With trade negotiations between the U.S. and Japan a continuing source of friction, Asahi Beer’s billboard in Long Beach, Calif., was sure to draw some interest. ‘Japan Imports More Than Just Great Electronics,’ reads the billboard, which sports a bottle of Asahi wearing earphones and holding a radio. Sure the beer is a Japanese export, but Asatsu, the brewer’s agency here, wanted a little attention for the brand. And, technically, Japan has an organization that brings the beer here from over there, making it – by the agency’s reasoning – an import. ‘It’s a brand that doesn’t have a lot of awareness here, and currently we’re trying to do something that will generate an identity,’ said Chuck Copin, senior vp/director of client services at Asatsu. It’s worked so far, said the people at Asahi, who noted they have fielded many calls in recent weeks. Now they just have to keep U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor out of Long Beach for awhile.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)