Shota Mori is a performance artist who became famous for his Taxi Driver-inspired “iPhone quick draw” system.
Now he has starred in a funny parody web ad for @nifty, a real estate portal site.
It rather boldly mimics the style of a TV documentary about hikikomori (shut-ins). In it Mori plays a young man who never leaves his room. He spends his days playing video games.
After nine years of hikikomori life, he discovers the @nifty app for searching for a better place to live. His life is radically transformed and he becomes first a singer, and then even a politician.
Suddenly we are in a news show watching footage of the new Mori speaking like a politico.
Finally he becomes prime minister but has to resign because he once again used the app, and ended up choosing to move to a place better than the official PM’s residence.
There are English subtitles (of shaky quality).
Japanese real estate services have created clever web ads before, such as the Dreamer Nippon Inemuri” video which filmed people sleeping on trains in Tokyo.
Most mainstream services would steer clear of such a socially sensitive issue. It’s perhaps a measure of how “normal” hikikomori has become as a social problem that it can be fodder for marketing, as well as an example of how edgy advertising campaigns can be in Japan if they dare to not rely on the latest celebrities for endorsements.
To remind us of how Mori got started, here is one of his iPhone Quick Draw gadget demonstrations.