Dream and Hustle

Using Generative AI to Create Anime Standee Marketing Campaigns

Monday, February 26, 2024

When I go to Japan, I sometimes take a personal respite to Kawaguchiko, where you can get a nice view of Mount Fuji from this location. While I was there, I saw some standees or cardboard cutouts situated across the downtown and sightseeing areas.

It wasn’t until I went to Fujiyama Cookie and saw these standees that I could connect what was going on. This is a marketing campaign with anime models customized for the area and customized for the business. In the standee photo, you should notice a lady holding a tray of Fujiyama cookies and a Fujiyama logo blue beret on her head.  

When I was inside the Fujiyama shop buying some cookies, I saw the whole picture. They are promoting the region with these personalized anime characters. Those are buttons that you can buy to own the whole collection of anime characters being sold in the Fujiyama cookie shop, I really loved their cookies.

While most standees are used to having a life-size photo of a famous person to take a picture next to, this implementation I found throughout Japan is innovative and revolutionary. Again, y'all keep traveling everywhere besides Japan, and that’s your miss on all this awesomeness.

Standees are being used in Japan to create unique characters that can promote a brand or a region like Kawaguchiko. This is an excellent strategy to create personalization marketing touchpoints at a low cost that can attract attention, and I think it is highly effective.

Before we talk about the how-to, I want to talk about the standees I saw in Kyoto and Osaka as well.

At Kyoto's main train hub, this gift shop had this standee, and I’m making an educated guess here. I noticed this character has a hololive logo at the bottom – this is very important to understand hololive.

Hololive is an agency that uses anime avatars on YouTube narrated by a real person, similar to the talking emojis on your iPhone. These avatar shows are popular throughout Asia and among weebs who attend anime conferences in Los Angeles. The term for this new trend is called VTubers, and a whole new subject to explore later.

If I’m correct, and if I’m not, this is what I interpreted. This hololive standee may be an avatar operating as a VTuber brand influencer promoting local shops in Kyoto or elsewhere. If that is true, someone can use the VTuber approach and create an anime personality to be a spokesperson for popular businesses.

I have so many more examples, such as promoting manga releases and pop-up stores, that I want to move forward with this idea and how someone can adopt this to run an anime-based campaign using Generative AI.

With generative AI, almost anyone can take this awesome Japanese idea and start marketing in their local community using anime. Let’s say you want to create an anime character for a hostess bar in Texas somewhere. You can type in your preset prompts and generate the following image:

Yes, I used the prompt “large breasts” to help generate this image because everything is big in Texas. Now, using this prompt, I can fine-tune to keep this anime character in different postures throughout the bar as a marketing touchpoint, standees, advertisements, and even a VTuber personality.

This new digital-first firm can be established to promote a new paradigm of marketing for small businesses and shops around an area or cover a sector. We know this is pure Japanese because this is a mascot model that the Japanese pioneered and used throughout their marketing culture.

I saw this standee in America at the Korean fried chicken place Pelicana. The lady in the picture is making my grilled chicken avocado salad. I saw some problems with it – the person is sitting on a chair looking off somewhere else. Always include “looking at viewer” in your generative AI prompt, especially for marketing material. Also, if you look at the very bottom, they placed the QR code as if I’m going to notice it or take a photo of it near the floor – the QR code should be shoulder level.