Saturday, October 11, 2008

NHK: Shanghai Typhoon

NHK's six-part drama series, Shanghai Typhoon is about a young Japanese woman named Misuzu (Tae Kimura) as she starts her own business in Shanghai. As she moves to the Chinese city she has trouble finding an apartment, so she stays with another Japanese expatriate, Mari (Megumi).

Misuzu applies for a job at a flower shop, and the boss, Kaori (Yuki Matsushita), reluctantly hires her. Later, Misuzu realizes that the Chinese owner of the flower shop (Peter Ho) got her fired from her last job in Japan. It gets more interesting as Misuzu reveals her true talent as a fashion designer...

You can watch six brief trailers from the drama: the last one will be aired on October 18, 2008, called "Thank You, Shanghai".

With the recent opening of H&M, the Swedish retailer, in Japan, I cannot help but wonder... Multinational companies need to do a lot better in terms of supporting culture and drama, to really connect people around the world. If Shanghai Typhoon is shown on Swedish TV, I would be very pleased. And... In my humble opinion, this is one example of how Japan is a lot more global-minded than my old country... European and American companies think they can sell to customers in Japan and other countries in Asia, without any real commitment to the region. That is not going to be sustainable, guys.

H&M, what's new? Organic cotton? Good. Please make every effort to tell your Japanese customers that this is now available at H&M.

Our intention is to gradually use more cotton that has been grown organically – that is without the use of chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. We want to contribute towards increased demand and thereby motivate more growers to invest in organic cotton growing.

H&M has been using organically grown cotton since 2004, when we began to mix some organic cotton into selected children’s clothing. Since 2007 we have had garments made from 100 percent organic cotton in all departments. We also have some garments made from 50 percent organic cotton and 50 percent conventional cotton. All garments made from organic cotton are marked with an “Organic Cotton” label.

Does H&M have any idea about Japan??


Rim of the World said...

What do you mean? Do they have any idea about Japan what?

Martin J Frid said...

Thanks Rim! Well, I like that H&M will sell organic cotton clothes in Japan, but why is the CSR Report only in English? Do they think Japanese people can understand that?

That shows a big lack of awareness of Japan (and Asia). If they claim that "Japan is about to change" I think they have to be leaders in the environmental and ethical way of doing business. And that also means being able to communicate with the customers.

Pandabonium said...

I think the above indicates the shallow nature of a marketing campaign that is only interested in a catchy phrase rather than making a real difference.

Martin J Frid said...

As I visited H&M's shop in Ginza, I was disappointed to find clothes made in China and Turkey. No organic cotton at all, no information about CSR (Corporate social responsibility), nothing to educate consumers about the effects of chemicals on cotton farms or GMO cotton. H&M? "Half-Measures".