David Blecken
Jun 30, 2015

Hip Hop foodie positions Spam in a heroic light

TOKYO - Hormel Foods introduces Spam in a way many will never have seen it before: with a rap song composed of recipe ideas from fans.

Agency: Lowe Profero Japan

Market: Japan

Details: Nowhere loves mascots more than Japan, where they range from the cute to the decidedly strange. With this in mind, prepare to watch Spammy-kun, an anthropomorphised Spam tin with a cape, take the stage alongside DJ Misoshiru & MC Gohan (DJ Miso Soup & MC Rice), a Sony recording artist, to introduce an assortment of crowdsourced recipe ideas.

In a video lasting a little over three minutes, Gohan (who is famous for food-themed hip hop) raps her way through a selection of recipes submitted by fans of the processed meat in the familiar blue tin. The ‘Oishi-song’ (oishii meaning ‘delicious’) is the climax of a campaign that began in the spring, with Spam gourmets invited to submit their ideas as to variations for 20 recipes. An astonishing 3,000 participated, putting forward culinary delights such as the Spam Tropical Night Sandwich and the Spam Tasty Explosion Cake.

In the song, Gohan refers to Spam repeatedly as “The Hero of the Supermarket”, and indeed the performers are joined by a group of 1960s housewives—a tribute to Spam’s image in Japan as a mid-century Americana staple. In a release from Lowe Profero, Gohan is quoted as saying that she “can’t wait to give some of the dishes a try in my own kitchen”. The recipes are available on the campaign’s website, and the initiative will continue into the summer, when Hormel will select the winners of a quiz launched in conjunction with the video.

Campaign’s view: We must admit that we did initially struggle to see Spam as the hero of the supermarket (or any market). But the response in terms of recipe submissions shows there are definitely a good number of enthusiasts out there. We like the crowdsourced approach and the video is entertaining—all the more so, we imagine, for people who are actually fond of Spam. We might even be tempted to throw caution to the wind and toss some Spam in with our next serving of melon and condensed milk. Spammy-kun, we salute you.


Client: Hormel Foods Japan
Product manager, SPAM: Jaynee Sherman
Agency: Lowe Profero Tokyo
ECD: Ryan Skelton
Account executive: Chris Andrews
Executive producer: Sunggong Won
Copywriter: Minako Ota
Lyrics, composition, performance: DJ Misoshiru & MC Gohan
Artist management: Sony Music Artists
Record label: Ki/oon Music / Sony Music Labels In

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