From Idol Support to Social Contribution: Unlocking the Potential of Car Stickers for Various Purposes | FRIDAY DIGITAL

From Idol Support to Social Contribution: Unlocking the Potential of Car Stickers for Various Purposes

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Minami’s car with a huge sticker of “THE iDOLM@STER MILLION LIVE! sticker on Minami’s car. The family uses a separate car, so they don’t say anything about it (courtesy of Minamino).

“’The Idolmaster’ has been a supported content by fans since its days as an arcade game in the 2000s. As a fan who supports it, I decided to participate in this campaign. It’s like being a fan of idols, so if you think of it that way, it’s easy to understand.”

This is spoken by Minami, a 40-something office worker who has boldly adorned the rear window of her car with stickers from the anime “The Idolmaster Million Live!”. It might look like an advertisement, but in reality, it is indeed an advertisement.

This is one of the campaigns carried out by Cheer Drive Inc., which offers a service of putting stickers on ordinary cars for advertising purposes. Fans pay an entry fee to participate in the campaign. By sticking the sticker and driving the required distance, they can receive perks such as limited edition goods (sticker sets or blankets). There are three courses depending on factors like sticker size, quantity, and perks, with participation fees ranging from ¥2,950 to ¥8,550 (including tax; all prices are tax inclusive).

For those who are not familiar with ‘The Idolmaster,’ it might seem like a hesitant expense. However, according to Minami, for fans, it’s not an issue at all.

“It’s more about the mentality of wanting to support this content even if it means spending money beyond what you’ll get in return. It’s similar to how sports fans support their favorite teams. For example, if you’re a Giants fan, you might have Giants merchandise and go to the stadium to support them. It’s the same mindset.”

Support is not limited to just “oshi-katsu” (supporting one’s favorite idol). Dr. Hiroaki Niimura (56), who participated in the “Noto Peninsula Earthquake Relief Project,” shares his thoughts:

“My hometown is Himi City in Toyama Prefecture. Also, I experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake while working in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. When I was thinking about what I could do for my local community, I came across this project online and decided to participate. The participation fee, which is also a donation, goes to the Japanese Red Cross Society. Personally, I commute alone, and every weekend I drive back to Tokyo where my family is. I thought that by putting on the sticker and driving, it would make more people think about Noto, so I joined.”

In the case of this campaign, the entire participation fee of ¥4,000 is allocated as a donation to the Japanese Red Cross Society. Expenses such as sticker costs are covered by Cheer Drive. Furthermore, they have expanded their campaigns to support initiatives such as disability support by general incorporated associations and non-profit organizations, as well as aid for Ukraine. This represents a new form of support where one can provide “support” in addition to simply donating money for social contributions.

Additionally, in campaigns by the Ibaraki Prefectural Government, participants pay a fee of ¥500, put a melon sticker on their car, drive 500 kilometers, and receive one melon, or they can participate for ¥1,000 and receive ¥5,000 worth of retort food from Marudai Foods. There are also campaigns where participants can enjoy some benefits.

However, when Cheer Drive started its business in April 2021, it initially began as a new form of advertising, as part of the sharing economy, where you can earn money just by driving.

“However, at that time, outdoor advertising was completely ineffective due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I thought there might be a possibility of creating a system where drivers could support each other, and when we implemented initiatives with idol groups and sports teams, both client companies and drivers were pleased.” (Masataka Hosoka, CEO of Cheer Drive)

Now that the situation with COVID has settled down, Hosoka mentions that they are finally focusing on businesses where drivers can earn money as originally intended advertising.

“We will introduce a new driver rank system in the reward-based plan to be released in April. Drivers with a higher rank will receive ¥5 for every kilometer they drive, while those with a lower rank will receive ¥3. The driver rank is determined by how many campaigns they have participated in the past and how much they have driven. This is a pure form of advertising, where drivers can participate for free, and they can earn up to ¥5,000 in rewards by driving.”

For clients, it costs ¥10,000 per month per car, and they can use it for 10 cars or more. Currently, there are 55,000 registered drivers nationwide, allowing advertising from the municipal level to nationwide campaigns. This means they can handle anything from announcing the opening of a local restaurant to nationwide campaigns for large companies.

Furthermore, the placement of stickers is not limited to just cars. Hosoka seems to have his sights set on further possibilities for the future.

“We are considering the possibility of placing ads in locations other than cars. Many young people in their 20s and 30s, especially those living in Tokyo, do not own cars. I think there are various methods where they can earn advertising revenue in their daily lives even without having a car.”

It’s surprising that by putting stickers on cars, people can support their favorite idols or contribute to society, and even earn money. But there still seem to be many things that can be done by simply putting stickers on something.

Minami previously participated in the “Million Live! campaign. The sticker on the rear window is see-through, so the view from behind is unobstructed (courtesy of Minami).
In addition to the rear window stickers, there are also stickers for both sides of the car, creating a bit of a “painted car” effect, as you can see.
The “Noto Peninsula Earthquake Relief Project,” in which Mr. Niimura participated, is characterized by its modest size stickers that do not stand out too much. Mr. Niimura said he would leave the stickers on his car even after the event was over.
A campaign at a yakiniku restaurant, where participants who pay a participation fee of 3,000 yen and drive 200 km during the period will receive a meal coupon worth 5,500 yen.

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