Ad Nut will start with the facts.
Space Shower TV is a a music TV channel in Japan.
A creative agency called Dot by Dot has made a set of videos for Space Shower TV, which will be used as interstitials, appearing between programs on the channel. The videos debuted at noon today. Here they are.
There is also a making-of video:
There is also an online game you can play at rocknroll-panty.jp. It looks like this:
The following statements appear in the press materials provided by Dot by Dot (emphasis added by Ad Nut in a couple of choice spots):
The skirt of a woman who stands on top of a specially made circular speak[er] flutters upwards to loud rock ‘n’ roll and with the 60 second version it is possible to see twenty different panty shots.
The [app] is built so that when you tap in time to the rhythm on the smartphone screen a panty shot will appear. If you don’t tap in rhythm then a shot of a macho man appears. The users rhythm differences greatly determines what their infinite title will be.
The panty presentations on top of the speaker are by the popular fashion model and musician, Hikari Shiina.
A message from the Creative Director, Kyosuke Taniguchi: As full grown adults using real technology, we have delivered the junior high school male students obsession, “To get a panty shot with the use of loud Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Please enjoy the rock and panties to your fullest.
Hikari Shiina (born November 18th, 1994) is a Japanese gal fashion model who models in magazines such as, “Popteen” and “Ranzuki.” Hikari is originally from Yawatano-shi, Chiba. Her height is 153cm, weighs 38 kilograms, three sizes are 82-56-80, has a C cup bust size and blood type is type A. Currently enrolled in the model agency, Vithmic. She has become popular particularly from the magazine, “Popteen.” Self-confessing herself as a, “Nerdy type gal” she also has various other pet names such as, “Hika-monkey,” “Hika-kaesa” and “Hika-pin.” She is allergic to eggs.
Ad Nut and Ad Nut's colleagues spent too long examining and discussing this work when it was shared with us late yesterday, first trying to parse whether it was real and then trying to decide whether it was as reprehensible as it appeared to be, a cultural artifact we couldn't make sense of without being from Japan or simply a smart marketing strategy.
Ad Nut has decided it is exactly as reprehensible as it appears to be, and unfortunately, a smart marketing strategy as well.
It seems clear that the people at Dot by Dot and Shower Time fully understand their demographic and know exactly what they are doing. The over-the-top voiceover in the making-of video and the reference to "junior high school male students obsession" are attempts to distance the agency and perhaps the client from the calculated strategy of producing this rephensible objectification of women.
But acting like you are above reprehensible objectification of women does not make it OK to produce content that reprehensibly objectifies women—with a dash of homophobia thrown in. Nor do cultural differences or marketing objectives excuse one from producing said content.
Nevertheless, Ad Nut suspects the strategy will work perfectly well for Shower Time TV. Catering to the obsessions of junior high schoolers—and "full-grown adults" (debatable!) who should have matured beyond such things by now—has been a solid strategy since the dawn of advertising, and will continue to be until enough people speak out about it and refuse to support those who stoop to it.