Comment: The “cute wash” and sexism are at the heart of Japanese fast food restaurants’ attempt to attract female customers

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SEXISM AS A MARKETING STRATEGY

The existence of deep-seated sexism in Japanese companies was not the big reveal here, although the volume and immediacy of public outrage was heartening.

Rather, it was Ito’s inclusion of the particularly shocking and visceral words for “young girls” and “addicted.” terms that gave his verbal image such repulsive liveliness. And this is where things get complicated.

Ito, accompanied by a creeping apology from the company, was promptly fired. Yoshinoya is clearly hoping this is a move that will allow him to disguise the episode as a one-man madness, rather than exposing the trade secret that the game, in which the fast-food company finds itself (and has since won decades), requires deep reservations. of cynicism and ugliness.

Consider without forgiving his vocabulary Ito’s marketing challenge from an investor’s perspective. Japan’s population is irrevocably shrinking and the men, by and large, need no convincing that a bowl of fatty beef over rice, gobbled up on a lighted counter, costs US$5. well spent.

If there is national growth for the business to be found anywhere, it is among the young, cash-strapped female population who have yet to realize what they are missing.

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