Monday, October 25, 2010

Japanese Newspaper Marketing

Japanese newspapers are doing considerably better than their American counterparts, though their circulations are still falling fast.  I just found out firsthand one reason for this - aggressive door to door marketing tactics.  I was just offered a case of beer and two bags of rice if I signed up for a minimum of three months with Yomiuri Shinbun.  This is the third time (in two months!) I've had a door to door salesman offering me the newspaper, but this was the first guy who wouldn't be put off by the fact that I don't read Japanese that well.  He was keen to let me know that Yomiuri Shinbun doesn't use kanji beyond the sixth grade level (that is, beyond the 2000 kanji considered standard) and that it would be good practice for me.  And he actually carted in the beer and food, making it that much more difficult for me to turn him down.


Jonathan Dresner said...

This has been a selling point of the Yomiuri since its inception: the very name is based on the idea that being easy to read would sell well. It's true, too. When I did my year at the Keio Intl. Ctr., we'd start with Yomiuri, move on to Asahi, then finish with Nikkei.

David Z. Morris said...

Interesting. But I think I'll have to pick up a few issues before I commit to the free beer package.