Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Uniqlo - ads you want to watch

Uniqlo is a Japanese clothing store that's now expanded into the United States and elsewhere. They're sort of like Old Navy; basic stuff, pretty cheap. I had to buy a bunch of stuff there last time we went to Japan, because I (ahem) ran out of clean clothes in the ridiculous Japanese summer humidity that forces you to change about three times per day.

Anyway, I was just randomly browsing around today and on a Brazilian guy's blog that I was looking at, I saw this little Uniqlock widget:

Only his was customized for Brazil. I clicked on it, not knowing what the hell I was clicking - I'm not thinking "Uniqlock" means "Uniqlo", this is not a company I normally consider in my daily life. I came to this page, which had me basically hypnotized for ten minutes. Then I somehow got to the Uniqlock page itself (I think I just clicked somewhere else in the widget), and I watched that for about another five. So creative! I forgot I was watching a clothing advertisement.

Watch more than once - it changes.

Then I clicked the "World. Uniqlock" link in the menu and I was blown away. Talk about viral - the list of blogs linking to this thing is so long that it almost crashed my computer.

The whole thing is kind of brilliant, I think. I love that it features the art form without ever actually mentioning the clothes, and that it uses Flash not for its own sake but to frame the content in an interesting way. I also think it's pretty smart how they're using bloggers' own selfishness for their benefit - promise most bloggers a link and they'll do almost anything for you. I admit, the main reason I've got that little widget up right now is to see my own link up there. I may or may not keep the widget afterwards.

I hate advertising and I hate marketing (unless they benefit me directly!). But I don't hate this.


  1. Jeff, that thing is crazy. I really like that thing. I LOVE Uniqlo. I made my friend take me to the New York store. It was so lovely. The design elements are excellent. I can't wait to go on my next visit.
    I love the clock thing. It's hypnotic. I added to my blog for a while.

  2. Anonymous10:19 PM

    You said "I hate marketing...but I dont hate this" I think that is the point of the uniqlock thing. To get people engaged in the product in a fun way -gets people talking, just like on your blog. congrats on getting your own domain.

  3. It's always interesting to see what posts I get comments on... not that 2 comments is a lot, but on most posts I don't get any. I can never predict it; I figured nobody'd even read this post. I'm sort of in the middle of an experiment to see if posting basically every day gets me more traffic :)

    But yeah, I do think this is pretty cool marketing.

    Oddly enough, I have never been to Uniqlo in NYC, only in Japan. I wonder how it's different here. The clothes I bought in Japan were all too small, even though they were XXL. Too bad too, the quality was pretty good.


About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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