The Hard Sell

Ray at Idolminded posted an article about Mano Erina being a hard sell to fans.  It got me thinking about who or what else is a hard sell these days.  Some of what I’m about to list may not be agreeable to your tastes in particular, but whatever.

As always the opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the other Selective Hearing staff or the site’s affiliates.

Before I get into the discussion let us define what a hard sell is.

In advertising terms a hard sell is an advertisement or campaign that uses direct, forceful and overt sales message.  In other words, making use of aggressive, high-pressure promotion.

The other definition that can be used in the case of fans is the following.

A person that resists pressure from salespeople; a difficult sales prospect.

With those fresh in your mind let’s get to what I consider to be hard sells these days.

Morning Musume

Morning Musume

The new Morning Musume is definitely a hard sell with the amount of turnaround they have experienced over the past couple of years.

The group with the fresh faced 9th – 11th generation members is unrecognizable to the casual fans who make up the general public.  Sure they have their hardcore fan base, but they’re a small market share compared to the average music consumer.

With the dawn of the AKS empire and other idol groups such as Momoiro Clover Z gaining popularity, Morning Musume has taken a back seat in the minds of the average music consumer.  They’re no longer the hot item in idol land, much to the chagrin of people who think they’re still relevant.

Now while it may seem like an oxymoron to put hard sell and Morning Musume together in the same sentence, Up-Front is trying very hard to push this rebirthed group to the public as much as they can.

They still have their infomercial Hello! Satoyama Life TV program and the next generation of members do make appearances on certain variety programs.  Up-Front has even taken to gimmicking their CD’s in a manner similar to AKB and modernizing the group’s music drum up hype.

The question is whether anyone other than a Momusu wota is buying into the promotional schemes.  Given their current sales, possibly.  Then again, you have to look at the drop off after the first week sales to really get an idea of what’s going on.  In that case perhaps the push isn’t exactly going as planned.

With the upcoming departure of Tanaka Reina and the future graduation of Michishige Sayumi Morning Musume will lose their most recognizable faces to the general public.

It will be a long climb from after Sayumi is sent to Bovine University and Up-Front should take note and start pimping their flag ship group (and other artists) by grabbing some real TV variety time to show off their girls as soon as possible.

It may backfire, but a program that is even a modicum similar to their Hello! Morning glory days will go a long way to making their hard sell more credible.



Why would the hottest thing in Japanese idol pop be a hard sell?  Hmm… Let’s see.  First there are a lot of them.  Even more than anyone had to remember when Hello! Project were Japan’s national idols.

It’s confusing as hell right?  To an outsider the sheer number of members, sub-groups and sister groups are enough to make one put their hands up in the air screaming, “Fuck it! It’s too much for my brain to absorb.”

We all know that idols are a hard sell in general but to convince someone to get into AKB48 is a daunting and overwhelming task, especially if you or the one you’re trying to convert is from the world of Hello! Project.

In that respect there are some differences between how the two camps work that may not be kosher with certain engrained wota ideals.  And while in general idol fans are the same, some AKB fans can be rather unwelcoming, self-absorbed assholes.

So perhaps that may not be different from Hello! Project fandom, but some attitudes from the AKB side of the fence may not endear the group to one who is still undecided.



The Hallyu wave as touted by its supporters is best thing to happen to planet Earth since the discovery of fire.  So naturally the pop music coming out of South Korea is epic enough to take over the world right?

The success of PSY and his one-trick pony (in America) of Gangnam Style just can’t be a fluke right?  His massive success cracked the glass ceiling didn’t it?

Alexander Overeem

Sure it did. Sure it did.  You all keep thinking that. And I’ll keep pretending I’m 6 foot, built like a wrestler/MMA heavyweight fighter and have tiny idols hanging of all parts of my body as a display of my manliness.

This is not to say that K-Pop is bad by any means, it’s perfectly good and vapid entertainment.  But is it good enough to be as universal as its American or European cousins in appeal and street cred?

Possibly.  Technically all K-Pop does is twist the American formula into another form of easily digestible fluff.  Some acts have even bypassed the language barrier to take a serious run outside of South Korea.

And what is the result of all this promotion? Nothing at all.  Girls’ Generation’s cup of coffee in America sure generated a lot of buzz and BoA blew America’s minds with her infectious Dance/Pop didn’t she?

The plan the K-Pop Illuminati had in mind doesn’t seem to be working out and that makes it hard to believe that in America (lord knows about the rest of the world) the push is making any headway.  Regardless of what the Hallyu flag bearers are telling you.

And that’s all I have for hard sells.   I’m sure there are some of who may have something that would also qualify.  We welcome your constructive input.

About Greg 994 Articles
Greg is the creator, administrator, editor, code monkey, overlord and general jack of all trades at Selective Hearing. He can be found lurking among the overseas Asian pop fandom and bumming around Japan every year for some reason or another.