Hello, everyone! This is Scott. Scott Oellkers. He's the president of Domino's Pizza Japan, and he's here to totally weird you out.
If you don't know who Hatsune Miku is, Scott will tell you all about the virtual idol—and tell you about how Domino's Pizza is teaming up with Miku for a new iTunes app that allows you to order pizza, Miku style.
What's more, once you get your order, the pizza box can be turned into a virtual AR stage. You can also take photos with the digital singer.
But the whole ordeal, starring real-life Domino's exec Scott Oellkers, is rather strange! It's not unheard of for English speaking people to appear in Japanese ads. Likewise, no biggie. But a real exec? Only speaking English? For a Hatsune Miku, pizza ordering app? For Japan? Bwah?
"Pervert CEO," wrote one commenter on 2ch, Japan's largest bulletin board. "It's good that this president is in such high spirits", wrote another. "Why the hell is this old foreign dude talking, but this is Japan only?" asked yet another. One other sites, some wrote how the app seems cool, but this is a crappy pitch.
See elsewhere in Asia, Scott Oellkers has a track record—a highly successful one. But people in Japan have no idea about that or who the hell this guy is. That's perhaps why this whole thing seems really, really odd.
When he was an exec at Domino's Taiwan, Oellkers was a celebrity. He appeared in all (or nearly all) the Taiwanese Domino's commercials, speaking Chinese. And when he wasn't doing that, he was showing up on talks shows and being interviewed in it. So there was an obvious cultural connection that doesn't quite exist when Scott is speaking English in Japanese commercials. It's jarring, and some Japanese people aren't quite sure what the hell is going on. Heck, some English speakers aren't sure, either.
All this being said, many in Japan do like the digital Miku that appears in the app, are baffled that there isn't an Android version, and really like pizza. Mmmm pizza.
Culture Smash is a regular dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond.