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Annals of Wine Marketing #2 - Akadama

This is face, or to be a bit more honest, the topless torso, that launched a thousand bottles of Akadama Port Wine. In 1922, this ad campaign, conceived of by Japanese marketing and design genius Tatsuma Kobayashi, hit the streets and bars, put prudes and cultural gatekeepers fundoshis in a bunch, and made Akadama the iconic wine of Japan.

Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Suntory, started off his career to monumental failure, importing Spanish wines to Japan in 1899. Nobody liked the stuff. So he decided to craft and create something that would appeal to that particular "Japanese taste." And that was Akadama Port Wine, which he launched in 1907. A mix of grape juice, alcohol, sugar, and who knows what else, it became a kind of a highbrow tipple for the masses who had no idea what wine should really taste like.

Enter Tatsuma Kobayashi, who conceptualized the famous poster. During the shooting session, he got actress and model Emiko Matsushima to strip down - first part of the s…

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