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.
Kuraray Corporate Ad TV commercial "Mirabakesso: The 'Here Comes Kuraray-Chan' Episode." Running time: 30 and 15 seconds (two versions)
From August 25, 2008 (Monday)
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.
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.
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.
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.
August 25, 2008 (Mon.) - September 7, 2008 (Sun.)
Airing time also scheduled for the 2008 year-end through to January 2009
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.