Picture It – Miku Sells!

Not satisfied with conquering the world of voice synthesising software and the wallets of otaku worldwide with her teal awesomeness, art of Hatsune Miku has begun appearing in the unlikeliest of places! Shall we take a look?

Mik-who?

For those not familiar with the idol sensation, which rock have you been living under? I ask out of love, my current rental contract will be up for renewal soon and a large rock with decent internet connectivity may very well turn out to be a more affordable and attainable option.

Hatsune Miku is the cute, twintailed, zettai ryouiki superstar originally developed as a mascot for the Vocaloid software series. While she’s not alone in this capacity, arguably she’s the most well known and obsessed-over of the mascots, to afford ourselves the use of some technical sociological terminology.

Her popularity is evident not only in the sheer amount of fanart generated of her (one of the more popular -booru image boards has over 29,000 images tagged with her!) but the fact she’s broken into the mainstream in a way few other symbols of otaku culture have.

Anime screen-ings

Case in point, exhibit A. While you’re humble writer (who’s nick here is the same as a certain Japanese programming language… coincidence, I think not!) was attempting to find replacement parts for a laptop inspired by Japanese bento boxes, he was shocked to discover that not only did the activity render him incapable of speaking of himself in anything other than the third person, but that one of the screens he was viewing (see what I did there?) was advertised as coming with Hatsune Miku herself!

(At first I couldn’t tell who it was, but her weird orbital hair scrunchy things gave it away).

Incredible, right? Well okay, it turns out the screen doesn’t come with her at all, she’s merely being used to advertise the product. Do they assume helpless anime nerds spend so much money on figures, manga and posters that they have to buy replacement parts for their computers rather than buying new ones? …. Touché. Still, this illustrates (heh) my point!

Artistic licence

Another perhaps more famous example of how Miku’s artistic likeness has been used to advertise products and services was for Toyota last year.

People have been plastering anime girls across their automobile devices since automobiles existed; the Ford Model T infamously came in a version with Lum on the passenger doors. I believe it caused quite the controversy among early 20th century conservatives who were unused to seeing women’s ankles let alone a green haired, bikini clad alien.

Still, this wasn’t just a campaign with Miku being depicted on the vechile, her art and voice were used specifically in the promotional material. What a cute virtual idol singer has to do with a mediocre automobile, or whether it was ultimately effective at moving product is another question.

The original artist for the advertising page can be found on DeviantArt.

These puns have to stop, gomen

We end our tour of Hatsune Miku art with some real usage iRL. iRL is shorthand for In Real Life, not Ireland. I learned that the hard way when I mistook what someone said as… well, let’s not go there. Ah the praties, yata tata tee tee~.

In fact before we go any further, lets just make sure we can tell the difference between Hatsune Miku and a potato.

I was going to include an image of a Mad Potato, but my solicitor said it could land me in hot soup.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, Miku in advertising. Below is the final image in our cavalcade, this time with Miku gracing an SBS Transit bus in Singapore, by EVOV on DeviantArt.

I like this picture because it looks legit, or at least as legit as this fake one below. You saw it here first. Unless, you didn’t.

Singapore Bus by Mailer_Diablo on Wikipedia

And so we wrap up another Picture It! You made it through another Ruby post, achievement unlocked!