Let us start with the basic introduction to the capsule toy. It is a type of “crank” vending machine which makes toys when the user inserts coins and turns the lever. The capsule vending machine is commonly called gachapon. This name is given to the machine and the toy inside it. The term is based on the sound of selling machine crank (gacha) and the thud the capsule makes on spitting out (pon). The most phenomenal aspect of this machine is the thrill it creates as its user contemplates which toy comes out. In other words, scarceness and uncertainty are the fun parts of gachapon. The toys comprise a wide range of merchandise from keychains and various types of useful items to humorous figurines of renowned characters. Originally surfacing in the USA, the product became popular in Japan in the early 70s.
Today, Gachapon vending machines are found lying in rows mainly outside electronic shops all over Japan. These machines ostensibly sold children toys in the beginning, but eventually expanded to products suitable for adults. The cost of the toys usually ranges from 100 yen to 400 yen on average. Many capsule toys have become popular with adults because they imitate real-life characters. For instance, toys like Dogeza Straps reflect the irrepressible spirit of salarymen posing in the style of begging called dogeza. Similarly, Fuchiko on cups has gained popularity among female workers. The toys’ typical uniform is similar to the one the female receptionists would generally wear in the office.
The success of enamoured adult toys shifted the market trends and led the manufacturers to think about extensively promoting them to adults. The toys are generally contained in small plastic capsules. Quiet lately, another trend has developed in this industry; the popularity of miniature toy figurines.
Although Japan is mainly a tourist country, most tourists are not familiar with Japanese traditional toys. While leaving the country, they find it easy to offload the small Japanese change they usually carry in exchange for something cheap. They find gachapon toys the best for staple buying.
Besides holding promotional events to sell vending machine toys, the manufacturers adopt various captivating techniques. Out of them, the five best promotional strategies are discussed below.
Focusing the Target Market:
The manufacturers realize that nothing is out of bounds for gachapon. However, certain commentaries attract only adults. They understand that adults do not accept every toy. Toys that don’t attract adults are usually copyright infringing items or violence carriers.
The importance of creating the right promotional technique for adults leads to understanding their interests first. Take products that reflect cultural references and satires, for instance. In Japan, Kancho is a game in which players crouch behind their target by clasping their hands like a gun.
They shout Kancho while poking their hands in the back of their targets. Similarly, gachapon toys could be in the shape of miniatures that form the shape of contemporary faces the adults usually like the most. A “Japanese Beyonce” never reached fame in her life until her gachapon line was promoted. The adults like gachapons of useful items of their daily life such as key chains and food items.
Adults would rarely visit next-door toy shops for themselves. Now whether the product is a high-quality capsule toy or anything else, the manufacturers promote what makes their toys stand out. Just telling adults that the manufacturers have something for the others won’t change the game.
Promoting individuality integrates ideas and designs to win adults’ hearts. Many adults rave about the high quality of figurines. Creating popular characters on which to base the figurines would compel the adults to buy them at a cheap price.
The manufacturers might look into creating the original characters based on animals that are quite popular among adults. For instance, promoting PANDA’s ana figurines could be worthwhile because most adults are familiar with it. Buying its figurine would mean them showing their association with the animal.
Designs of famous structures around the globe such as the Statue of Liberty and sculpture of The Thinker can attract adults too. Featuring parasites inside human heads is yet another creative step to promote the individuality of a toy.
A design plays an important role in getting the attention of adults. The difficult part of selling vending machine gachapon is to make adults choose a single toy out of hundreds of others available. The manufacturers understand that adults would like to buy the toys depending upon the visuals displayed in the vending machine posters. Thus, by using graphics, creative ideas, and designs, the marketers succeed in promoting their toys to a large number of adults.
Guiding the adults to notice the vending machine areas is yet another promotional strategy. The manufacturers usually consider areas where commuters are mostly adults. Shopping malls and airports, for instance, are among the best platforms to promote capsule toy to adults. The gachapon makers usually place several vending machines in rows at such public places. Presenting something in an unusual style can catch adults’ attention.
A significant approach towards promoting one’s product is to converge one’s national cultural aspects in the product. Japanese culture is growing around the globe. In this context, the promotion of capsule toy to foreign adults becomes much easier.
Many local manufacturers involved in this business may introduce “the local figure souvenir”. Inside this toy, the foreign adults might find interest in the pamphlets written in English. Such a toy intrigues them to buy it. They would love to know the distinct charms and beauties of the places they would like to visit. Thus creating a sense among adults that the toy depicts the facet of modern Japan establishes a strong promotional strategy.
The manufacturers of the vending machines understand that their target market is just not the local adults, it involves foreigners too. So anyone wanting to know about the characteristics of the toys can understand only when product descript is provided in leading global languages. The vending machines may intrigue them to make good use of their leftover Japanese Yen while departing for their destinations. Such promotional gimmicks work because adults would certainly take note of the signage in the language they can easily understand.
Such a promotional strategy never fails. Foreign adults usually don’t carry much local change with them while leaving the country. At the same time, they don’t need it at their home. Spending on something cheap but qualitative can urge them to buy the gachapon toy.
The wedding machine suppliers who are much budget-conscious in terms of advertisement may take the course of social media interaction. People around the globe are linked through online platforms, which serve as a huge promotional space for gachapon. Posting photos of capsule toys on the internet can certainly get viewer’s attention and this may lead to effective promotion of toys to adults.
David Ogilvy, a British advertising tycoon once said, “You cannot bore people into buying your product; you can only interest them in buying it.” The point of promoting a capsule toy to an adult is just not to sell it within 200 to 400 yen. It is actually about captivating the adults with the fun and thrill originating from turning the crank of the vending machine.
Wondering what inside the capsule stirs their imagination and curiosity. The uncertainty behind the machine’s spitting out some additional special toy they spent days looking for actually keeps the product progressing.
For More Products, visit QIMEN Toys