Since the preparation for staying in Japan, I’ve been attracted to Softbank, mobile operator company. Different from Indonesia, handsets was sold by operators, not to be sold freely. Every operator has different handsets to each other and the operators are quite often to launch new model.
Mobile operator business in Japan is really like a bloody war since almost all Japanese people, even the kids, has cellphone. The companies have to grow, yet the market is already saturated. So they’ll do anything to get customers, and I like Softbank’s movement.
Before I came to Japan, Docomo was the first rank mobile operator company, followed by AU, and then Softbank. Almost one month I came here, my lecturer on Strategics and Innovation class told us a news that Softbank had overcame Docomo to the first place, followed by AU, Emobile, and Docomo the fourth in terms of number of new subscribers.
Although I didn’t followed the war, I know some of Softbank movement;
1. Mobile Portability Number
Allowing to change operator (to Softbank or to other operator) and maintain the same number
2. Zero yen phones, usually for old models.
3. White plan
Free call to softbank numbers until 9, you can extended it until 24 hours with double white plan and also half priced to other operators. This attracts family and foreigners like us to communicate with each others.
4. iPhone for everybody campaign.
Hold license to sell iPhone — bundled with a very attractive data packet plan and quite low monthly price (but I strongly recommend to read the terms and agreements first before you decide to buy iPhone in Japan by Softbank. I bought it and surprised that I was bounded to a double white contract for 2 months when I don’t need to phone much).
When I asked my lab friend about “How can softbank be like that?”, he gave me another answer, “It’s because they use interesting and funny TV advertisements, using dog.” Then he showed me a video in Youtube, alas it was in Japanese so I didn’t understand where’s the funny thing. I just knew that the dog is very cute.
Not until today that I browsed heavily to Youtube, I finally found a story behind this dog and Softbank’s tv advertisement. I found some of it which had been subtitled to English.
So the dog is “otousan” which means Dad in Japanese. He’s a rare local Japanese dog, and his name is Shiroi. He has a human wife, a beautiful daughter which worked at Softbank shop, and a black-man-speaking-Japanese-son. I have a funny feeling that this black man guy is used to attract gaijin (foreigners) to use Softbank, since Softbank realized that it is popular among gaijins.
The advertisement’s story is about “otousan” life. And sometimes they make it a joke like, “Why is my father a dog?” asked the daughter, or “I’m surprised that Shiroi turns into dog,” said otousan’s friend at a reunion. Well, i think it’ll be a long story if I tell you all about Shiroi life, so here is some of the videos..
*oniisan is talking about Softbank’s plan, which is “Family White Plan” (24 hours free of charge for voice call to family members registered in the same plan) and “Friends White Plan” (free of charge to several number of your friends).