As odd as it may seem, fast-fashion giant Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo from Japan continues to push digital and new media boundaries that have changed the concept of fashion marketing.
From cool screensavers, to their “Lucky Counter” utilizing Twitter to achieve hype and discounted prices, to a clear favorite, the 88 Colors campaign that, like their popular Uniqlock online campaign, was oddly addictive, they continue to produce new ways of looking at things—sometimes having nothing at all to do with fashion. With today’s youth culture however, the connection between fashion and technology is clear which is what Uniqlo has successfuly adopted and pushed forward.
Earlier this month, Uniqlo released another unique digital item, “Wake Up,” a free alarm app that features the sounds and narration composed by Keigo Oyamada and Yoko Conno. For those unfamiliar with Conno, she’s well known in the world of anime for her singing and narration of various characters.
Wake Up works on Android or iPhone with a jingle that slowly wakes you up in conjunction with the weather that’s taking place outside of your bedroom. So, when it rains, it softly explains that it’s raining outside to some lovely anime like moody music and narration.
As FastCo described it, “a cross between the Super Mario World soundtrack and Tokyo train station alerts.”
The app itself is clean, streamlined, and monochromatic with corresponding weather emoticons. But the wacky Japanese aspect is the way the narrator says things like, “Today, it’s sunny!” which may come across like a voice in a car GPS that doesn’t know how to properly pronounce the name of a street, making it sound ridiculously funny. In this case, Today, it’s sunny, can sound like a robot anime character saying something like, TOO-day, it’s SUN-ny!
It’s worth a listen.