For most people, a quiet drink after work is a quick treat before they head home for their dinner. However, for these Japanese, the end-of-the-day quickly pint turns into one too many. The result is people becoming passed out drunk and end up sleeping on the streets of Tokyo.
Beer is without doubt the king of Japanese drinks; knocked back on a grand scale by both men and women, and young and old alike. Recriprication is the underpinning of Japanese drinking culture. It comes across in the practice of pouring your drinking partner’s drinks for him or her. So you never pour your own.
However, to shame these drunks that end up on the streets of Tokyo, ad agency Ogilvy & Mather and Tokyo bar chain Yaocho have teamed up in a campaign that turns these people into PSA billboards. Called the Sleeping Drunks Billboard, these passed out drunk people are framed using white tape, thus turning them into street-side human billboards. The hashtag #NOMISUGI is used to caption them; which translates to “too drunk”.
The Japanese love to drink. In fact, never far away are electronic vending machines that dispense beer and sake (hot or cold). For few coins (around $2US for 250ml) you can get a drink from morning until 11pm, when they automatically switch off. This shut down is supposedly to deter those under the legal drinking age of 20. And this is about as strict as the law and wider society gets when regarding alcohol and its users. The law makes no mention being drunk and disorderly. If anything, inebriation may be taken into account as a mollifying factor if a crime is committed.
What do you think? Is this a clever concept to discourage irresponsible drinking? Or is it an invasion of privacy: you decide. Share your thoughts in the comments below or on social media.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.