and dont need to be breeding a new generation of alcoholics.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at July 17, 2006 3:28 AM
Comment #168159

Well, maybe it is possible the kids will drink the kidsbeer and not try to get real beer. In countries like France where families drink wine together openly there is nothing “special” or mystical about alcohol and they don’t have the problems we do. It’s when teens know alcohol is forbidden that they want to steal it and drink it at parties.

Posted by: mark at July 17, 2006 4:56 AM
Comment #168200
No. being surrounded with 72 virgins sounds like complete hell.

And nobody know how 72 virgins happened to be in hell? However, I fear that in such place (if any ;-) ) they wan’t be virgin for long…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 17, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #168201

Guys,

In France, wine is less casual and hype in families than it used to be. Our teenagers are becoming to have more and more beer or, worse, strong alcohol addiction. And France was never under alcohol “prohibition”, indeed.
Obviously, the issue is not much that they drink too many alcohol but more *why* they do it. Alcohol marketing doesn’t explain all.

Sorry to break the France wine myth.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 17, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #168203

I much prefer FREEDOM wines, myself.

:~)

Posted by: tony at July 17, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #168204

David
Believe me the last thing I want is more Government interference in our lives.
Your right the parents are the ones that should control what their kids purchase. Besides I don’t really see these things as all that harmful.
Real beer or cigarettes are though. And unfortunately there are parents that don’t care if their children buy and use these items.
I don’t think I’ll let my grand kids have kid beer though. But that’s me. And I’m not every parent. Just ask my kids.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 17, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #168222

Ron,

Beer is not harmful to those who use it in moderation, although alcoholics are harmed by the alochol in beer. (Of course, other drinks contain beer and others may be harmed by the actions of those who drank beer, etc…)
Cigarettes are harmful. They are the only drug delivery system which (a) is not regulated by FDA and (b) is known to kill the patient (aka smoker / nicotine addict)
As an add on to Philippes post; there are a certain number of people who are alcohlic by predispostion and there are certain add on number who are alcoholic by circumstance. Regulation won’t do much to reduce those numbers. The question is do we want a society that helps people with the problem or punishes them.

Phillipe,

It is hell because the 72 will stay vigins forever and there isn’t any Jergins.

Posted by: Dave1 at July 17, 2006 12:29 PM
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