"If we insult you, it will be in English." That's the unlikely tagline of TDA Advertising & Design's TV and cinema push for Boulder, Colo.-based Hapa Sushi. Three Japanese chefs at a rival raw bar smile and wave at patrons while tossing off subtitled one-liners like "Husband should keep her in shed" and "Did she find those clothes in a ditch? Hello ditch-lady!" A nerdy guy is on the receiving end of zingers like "No girl eat with captain of ugly team" and "Say hello to your computer, virgin." Maybe the work will offend some Japanese American groups and generate free publicity for the chain, but if the Japanese can survive Quentin Tarantino's insane Softbank ads, they'll endure Hapa's mild naughtiness. The agency says the goal is to portray Hapa as an alternative to "traditional, authentic Japanese sushi places." A tongue-in-cheek slogan like "If we kill you, it will be with our non-traditional raw-fish preparation" might be more effective. Kidding, of course. An Americanized sushi place in the Rocky Mountains … sounds safe to me!
—Posted by David Gianatasio