Greetings from Japan, __________________ TMF Money Advisor
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...
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Greetings from Japan,
TMF Money Advisor