Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shinkansen Commercial Wins Awards at Cannes

Japan's newest shinkansen (bullet train) had the unfortunate timing of opening on March 12, 2011, the day after the worst natural disaster in 140 years engulfed the northeastern region of the country. Kyushu, the westernmost of Japan's four main islands, now has the Kyushu Shinkansen, which links the north to the south, operating from Hakata to Kagoshima.

Kyushu Shinkansen's route through western Japan

In a commercial to celebrate the opening of the line, Japanese advertising giant Dentsu filmed the bullet train making a run through the island, and more than 30,000 people dotted the landscape along the tracks, waving, holding up signs, and cheering for the train. Dentsu wanted to create a festival, "where the experience was shared as one through a connection that was real and physical."

Deemed too celebratory to run while the nation was suffering and in crisis, the three-minute spot, named "The 250km Wave," was pulled, and little fanfare surrounded the actual opening of the historic train line.

That didn't stop the commercial from winning a couple of awards at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity last week. "The 250km Wave" was honored with a Gold Lion in the Outdoor Segment for Stunts and Live Advertising and Silver Media Lions for Best Use of Special Events and Live Advertising and for Travel, Entertainment and Leisure.

From the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

I first read about the commercial in Japan Probe, and I learned about the awards through the Visit Japan Facebook page. It's a wonderful spot, and even though it was filmed before the tragic events of March 11, it reminds me of the spirit and resilience of Japan. I can't help but feel hope when I see the life and vitality displayed throughout the 250km wave.

1 comment:

lisander martínez said...

The shinkansen is beutiful! One of my favorite things about Japan. I'm glad this ad won such prizes.