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Is Anime Just An Advertisement For Its Source Material?
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Posted 3/24/14 , edited 3/24/14
You have all made the point that it is certainly possible for anime to increase sales of another product, and that it would classify as a form of advertisement if both the product and the anime are produced by the same company. Actually, this was not something that I ever disagreed with. What bothered me was how some of you stated that "all" anime is "solely" advertising. To classify all anime as solely advertising is a huge misstatement. Whether or not anime can also be classified as advertisement really depends on the context of its production (who's paying who, etc.), but the anime itself is still primarily an art form, source of entertainment, and etc depending on the anime. This is because there are many people who prefer watching anime over reading manga. Even anime like Yugioh and Pokemon that are clearly intended to promote various products are still enjoyable to viewers who choose to watch.

Of course, nothing is wrong with advertising itself because is only effective when it shows people things that they are already interested in.
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Posted 3/24/14 , edited 3/24/14

llamaben wrote:


Colo4444 wrote:

The producer is usually not the same person as the author of the manga, so the producer does not make any more money when viewers of the anime decide to read the manga as well. In fact, they may even have to pay the manga authors to obtain permission to make an anime of the author's work. If anime were advertising, then the author of the manga would actually be paying the producer of the anime, in order to generate more sales of the manga.

Actually the manga/light novel publishing company is almost always on the production committee of the anime and is often the main sponsor. In other words, they do pay for the production of anime...


Which is certainly possible and likely. However, the anime producer doesn't pick any manga to turn into an anime; only the popular ones, since the readers of the manga will want to watch the anime. In that sense, the manga is also advertising the anime.

I had always considered it to be a positive externality that the both of them had on each other, one that the company would certainly take into account if it were in charge of both (thus no longer being an externality). By externality I mean a side benefit that comes along with selling the product. I would say that the promotion of other items is the side benefit.

If you search up what the word "positive externality" means in economics, then you can see why I think the relationship between anime and manga fits more under that category. Marketers simply take the positive externality into account when they make judgements.
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Posted 3/24/14
given the degree to which I consume anime versus Manga. I'd have to say it's a failed marketing strategy. At least when directed at me. I read and even collect some manga but as a fraction of my free time and disposable income it's miniscule to what i spend on anime.
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Posted 3/24/14

papagolfwhiskey wrote:

I'd have to say it's a failed marketing strategy. At least when directed at me. I read and even collect some manga but as a fraction of my free time and disposable income it's miniscule to what i spend on anime.


Based on DVD/BR and manga volume sales in Japan (due to the high expense of consumer electronics there-in,) I'd say the effect would be backwards there simply due to affordability.

My most expensive copy of a Japanese manga is 590円 MSRP while 54 minutes of anime (roughly 3 episodes and usually covering the same length) usually sells at 5.500-6,600円 MSRP.

So, watching an anime on television is probably far more likely to get someone in Japan to pick up the manga volumes than the DVD/BRs. With exception to original anime and special releases, of course.
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Posted 3/24/14
So you're arguing that the commercials are more expensive than the manga they advertise?

that makes no marketing sense.
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Posted 3/24/14 , edited 3/24/14
Sometimes I think it is. But when it really becomes an advertisement for its source material is when the anime adaptation does not complete the story that was set out at the beginning. Shows like Deadman Wonderland and Fruits Basket are examples of that. Since source materials are not limited by time constraints that the story can be as long as it wants. Not to mention, producing a story in animated for is just expensive compared to the source material, especially since digital distribution is now available for manga. Inuyasha is another series that did just that until the Final Act was created.
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Posted 3/24/14
Remember that neither manga nor anime are made for westerners.

And the current pricing for anime was originally for rental but otaku bought them anyway.

Rather than just an add for the original material it is one way of advertising the whole multimedia empires they are part of. The shows on TV advertise the anime discs books games CDs et al.
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Posted 3/24/14
To add what others said, the slots when many anime air are basically the infomercial slots......because that is what they are, mostly. Very few anime are able to work in the traditional television market by attracting third-party sponsors independent of the production team, and in turn are basically commercials themselves.
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Posted 3/24/14 , edited 3/24/14

hpulley wrote:

the current pricing for anime was for rental


rental? So, you pay a huge price and return it to the retailer for a return on the price?
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Posted 3/24/14 , edited 3/24/14

Colo4444 wrote:

You have all made the point that it is certainly possible for anime to increase sales of another product, and that it would classify as a form of advertisement if both the product and the anime are produced by the same company. Actually, this was not something that I ever disagreed with. What bothered me was how some of you stated that "all" anime is "solely" advertising. To classify all anime as solely advertising is a huge misstatement. Whether or not anime can also be classified as advertisement really depends on the context of its production (who's paying who, etc.), but the anime itself is still primarily a form of entertainment. This is because there are many people who prefer watching anime over reading manga. Even anime like Yugioh and Pokemon that are clearly intended to promote various products are still enjoyable to viewers who choose to watch.

Of course, nothing is wrong with advertising itself because is only effective when it shows people things that they are already interested in.


No one is saying anime isn't a form of entertainment. It is. And if all you do with anime is watch it and nothing else, that is fine. But they would really rather you spend money on products related to the anime as well. And THAT is why all anime is advertisement. They want you to buy stuff. You don't have to, of course, but that's how all advertisement works. They want you to buy things, but no one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to buy said things.

The problem here is you are getting hung up on the fact that there are multiple companies involved. That fact does not make it cease to be advertisement.
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Posted 3/24/14

HauAreWe wrote:


hpulley wrote:

the current pricing for anime was for rental


rental? So, you pay a huge price and return it to the retailer for a return on the price?


No you pay a huge price and keep it but the high price was originally set for rental stores to buy and rent out which is why it is so expensive.
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Posted 3/24/14

hpulley wrote:
the high price was originally set for rental stores to buy and rent out which is why it is so expensive.


omg. So retail buyers are simply buying the business class version of a consumer product!

Are rental stores still predominant in Japan or have they disappeared with digital media like they have in the west?
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Posted 3/24/14

HauAreWe wrote:


hpulley wrote:
the high price was originally set for rental stores to buy and rent out which is why it is so expensive.


omg. So retail buyers are simply buying the business class version of a consumer product!

Are rental stores still predominant in Japan or have they disappeared with digital media like they have in the west?


There was no consumer class but the otaku bought the rentals so they discovered just how much they would pay. Rental is still available in Japan though many anime discs sold at this high price are not allowed for rental ironically.
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Posted 3/24/14 , edited 3/24/14

Koda89 wrote:


Colo4444 wrote:

You have all made the point that it is certainly possible for anime to increase sales of another product, and that it would classify as a form of advertisement if both the product and the anime are produced by the same company. Actually, this was not something that I ever disagreed with. What bothered me was how some of you stated that "all" anime is "solely" advertising. To classify all anime as solely advertising is a huge misstatement. Whether or not anime can also be classified as advertisement really depends on the context of its production (who's paying who, etc.), but the anime itself is still primarily a form of entertainment. This is because there are many people who prefer watching anime over reading manga. Even anime like Yugioh and Pokemon that are clearly intended to promote various products are still enjoyable to viewers who choose to watch.

Of course, nothing is wrong with advertising itself because is only effective when it shows people things that they are already interested in.


No one is saying anime isn't a form of entertainment. It is. And if all you do with anime is watch it and nothing else, that is fine. But they would really rather you spend money on products related to the anime as well. And THAT is why all anime is advertisement. They want you to buy stuff. You don't have to, of course, but that's how all advertisement works. They want you to buy things, but no one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to buy said things.

The problem here is you are getting hung up on the fact that there are multiple companies involved. That fact does not make it cease to be advertisement.


But if additional sales of another product does not lead to additional revenue for the producer, then it simply cannot be described as advertisement. However, it certainly is possible for the same company to be doing both things, with each having an effect (positive or negative) on the sales of the other; that's not something that I am going to deny. By pointing that out though, I was trying to show (perhaps not adequately enough) that anime is not produced solely for the sake of promoting other products; the fact that it can be bought in CDs shows that it is also a product that can be sold on its own. In other words, anime is also produced for selling DVD copies that are used for watching the anime itself.

Even producers of anime like Yugioh and Pokemon hope to make money selling DVD copies - and that demonstrates that anime is a product that can be bought and sold. The fact that anime can be used to promote other items doesn't make it any less of an art form. The music, the art, and the story all have to suit each other in order for the anime to be of high quality. I think you just stated that yourself.

Besides, you know how people like to eat cereal with milk? Are you going to claim that all cereal is an advertisement for milk because the two are eaten together? The two are simply complementary goods, and the cereal producer doesn't get any additional revenue when the milk producer sells more milk.
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Posted 3/24/14
omg are you for real? no. They sell anime, that's how they make their money omg. Anime can help make it popular but no that is really silly thinking to think its an ad. ads aren't 12 24min episodes.... you don't pay for ads they pay you to watch them, by given you free tv shows and stuff. That problem you talk about only happens if you see the anime first, why are you even watching the anime first? because more money and resources are poured into the anime and that makes it watched by more people, rather than a manga which is a book with some words and pictures. You watching the anime first is pretty much proof that you care more for the anime than manga or LNs as a whole.

Its a two way street guys, if you read the book or whatever first isn't the book just an ad for the anime? no because its a whole new thing, both ways don't make sense this thread doesn't make any sense.
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