Wednesday, March 10, 2010

10,000 Smiles For S/mileage[Updated #3]

Hello!Project`s ,newest unit  S/mileage has been given the “giant” task of collecting photos of 10,000 smiling faces and paste each one on a mosaic board. The payoff of the March 25th deadline is a major label debut in May. If they fail, who knows maybe Tsunku will leave them on top of Mt.Fuji, I kid of course.

 This is a tremendous promotional campaign for the new group, with the bulk of the photos coming by uploads to  S/mileage`s newly opened web site photo submission area, allowing fans to upload their pictures for S/mileage.

My first thought  about this challenge was that it was missing one element that would have made the challenge more meaningful.

Imagine S/mileage having to go from city to city completing their debut mission. Imagine video of the S/mileage members running around Shibuya asking to take to pictures of random people and that mission being played out each week before our eyes as S/mileage travels from city to city fighting to complete their mission. Ah! The possibilities.

Well no sooner was the ink dry on this little thought, the young ladies of S/mileage, started tweeting away the following.

“At the Tsukiji Market
Distributing the flyers
talk to me very friendly i was very happy.

Photos that the 4 of us took
is around 100”

Looks like the girls are working hard to reach their goal, it`s just a shame that Hello!Project can not  free a TV station out of the grip of AKB48,to watch it all unfold .Other tweets, mentioned the girl’s school members joining in.

Regardless of the  outcome for S/mileage challenge ,they are already winners as mainstream media has started to notice the challenge . It`s also not just the media that has taken notice , many fan communities outside of Japan have joined the fan communities here to send in pictures as follow up tweets have reported pictures coming in from foreigners . Messages are also being posted on sites that have no interest in Hello!Project ,offering to help S/mileage only because the members are cute and the challenge is fun to be a part of and they want them to face victory. Everyone it seems  is jumping on the S/mileage train and this has the young group ,excited and pushing forward.

There is no question that since 2004 Up-Front/Hello!Project`s management has often looked more like they didn’t know their head from a hole in the ground ,this is  however not one of those times.

In the last few days an considerable amount of effort has been underway to make sure that S/mileage`s major label debut will be a success .So far we have seen S/mileage members bump Morning Musume member Tanaka Reina off  the radio for their own show. This was followed by the opening of an impressive web site ,individual tweeter accounts , blogs and now this campaign.

While S/mileage ,still have much to learn yet, before the keys to the agency can be handed over to them ,the foundation for a long future is starting to develop before our eyes.  Let us not kid ourselves here , massive change will come at some point to Hello!Project ,that is just the way this industry works. The industry craves fresh groups and will continue to do so and we may see many more stroke’s of brilliance in the future out of  Up-Front/Hello!Project`s management in regards to S/mileage as they prepare for that day.

The 10,000 smiles  challenge for S/mileage is a taste of the future and the past ,after all a certain legendary Hello!Project unit ,known as Morning Musume also faced a debut challenge. Morning Musume passed their challenge and their legacy  is well known.

Who knows ,maybe after S/mileage passes their  challenge and their career is born ,we maybe finding ourselves debating a few years from now, the next generation S/mileage member auditions airing after their entertaining until the bus comes skit on S/mileage`s weekly TV show or asking ourselves ,can S/mileage continue their record of top 5 singles. Only time will tell ,however some signs are starting to point towards a plan for S/mileage ,one that was possibly first tested 13yrs ago with a 50,000 single release challenge.


UP-Front has provided subs for the S/mileage challenge message

S/Mileage hard at work “hitting up” their elder sister units for photos

Update #2
If S/mileage came to your office with a camera, would you tell them no? Answer-S/mileage gets the photos.

Update #3
S/mileage visiting Omokirii PON! To take smile pictures and to promote the challenge

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