Here is a fun promotion for some Alice Nine fans!
Now, many of you are probably quite familiar with Ameba Blog, Japan’s premier blogging service. Though many Japanese celebrities have taken to Twitter, Ameblo remains the dominant way for fans to keep in touch with their favorite artists’ daily goings-on. One unique feature of Ameba’s blog sites is a mini-sim world called Pigg that was initially built as an avatar-based chat universe but has now expanded to include a variety of mini-games. If you have Facebook, an equivalent of this program named Pico has been released as a Facebook game aimed at international users.
What makes Ameba Pigg fairly unique is the degree to which it has been adopted by the Japanese entertainment industry as the social media outlet, so much so that Pigg occasionally hosts live streams of interviews at Ameba Studio, has regular collaborations with numerous celebrities – big and small, niche and mainstream -, and hosts music channels as well. Artists like AKB48, Ayumi Hamasaki, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, are among the recent endorsers, to name a few, and in the visual world, PS Company bands such as the GazettE have given fans a chance to mimic them with Pigg costumes numerous times in the recent past. Ameba’s celebrity connection thus goes beyond merely offering a platform for celebrities to blog and interact with fans.
This time around, however, the target audience will be Alice Nine fans.
The usual schedule of promotion when musical acts are involved is as follows: Pigg builds a special area where fans can get together and chat but also buy virtual band goods designed by or somehow evocative of their idol. Sometimes they go as far as creating costumes and wigs to let fans “cospigg” their favorite members, which an be purchased with ameG, Ameba’s in-game currency that is equivalent to yen. Increasingly, these special areas will stream a video on a simulated screen or will have sample of a new single playing in the background.
In eager anticipation of their upcoming series of three consecutive single releases, beginning with March 20th’s Daybreak, Alice Nine‘s promotion is going a step further.
Last year, Ameba Pigg staff had created special Alice Nine areas to commemorate their February 2012 full-length release, 9. But instead of just one, they created eleven different areas where you can sample all of the tracks from 9. In addition to offering various costumes for fans to buy, they even created some familiar furitsuke (choreography) actions that, once bought, could be performed by your own Pigg avatar with a simple click. What’s more, they also included a gacha, or capsule machine, where you could take a chance and “spin” the dial in hopes of getting an item of your choice. Ameba really iced the cake when promoting Alice Nine, but they do not seem keen to stop there.
Taking all of this into consideration, Ameba put together a contest involving the virtual merchandise and Alice Nine themselves. If fans meet certain qualifying criteria, they can be entered into a lottery to live-chat with a member of the band!
The criteria are as follows:
Step 1. Buy at least 2 qualifying hair pieces and at least 1 qualifying costume
Step 2. Turn the Alice Nine gacha at least 3 times.
Step 3. Buy the uchiwa [hand fan] [of your chosen member] as your chat raffle ticket.
Among those who complete all three of the above steps, 150 people will be chosen at random to live chat with the members of Alice Nine.
*30 people per member, respectively.
February 14, 2013 (THU) 1:00 PM JST – February 20, 2013 (WED) 11:59PM JST
◆Notification of Winners
February 27, 2013 (WED) (scheduled)
*Winners will be contacted by Alice Nine’s staff blog (ID: alicenine-official).
◆Schedule of Live Chat
March 14, 2013 (THU)
Unfortunately, participating is going to require spending real money, as most of the ways to acquire ameG require spending real cash: loading ameG directly to your account using a credit card or convenience store payment; adding money to your phone bill; collecting points through Rakuten purchases; and so on. If you live in Japan and/or have a functioning cell phone provided by a Japanese provider, you can also make ameG by downloading smartphone apps or inviting friends (who also have Japanese cell phones) to join Ameba.
The cheapest qualifying hair pieces cost 300 ameG, and the cheapest costume is 320 ameG. Completing step 1 alone will already set you back 920 ameG.
Adding to that, each spin of the gacha costs 250 ameG, and you must spin it at least three times to qualify, so there goes another 750 ameG.
Finally, your “raffle ticket” uchiwa costs a comparatively measly 30 ameG.
Altogether, that means you must spend a minimum of 1700 ameG, equal to ¥1700, just for a chance to participate. For ¥1700, you could afford one of the regular editions of the “Daybreak” single and have change left over, or you could come close to buying the limited edition. So it is a substantial sum of money to spend on an intangible item and a minute chance to possibly chat with a member of Alice Nine.
Nonetheless, for those inclined, you’ve still got two, three hours to go wild, pick up one or two of everything, and cross your fingers!
Since these costumes have been available for some time, as has the gacha, if you already own any of the qualifying hair pieces, costumes, or gacha items from an earlier time, it still counts towards your eligibility, provided you don’t forget to buy your uchiwa. However, simply meeting the three criteria does not guarantee you anything more than a chance to be selected. If you want to increase your chances, you can buy multiple of the raffle ticket uchiwa at 30 ameG each (though you cannot be selected for chat with more than one member).
More details (including pictures of the qualifying e-merchandise and more detailed contest rules) are available at the Ameba Pigg’s official staff blog.
How do all you S-T.net readers feel about this? Are there any of you who will be able to participate? If so, let us know! According to the comments on the Pigg staff blog, it seems like Japanese Amebloggers are grumbling about the low number of participants compared to the high cost; others are speculative whether it will really be Alice Nine themselves doing the chat (as opposed to staff members). What are your thoughts?
Tags: Alice Nine