AOL-Time Warner
AOL in Japan

Format for Printing

Format for printing

Request Reprints


By nyakki
December 27, 2001

Posts selected for this feature rarely stand alone. They are usually a part of an ongoing thread, and are out of context when presented here. The material should be read in that light. How are these posts selected? Click here to find out and nominate a post yourself!

Greetings from Japan,

To start: I'm not a shareholder of AOL. I feel that AOL cannot expand more and that the standard Internet is too much to overcome in terms of competition. But please read on...

I got a satellite dish a couple of months ago and subscribe to a few American channels (how I love watching shows in English :-)

One of the channels is the Cartoon Network. For the past month AOL has had several commercials aimed at the Japanese market. Here are some of the parts  (the ones I can translate anyway.)

"It's so easy that even my father can do sign on"

"When I hear 'You've got mail' (that part is in English) I get so excited"

"I can log into AOL and still use the Internet."

Well, since I don't use AOL, the ads are just noise...


yesterday I got the famous AOL CD in the mail. It was packaged in a box the size of a CD and the thickness of a double CD case. It had Tom and Jerry, Power Puff Girls as well as other characters, and the Cartoon Network logo plastered all over the box. Inside there was a glossy and eye catching paper that folded out and explained why YOU needed AOL.

Three different packages:

1 hour a month: 280 yen (about $2.15)
5 hours a month: 980 yen (about $7.50)
All You Can Use: 1,980 yen (about $15.25)

These prices are about the same as what is being offered by other companies. And they are giving 3 MONTHS FREE.

My wife, who isn't much of a computer/internet person (my 3 year old son knows more about the computer... and I'm not joking), read the blurbs that came with the CD and said [translated] 'Maybe I should join. It looks much easier than your Internet'

I laughed as I rethought my position on AOL...

Sure, they've been here for some time. One of my students is on AOL. But I had never seen any commercials for AOL on regular Japanese TV. Never seen the CD in any computer magazines. Never felt their presence...

until yesterday...



TMF Money Advisor
Got money questions? Your answers are just a phone call away! TMF Money Advisor puts you in touch with an objective Financial Planner whenever you need it.