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Chirashi, Japanese traditional spam


By Mel - Posted on 14 July 2009

In Tokyo, and in most Japanese cities that I've been to, there are no widely-circulated local newspapers and only national dailies such as the Asahi, Yomiuri or Mainichi Shinbun are being sold. As the circulation of these national dailies usually reach millions, the advertising rate naturally goes high and this makes it very expensive for small establishments to advertise in newspapers. This explains why there are almost no advertisements for used goods, jobs and grocery store coupons in these newspapers. This is also one of the reasons why store owners resort to using chirashi or flyers that are either distributed on the street, usually packed together with tissue paper, or are dropped into people’s mailboxes.

A few days ago, as Cerg and I checked our mailbox, we found one post card which seemed like one of these chirashis. Cerg would usually feel frustrated with the unwanted and unsolicited chirashis being dumped into mailboxes but this time it was different. The post card was from a well-known fashion brand company from which Cerg previously bought a shoulder bag. Apparently, the company mailed all its previous clients to inform about their summer sale promo in which products are offered for up to 60% discount. The post card contained three discount coupons, one for Cerg and two extra coupons that she can give to friends. Each coupon entitles the bearer 20% discount in addition to the discounts (of up to 60%) given to ordinary buyers.

The offer was too tempting and the prospect of getting things for as low as 32% (40% x 80%) of their original price made Cerg want to go the outlet and take advantage of the sale. Of course, as the ever loving husband (ehem), I was supposed to accompany her. We did go to the outlet but I will let Cerg talk about that trip. To conclude, although chirashis are like spam emails that are hated by many of us, they can be very effective in disseminating information.

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