In the news today, Japan’s bid for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup will be branded with none other than Astro Boy. The super popular comic character premiered this past weekend to rave reviews, and one look at the movie’s website reveals why. If there is one thing the Japanese excel at it is animation, and Astro Boy is no exception with Imagi studios’ creativity.
As for good PR moves, lovable characters such as this little dynamo are always good for business. Japan announced the character as the ambassador for Japan’s campaign at a press conference last week. Imagi’s Astro Boy was revealed wearing a soccer uniform to brand the little fellow as a World Cup participant no doubt.
In a recent screening for kids and parents in Tokyo, a survey was taken to figure out Astro Boy’s acceptance among kids and parents. The results were resoundingly positive in that all concerned were impressed and would recommend the film to their circles. Astro Boy was produced by Maryann Garger, of “Flushed Away” fame, and directed by David Bowers, of the “Flushed Away” as well. Written by Timothy Hyde Harris, who also wrote “Kindergarten Cop” and “Trading Places”, this animated movie features the celebrity voices of Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland, and of course Nicolas Cage as ‘Dr. Tenma.’ No wonder it is a hit.
Japan and Astro Boy are in for some tough competition from the likes of England, Australia, the U.S., and 8 other nations. Based on the websites we ran across, England and Australia being the front runners with Japan with regard to online branding. If anyone out there has more information please forward it so we can update this ongoing report.
For now though, Japan appears to have the only super hero capable of garnering the support of kids who will be at the right age by the time The World Cup of 2018 comes around. A brilliant PR move on the part of Japan if you think about it. Super hero capability and by the time he is needed, a potentially world famous celebrity. If only Astro Boy could play for the Japanese team?