David Blecken
Aug 4, 2015

Docomo Healthcare shows a dose of horror can be good for you

TOKYO - Summer is traditionally the season to watch horror movies in Japan as a means to cool down. But a new film from Docomo Healthcare explores the hypothesis that doing so can help burn calories as well.

To promote its wristband activity meter, Move Band 2, Docomo Healthcare has released an experimental film to explore how many calories a person can burn simply by watching a frightening piece of cinema.

Developed by the team behind NTT DoCoMo’s Cannes Lions-winning ‘3-second cooking’ videos, Tetsushi Kawachi of Tokyu Agency and Hisaya Kato from AOI Pro., Calorie Movie tests the hypothesis that watching a scary film causes physical reactions that stimulate calorie consumption.

These reactions include increased heart rate, shallow breathing and screaming, which in turn cause the release of carbon dioxide. The hypothesis also suggests that a state of fear, and the rapid transition between tension and relaxation, lead people to burn calories.

The creepy film that serves as the vehicle for the experiment runs for just over 12 minutes and is housed on a dedicated Calorie Movie website with optional English subtitles.

The video shows a real-time representation of the average calorie consumption of an audience of 12 male and female test subjects. A doctor of medicine from Kokushikan University, Professor Akiharu Sudo, monitored the participants using a system that analyses the quantities of oxygen and carbon dioxide in each breath.

The human guinea pigs’ average calorie consumption for each scene is shown in the bottom right-hand corner of the video. The overall average burned for the duration of the film was calculated as 22 kcal—the equivalent of the calories a person weighing 60 kilograms would burn during a six-minute walk of around 80 metres per minute (a distance of almost half a kilometre).

According to Professor Sudo, some test subjects showed calorie consumption up to five times higher than during a normal seated resting position—equivalent to physical activity such as light jogging.

So there you have it: watching videos is healthy—as long as they terrify you. Docomo keeps branding to a minimum and the experiment did not use the wristband itself. Instead, participants wore an unnerving gas mask-like contraption that would not look out of place on the set of the film. The brand enters the frame at the end to announce that “calories are consumed at unexpected moments” and to suggest using the Move Band 2 to visualise them.

The video is supported by an online trailer and has so far clocked up 2,687 views on YouTube, having launched at the end of July.


Advertising agency: Tokyu Agency Inc.
Production company: AOI Pro. Inc.
Creative director/planner: Tetsushi Kawachi
Agency art director: Maori Sato
Planner: Daisuke Hasegawa / Yoko Osoegawa
PR planner: Tatsuya Yoshio
Executive producer: Hisaya Kato
Producer: Kazuki Sato
Production manager: Shuhei Terada
Director: Hiroki Ono
DOP: Jin Ito
Gaffer: Yuki Maeshima
Sound mixer: Tsutomu Yamaguchi
Special-effects Makeup: Yoshinari Doi
Art director: Ayako Takebuchi
1st AD: Tohma Marisawa
Animation: Masato Seto
Music: Hiroshi Kawagoe
Offline editor: Yoichi Takahashi
Web director: Daiki Koyama (AID-DCC Inc.)
Calorie validation expert: Akiharu Sudo (Kokushikan University)
Account executive: Shinichi Kumazawa / Ayako Ishii

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