The Crazy World Of NSFW In-Store DisplaysS

Forget commercials. Forget print ads. What might make a sale in Japan is more than hype. It's the presentation, namely of the in-store variety.

In-store displays play an important part in sales - not just in Japan, but pretty much everywhere.

Take JB Hi-Fi, Australia's largest home entertainment retailer, which has a policy of using either hand-written or hand-drawn in-store displays that no doubt add a personal touch. Throughout Japan as well, whether it be bookstores or game shops, there are often little handwritten notes by staff left on in-store items, making recommendations.

Likewise, the U.S. or Europe are no slouches when it comes to in-store displays - just look at how department stores created and mastered the art of window displays. Yes, art. It's no accident that a young Andy Warhol started off doing window displays.

Yet, there's a special home-made, even ramshackle gumption video game displays have in Japan. More often than not, they're not very slick. Sure, Sony's displays are nice, as well as Microsoft's and Nintendo's. But many of the most memorable, and outrageous ones are for smaller games.

The Crazy World Of NSFW In-Store DisplaysS

What they lack in advertising money, they make up for in the shops. Take From Software's Another Century's Episode 3: The Final, which gave out awards to shops who did the best job with in-store displays.

It's like what American movie theater owners did during 1970s for exploitation films. In the publicity material distributors sent theater owners, there would be recommendations for how to promote the flicks. So for a horror film, the suggestion might be to fill the lobby with "dead bodies", or rather mannequins strewn about the place.

The most audacious displays have to be the one's for adult video games. Adult video games or "eroge" as they're called in Japan are hardly big budget productions. While they might have character designs by famous illustrators like Noizi Ito, the games are made by small studios.

The Crazy World Of NSFW In-Store Displays

These games are niche products. They might get some ads in publications that cater to those who might be in the market for an erotic title or two. Or three. Memorable in-store displays help eroge stand out in a sea of big eyes and boobs.

But it's not just adult games that know sex sales. Big-eyes and boobs to help mecha games stand out in a sea of metal and missiles, and one cardboard cutout for the PSP version of Battle Vixens had skirts that patrons could look up, revealing pre-order reminders and pearls of wisdom. Interactive, but only for those brave enough to peek.

Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome - game related and beyond.

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