John Player Special King Size
Japanese Qualitative Study
JPS (John Player Special) King Size advertising materials:
Although the "monogram" version and three "door" versions (motor racing, ski and motor boat) tended to give different impressions and were said to appeal to different target segments of consumers, for both versions, overall level of identification of the respondents did not appear to be too high.
In comparison to "door" versions, respondents tended to pick this version for the reason that it was easy to understand and it succeeded in conveying "class" of the advertised product irrespective of age and sex.
However, it was generally perceived to be appealing to middle-aged and older consumers having responsible positions in large companies and suited to be seen in business journals such as "President", etc. Thus, the level of identification of the younger respondents tended to be lower.
Further, although it was described as being "easy to understand", many respondents mentioned that similar advertisements are often seen for whisky and brandy and there was nothing new and exciting.
Although some respondents later mentioned that the approach was new and interesting, the most serious problem of the three "door" version alternatives was that most respondents did not understand the meaning "at sight".
Further, it was frequently mentioned that the approach did not match the Japanese advertising copy. In addition, the three kinds of sports, mo tor-racing, ski and motor-boating had respective problem areas. To be specific, respondents mentioned that "Ski" was nothing new (although there was no negative image about skiing itself). Motor-boating was said to have a bad image (because motor boat racing is a form of gambling event for down-scale people in Japan). Motor-racing was liked and supported by younger respondents but some middle-aged respondents said that they had an image of "speed crazy" young men (causing troubles in the society).
The Japanese advertising copy
A translation of "Escape from the ordinary. Get the JPS (John Player Special) taste." was used for all ad alternatives. It went, "ZOKKA WA GOMENDA. ?ˆ?EXCITING TASTE' ?ˆ” JPS". It appeared that this translation had some problems. The literal back translation would go; "I do not like (pure things) being spoiled by everyday-mess." Respondents appeared to have strange impressions from the combinations of this copy and ski/motor-racing/motor moating.
The other phrase, "Exciting taste ?ˆ” JPS" was said to contradict the product which was described to be mild and plain.