Introducing the Soba Allergy Tattoo Checker, saving foreigners from dangers of buckwheat noodles in Japan

JWT idea for soba allergies

The Soba Allergy Tattoo Checker

Ad agency J. Walter Thompson has created a solution for foreign visitors to Japan who are allergic to soba, which is found in the popular buckwheat noodles.

The agency has developed a sticker in collaboration with a dermatologist that, when applied to the skin after being dunked in soba noodles water, will detect whether or not the wearer is allergic to soba (the skin will turn red).

The sticker comes in the form of a temporary tattoo, called the Soba Allergy Tattoo Checker, which contains distinctive Japanese imagery.

The idea was for a group of soba restaurants known as the 230 Soba Street Promotion Committee who “saw the need to raise awareness of soba allergies to keep tourists safe,” according to a press release from JWT.

Two hundred “quick and easy” Soba Allergy Tattoo Checkers were handed out at a restaurant in Hokkaido in March, according to the release.

JWT work

Keizo Mugita, senior creative director, J. Walter Thompson Japan commented that, with the depreciation of yen, there are many more tourists visiting Japan, so he hoped the idea would be rolled out across the country.

The campaign comes the week after JWT claimed to have created a special ink that can help blind people read in Thailand.

Touchable ink

‘Touchable ink’, which JWT developed with a Thai university, the Thai Association for the Blind, and client Samsung, enables braille printing on normal paper with regular printers to substitute a braille embosser that is far more expensive.

Meet PeggyEarlier today in Australia, Mumbrella Asia’s sister site reported on an idea by J. Walter Thompson Australia involving the world’s first “smart peg” for OMO which detects when it’s time to bring the washing in.

April is the time of year that agencies tend to unveil an array of innovative ideas in time for the deadline for ad awards show Cannes.


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