kuraray


News Releases 2008

The Kuraray Group's New "Mirabakesso" TV Commercial Episode Goes on Air, Starring Actress Riko Narumi and A Curiously Charming Alpaca
Corporate Ad Campaign "Mirabakesso" - The "Here Comes Kuraray-Chan" Episode -
Begins Airing Nationwide August 25, 2008

August 22, 2008
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Kuraray announces the launch of a new TV commercial episode from Monday, August 25, 2008 as part of the "Mirabakesso" corporate ad campaign that the Company has began since November 2007.
Keeping the same catchphrase for the campaign, "Mirabakesso," which is a contraction of Mirai ni Bakeru Shinsozai (literally translated as "new materials that transform into the future"), and the same actress, Riko Narumi, the new TV commercial episode again expresses the Kuraray Group's commitment as a future-oriented chemicals maker motivated to innovate.
In the new episode, a curiously charming animal-an alpaca-appears, adding to the mysterious nuance of the previous TV commercial episodes.

1. Summary of TV Commercial

Title

Kuraray Corporate Ad TV commercial "Mirabakesso: The 'Here Comes Kuraray-Chan' Episode." Running time: 30 and 15 seconds (two versions)

Broadcast schedule

From August 25, 2008 (Monday)

  • (1) TV programming (nationwide)
  • (2) Commercial spot airing locations (Kanto, Kansai, Niigata, Okayama, Kagawa and Ehime regions)

TV Commercial story line

The "Here Comes Kuraray-Chan" Episode
In a living room on a peaceful holiday afternoon...there is seemingly nothing wrong with the scene.
But wait, what is that?
In the middle of the livingroom, there is an interesting-looking animal!
It's an alpaca! And it looks like the animal is the pet of the girl who is right next to it. She calls it "Hanako."
The girl seems to be teaching something to the alpaca. What is she whispering to the animal? Oh! She is enthusiastically teaching the animal the word "Mirabakesso"!
Her efforts bear fruit, with Hanako, the alpaca, pronouncing the word with slight difficulties.
The girl becomes ecstatic. She pets the animal with the greatest affection. But what did she call her pet this time?
"Very good girl, Kuraray!"
Wasn't the pet's name "Hanako"?
The grandpa of the girl, who has been in the room, looks perplexed by what he just heard, asking his granddaughter:
"Isn't she 'Hanako'?"
The girl answers:
"Oh! Come on, grandpa! Mirabakesso is Kuraray!"
Chemical-esque air bubbles float about the girl, who now has a beaming smile.
The scene portrays a magical, unreal world, in which an alpaca repeats the intriguing word "Mirabakesso"...

Production staff

  • Production Company : LIGHT PUBLICITY CO., LTD.
  • Creative Director : Nobuyuki Miyadera
  • Director : Yoshinari Kamiya
TV Commercial Concept Developed by the Production Staff
The year 2008 marks the second year of the corporate ad campaign. To make the viewers clearly remember the TV commercial and understand that Kuraray is proactively creating "Mirabakesso"-new materials that transform into the future-the entire production team centered its commercial planning on the concept "Mirabakesso is Kuraray." Though it may sound strange, it was the alpaca that played a significant role in realizing such impact in the TV commercial. Though the animal has an impressive appearance and is not widely known in Japan, its image should stick to one's mind once the viewer watches it. Adding to the impressiveness of the animal, the team worked to create an ordinary and yet extraordinary atmosphere in the TV commercial, elaborating the tone and manner of the visual and audio effects. The team believes that the finished product will effectively deliver Kuraray's concept. Heartwarming communication between Ms. Narumi and Kuraray-chan is depicted from a fairytale-like perspective, which we hope will leave a sense of expectation for a better future.

2. Profile of Riko Narumi

Riko Narumi was born on August 18, 1992 in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. In 2005, she was cast in her first leading role in the drama Ruri no Shima. In 2007, she starred in a series of films including Shindo, Ashita no Watashi no Tsukurikata and Kimi ni shika Kikoenai. In a Fuji TV drama series titled Hachimitsu to Kuroba, which was aired in the first half of 2008, Ms. Narumi played the role of Hagumi Hanamoto. She is also cast in the leading roles in the film Tsumi toka Batsu toka directed by Keralino Sandorovich (real name: Kazumi Kobayashi) and Yamagata Scream directed by Naoto Takenaka, both to be released in the coming year.

3. About Alpaca

Alpacas are found mainly in South America. They have been domesticated since the time of the ancient Inca Empire. In the TV commercial, an alpaca appears as a pet of a girl played by Ms. Narumi. Alpacas live on grass and moss and grow to reach approximately 2 meters in height and 50 kg in weight. Though hard to imagine from their cute, unique appearance that stays in one's mind at just one glance, they are very cautious and shy.

4. Behind the Scenes

Filming took place in late June 2008 in a studio located in Tokyo. The first cast member who arrived at the studio was "Kuraray-Chan"(her real name is Hanako), the alpaca. She was sent from an alpaca farm in the Nasu area of Tochigi Prefecture. All filming staff members became excited with her curiously strange appearance-like a sheep or camel-that nobody at the site had ever seen.
A little while later, Ms. Narumi arrived, and it was time for their first encounter. The first words from Ms. Narumi were: "Oh, my goodness! She is sooooo cuuuuute!" maybe it was this, Ms. Narumi's saying "cute," that made her feel flattered and act all sweet. Even during filming breaks, they got along well with each other, and such scenes of friendship brought relief to the staff members.
Everything was going smoothly, maybe too smoothly. Troubles often visit in such situations. It happened when filming a scene where Ms. Narumi was supposed to give "Kuraray-Chan" a big hug: "Kuraray-Chan" gave Ms. Narumi a big hug instead. Maybe it was out of the affection that she had developed toward Ms. Narumi. Although the scene had to be filmed again, the accident made all staff members smile somehow. She calmed down shortly, and both of them got through the filming of all the scenes with an excellent performance.
After the filming was completed, people in the studio turned into photo enthusiasts all of a sudden, surrounding "Kuraray-Chan". She was a popular "actress" throughout the filming.

5. Purpose of the Ad Campaign

Kuraray was established in 1926 with the purpose of commercializing rayon. The Company got its real start as a fiber and textile manufacturer after becoming the first in Japan to commercialize synthetic fiber, named KURALON, and the first in the world to commercialize man-made leather, named CLARINO. Today, over 70% of Kuraray's business is comprised of businesses other than fibers and textiles. Specifically, its chemical-related materials business continues to expand and is represented by EVAL, a resin distinguished by its excellent gas barrier properties, and poval film, which is essential for the manufacture of LCDs.
In addition, as of October 1, 2007, the industry classification of Kuraray shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange was changed from "Textiles & Apparels" to "Chemicals." This change is representative of Kuraray's growth as and transformation into a chemicals manufacturer.
Accordingly, as the Company pursues ongoing growth in the chemicals business, this ad campaign, which includes the TV commercials as well as posters and Internet ads, was developed from November 2007 with the purpose of boosting Kuraray's corporate brand value.
The catchphrase, "Mirai ni Bakeru Shinsozai," embedded with the word, "future," was chosen for exactly this reason, which is to show Kuraray's focus on its future progress as a chemicals manufacturer. We also tried to create an analogy between the potential of new materials and the potential of youth.

6. TV Commercial Broadcasting Schedule

(1) TV programming (Nationwide)

  • 1. September 6, 2008: Japan Men's National Soccer Team competes in the final-round series of AFC qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa; Japan vs. Bahrain
  • 2. Nikkei Special - Gaia no Yoake - (documentary program on economic subjects, broadcast in affiliation with TV Tokyo Corporation from 10:00pm to 10:54pm every Tuesday)

(2) Commercial spot airing locations (Kanto, Kansai, Niigata, Okayama, Kagawa and Ehime regions)

August 25, 2008 (Mon.) - September 7, 2008 (Sun.)
Airing time also scheduled for the 2008 year-end through to January 2009

7. Other Activities through the Ad Campaign

During the same period of the commercial spot airtimes above, Kuraray plans to place poster ads at major train stations in the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe regions, as well as banner ads on the Yahoo! Japan front page.