Domino’s Japan: Have A Synthetic Pop Star With Your Chain Pizza

Hatsune Niku!

Cute…like Hatsune Niku!

Here at Consumerist, we’re fond of cross-cultural exchanges that involve fast food. Okay, we just like anything that involves fast food. We particularly relish news of menu items and promotions that American fast-food joints don’t offer in their home country, like the seven-patty Whopper. Domino’s Japan has taken a great step forward by combining a famous artificial pop star, an iPhone app, an incredibly awkward YouTube video, and what we can only guess are songs about pizza.

“Wait, Consumerist,” you might be saying. “Aren’t all pop stars artificial?” Yes. But the ingenue in this case is a character who doesn’t exist. She’s Hatsune Miku, a teal-haired songstress and a Vocaloid. There isn’t even a real live singer behind the character: “Vocaloid” is the name of the software used to create her songs.

Vocaloids are huge in Japan, where the characters put on concerts, projected on screens, putting hard-working human pop stars out of business. That’s where this Domino’s Japan promotion comes in, with exclusive Hatsune Niku content available only if you point your iPhone at specially-designed Domino’s boxes.

All this is just background information, of course, that you may not even need to appreciate this video. It features Scott Oellkers, President and CEO of Domino’s Japan, because everyone knows that the way to sell pop idol pizza boxes is with middle-aged overweight white dudes who act like everyone’s dorky dad.

Oellkers may be crazy like a fox here. This is the same CEO who also made a video explaining elaborate plans to open a Domino’s franchise on the moon. That got everyone talking about the brand, and there still isn’t a Domino’s on the moon.

Over at Kotaku, Brian Ashcraft points out from Japan that Oellkers’ wacky foreigner CEO act dates back to his time running Domino’s Taiwan, when he took a prominent, Mandarin-speaking role in their ads.

Domino’s feat. Hatsune Miku [Domino's Japan]
The Domino effect [Japan Today]