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It’s edgy, it’s innovative, it’s in your face. It’s also super sexy. But could it be… too sexy? Japan’s latest advertising fad is sweeping the nation, offending, arousing, and selling product faster than you can say, “Damn, baby – you want fries with that shake?”

The Science of Absolute Territory

zettai-ryouiki

The premise behind this new advertising scheme is taking advantage of something known as zettai ryouiki or “absolute territory”. Zettai ryouiki is the exposed area of skin between the hem of a woman’s shorts or skirt and their leg wear. Often, a woman’s zettai ryouiki will garner more attention than any cleavage she might be sporting.

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Since zettai ryouiki is defined by the length of the stockings, socks, or boots she’s wearing (I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring), Japan has developed a ranking system to define the grade of zettai ryouiki on a girl. It’s as obvious to me as it is to anyone that only grades A and B are to be considered true zettai ryouiki.

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Zettai ryouiki focuses on young and innocent sexuality and is most often worn by girls who are somewhat aware of their attractiveness but not so much that they’re going over the top with it. Fun fact: many tsundere characters find themselves sporting zettai ryouiki. Had you noticed?

The Advertising

Leg-Ads-JapanOf course someone would find a way to monetize this leggy phenomenon. A company calling themselves Absolute Territory has started to hire girls to sport ads on their zettai ryouiki, earning up to $125 a day. Over 1,300 girls are already participating in this new marketing fad and the only requirements apart from being a female (sorry Koichi) is that you must be over 18, and have at least 20 social media contacts.

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The girls have to wear the ad for at least eight hours during the day, taking pictures and uploading them to social media periodically to prove they’re keeping to their end of the bargain. Since men’s eyes would naturally wander to the girl’s milky white thighs anyway, Absolute Territory is taking advantage of this by placing an ad there.

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Everybody from RocketNews24 to Green Day has been hopping on this advertising bandwagon. Not everyone, however, is keen on the idea. The Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau along with their prefectural government put the kibosh on any plans to make use of this new advertising stating that placing ads on the thighs of young women to advertise Okinawa is not in line with the prefecture’s brand image.

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When they were still toying around with the idea, the offices received numerous complaints bashing the sexy plan as “undignified” and “not an appropriate use of taxpayer money”.

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Since this sex advertising would be funded with government money taken from the people, it’s obvious that some would be outraged at the thought. Fortunately the government decided to kill the plan before it went into action. Even though they knew the campaign would definitely be effective in getting the attention of young people and males, they didn’t want to do anything to harm the overall image of Okinawa.


So tell me, what are your thoughts on this new advertising trend? Is it too sexy for use? Does it ruin the image of the people and companies who use it for advertising? Do you think this trend would ever catch on in your home country? Let us know in the comments!

  • http://twitter.com/SactoMan81 Raymond Chuang

    It may be very strange, but given that the Japanese have adapted foreign things beyond the point of recognition of the original (e.g., Indian curry and ramen noodle soup), this doesn’t surprise me at all.

  • Datte baru

    Now this is genius ! :D

  • LordKyuubey

    Meh, nevermind the image of the companies. The whole point of Zettai Ryouiki is lost when a huge brand image is plastered in this sacred territory.

  • http://www.facebook.com/levene.leblanc Levene Leblanc

    While I don’t encourage the over sexualization of women, people are becoming more desensitized to the regular trends of commercializing. Sex sells. So, yes, it will grab attention and that is all these advertising companies want.

  • Daniellynet

    Yep. Isn’t really appealing with an advertisement there. :/

  • http://www.facebook.com/Scottlavigne Scott Lavigne

    I think this is fine, men are gonna stare, let the girls get some payment for the staring.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anna.cojocaru.7 Cojocaru Ana

    I love this one.

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    I love it, it’s like two birds with one stone. It lets me know who to avoid talking to AND which companies are depraved enough to resort to human name-branding.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lava.princeton Lava Yuki

    I used always wear thigh highs with skirts when i was in high school. It was a real trend in 2010 where i live: mini skirts plus over the knee socks, like they wear in anime.
    I love the style in general. Its cute!

  • Juli

    What about this not being good because it kind of treats women as objects??

  • besterthenyou

    Men are treated as objects sometimes too…

  • HatsuHazama

    -.-

    This is reminding me of the recent Cracked article, 24 Marketing Ideas that would be too effective to be legal.

  • DAVIDPD

    Looks A-okay to me.

  • ZXNova

    Meanwhile in America…

  • DenjinJ

    Can we please have somewhere there ISN’T an ad banner? I’ve seen TV stations start sticking them over shows, and now some smart TVs even show their own banners over those… How long before we start seeing ads in even more intimate places? Or on every other tree in a forest? On people’s teeth? All over sidewalks and roads? Projected over starry skies? Enough already!

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    Relax, I’m sure it’s not that ba-

    Learn a language online with Rosetta Stone®, the world’s best language-learning software!

    Oh God, the corruption has this far?!

  • Kamizushi Akinari

    Seeing women as sexually desirable is not the same as seeing them like if they were not persons. Not unless you are also ready to argue that hiring a maid is treating her like a cleaning object too. (As silly as it sounds it hold just as much meaning)

    If generally see the feminism movement in a positive light but the whole Sexual Objectification concept is full of shit. It’s not empowering women to tell them that they can’t sexualize their own body if they own body if they so desire. Empowerment means that they can 100% asexual or 100% slutty or anything in between if they want and the only ones who have their word to say about it are themselves and their sex partners(if applicable).

    It’s not a lack of respect to see women sexually. The lack of respect is to tell them what they can or can not do.

  • http://twitter.com/VXLbeast VXLbeast

    That would certainly get my attention.

  • Patrick Henry de Dios

    From a marketers pov, this is a brilliant idea and profits from an untapped phenomena and we have to face it, sex sells.

  • http://twitter.com/Cupucuups Hamyo

    OH NO KOICHI!! Rosetta Stone detected!! :D

  • http://twitter.com/Cupucuups Hamyo

    i think the best part is “(Sorry Koichi)” not this time Koichi, not this time….. :D lol

  • Mescale

    I’ve always wondered if the over sexualisation of society has caused the decline in birth rates.

    Its like the human form has become so idealised that people can’t feel happy with themselves, they lose confidence, and feel they aren’t really human.

    The idol Phenomenon for instance creates these icons of desire which are unattainable. To the extent of even making it a rule that they are unattainable, (unless you are the president of the company that owns them obviously.) all that is left is masturbation and hand shakes.

    What we end up is a ‘sick’ society that is focussed on image over people. The people are dehumanised and all that is left is their role as the pathetic consumer to drive the profit machine. They can’t achieve anything because they don’t even know who they are, but they know who they aren’t, because its thrust down their throats everyday in every type of media.

    REVOLT PATHETIC PEONS OF THE CORPORATE OVER LORDS, REFUSE TO SUPPORT THE DERANGED SEXUALISED SOCIETY OF THE PERVERTED OLIGARCHY. TAKE BACK YOUR LIVES, YOUR DREAMS, YOUR EXISTENCE.

  • Vicky

    Dumb. It doesn’t offend me, I just think it’s dumb. Even more so that it’s allegedly working.

  • Karl MArx

    Thats not the point. The problem is not wether to see women in a sexual way or not, the point is that they use these women purely based on their looks and not their qualities degrading them to empty people and objects to use.

  • besterthenyou

    Relax, it’s not like when girls spread their legs we’re going to see Meow Mix ads, or when guys spread their legs we’re going to see Hillshire Farms ads. Also, why just every other tree in a forest, when you can advertise on all the trees?

  • fooyou

    Spoken like an ugly woman.

  • Linda

    It looks crap, but I’d totally do it. You don’t need to actually do anything, you get money and girls who don’t already “waer” zettai ryouiki probably wouldn’t sign up for this. And even if, they’re probably quite desperate in terms of money and this is definetely better than other forms of selling your body.
    So, the Absolute Territory is based in Japan, but can you “work” for them in other parts of the world? Cause I’d seriously get out my old stockings and sign up on facebook, if that’s all I have to do for 125$ a day.
    Aren’t people (women) already paid for waering shirts with prints right on their breasts?

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    “all that is left is masturbation and hand shakes.”

    Hopefully with a bit of hand washing in between.

  • http://twitter.com/LolitaxPrincess Addie

    I see nothing wrong with this. The women are choosing to do this, not being forced, they’re all adults, etc… In my opinion, a lot of the reason people have problems with this is extremely sexist and created many double-standards. They see no issue with women being sexualized by the media or by men, but when women sexualize themselves, people throw fits. That’s just ridiculous.

  • Mescale

    Clearly you have never been to a hand shaking event.

  • hinoema

    I’ll believe it isn’t sexist when I see men is similarly stupid outfits with advertising plastered on them.

  • hinoema

    You need to fuck right off with that noise.

  • E

    I agree with you – thank you

  • Moniccaa

    Actually, I think this is a great idea. All the women are adults and get paid good money. Plus, it’s kind of cute!

  • Julian molgard

    this is perfect for girls, because most girls have at least 20 friends or followers on their social network (Facebook, Twitter, instagram) and all you have to do is take a few pictures of you wearing it in a 8 hours period, that’s easy money, think about it, students spend at least 6 hours at school then the other to hours you can be in your house or just going to the mall and you’re done, easy 125$ ever

  • Choco

    Unfortunately this is the way advertising is moving. I take a marketing class and if one thing has been made clear, it’s the fact that we’ve become so desensitized to conventional means of advertising (we’re bombarded with ads in our daily life constantly. Because of this, advertisement has become a background noise we’ve learned to ignore), and so marketers need to find new ways to catch our attention.

    Just looking at the difference between ads from the 1900s and the ads of today should make this clear. Also, where ads were found back then vs now. It’s crazy. :/ And while I can’t say I expected this move from Japan, I CAN say that I’m not too surprised by it.

    My opinion on the matter though… is that it IS exhausting. As I said earlier, we’re already spammed by ads everywhere else. Do they need to ruin girl’s bodies with ads, too? I absolutely love thighs. I don’t really want to see a giant ad plastered on them… Although I guess that’d give me an excuse to look without seeming creepy – but since I’m a girl, it’s not generally seen as creepy anyway….so it’s not too much of an advantage for me either way. But, I gotta say – hey, for over $100 a day, these girls are getting a pretty damn good deal. In America, showing a bit of thigh is nothing at all, really, unless their ass cheeks are hanging out. So I don’t see it as “too sexy”, but considering the nature of Japan, it’ll probably get these girls a negative image. Still, I don’t think I’d mind getting paid that much just for wearing a sticker on my thigh.

  • http://twitter.com/karmillina Senpai Magica

    I actually agree. The woman stops being a person, and becomes a clean slate for companies to advertise on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/statuess Rin Polley

    It looks cute! I would wear it (as long as the ad was something I agreed with). :)

  • Skyeaten

    At this rate there won’t be a hot young girl left in the world with any moral or self worth. It’s all about being objects for pervs… legally.

  • Skyeaten

    that’s what strippers and whores are for dude. staring and paying.

  • belgand

    If Okinawa isn’t about staring at the thighs of attractive young women then I don’t know why I would want to go there.

  • belgand

    It isn’t even that it’s an ad. It could simply be a similarly large graphic of any sort and it would ruin the effect. Maybe a small one could be cute and draw the eye, but most of these are so large that they cover it entirely ruining the effect.

  • belgand

    Speak for yourself. I just off the phone with Johnsonville and we’ve got some hickory-smoked goodness that we hope the ladies will really enjoy.

  • belgand

    But not in our dreams, no siree!

  • Kimberly

    Why is this always the comeback? “You don’t like the way attractive women are objectified, so you must be a jealous ugly woman.”