Indonesia – McDonald’s Indonesia has revealed its new J-Pop advertisement jingle titled ‘Nihon No Fureeba’ written fully in Japanese, to promote the relaunch of McDonald’s ‘Taste of Japan’ burgers.
‘Nihon No Fureeba’ is a full, untranslated Japanese pop song made to promote the comeback of McDonald’s Taste of Japan burgers in Indonesia. The song’s lyrics talk about crispy nori and yakiniku sauce, ingredients highlighted on the fast food chain’s Japanese flavoured-inspired burgers.
Written in a completely different language, the message the advertisement jingle aims to highlight is that even though some might not understand McDonald’s onigiri-looking burgers, they’ll love the taste anyway. Just like they love Japanese songs.
Advertising agency Leo Burnett’s cultural findings on Indonesians’ adoration for Japanese pop songs propelled the idea of creating the jingle. The agency tapped Indonesian-Japanese singer Ica Zahra to create the song, which was released as a Japanese single without subtitles.
Within one week, the music video was watched more than three million times. The song became the talk of the radio, and hundreds of covers and TikTok dances were made.
Soon after, the agency and the singer revealed that the song, which most people didn’t understand but still listened to, was actually an untranslated ad to promote McDonald’s product relaunch. The jingle has topped the country’s music charts and become the #1 search on music search application Shazam causing a huge jump on the burger’s first-week sales.
With the launch of ‘Nihon No Fureeba’, people’s curiosity towards the burgers spiked so fast that first-week sales surpassed those of the past 3 years.
“Because no one knew that it was an ad. The lyrics were in Japanese, untranslated, and people thought that it was just a nice feel-good J-Pop song!” explains Ravi Shanker, chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Indonesia on how an ad became a popular favorite pop song in the country.
“Japanese pop culture is strong in Indonesia. People love Japanese pop songs and put them in their playlists, sing along, even wearing cool t-shirts with Japanese letters—all without understanding what they mean,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Michael Hartono, marketing director at McDonald’s Indonesia, said, “At the end of the day, the campaign is making people love not only the burgers but also the brand. Even after people realized that it was an ad, they still continue doing karaoke with it, and the song–I mean the jingle–is now in thousands of Spotify playlists to this day.”