Astroboy can do anything! He has super human strength, can fly through the sky, and has a heart of gold. Why wouldn’t you welcome Astroboy into your home for your children to watch and enjoy? Better yet, why wouldn’t you want to make him your mascot to sell your product? Astroboy can be seen as a bridge to humans and robots because he sees the world as equal and with out social distinctions between anyone. Why not make him a bridge to consumers and the product as well? The candy company Meiji had the same ideas and took advantage of the beloved Astroboy popularity and used him to be their biggest marketing advantage yet.
Originally the candy’s marketing technique was to use the cutest and most innocent little girl to sell their newest candy; marble chocolates. Even though using a cute, little girl in their commercials and on their wrappers was a good idea; using Astroboy was an even better one. Because Astroboy was such a popular cartoon show, he could have been recognized on being on any product, even if it had nothing to do with the show. Everyone knew the background of Astroboy and everyone knew who the character was. Unlike the actress everyone had to get used to seeing her being associated with the chocolate. Another reason for why the cartoon was a better choice to use for advertisement was the fact the character is more mobile. Astroboy can travel across the media with ease and is less expensive than trying to get an actor to do the same.
The propaganda for Astroboy also helped the marble chocolates because the show had blown up so quickly Astroboy had become a new sensation. Whatever had his face on it everyone, or at least the children, wanted one. The first step to making Astroboy their new spokesman was to add him to the campaign team for a limited amount of time. Little did Meiji know, it would become their main way of marketing their candy. Marc Steinberg discusses the transformation Meiji had gone through when changing their add scheme: “The explosively popular Atumo stickers had become the most desirable of premiums available at the time, which in turn made Meiji the number one chocolatier in Japan,” (pg. 58). By adding in, for a limited amount of time, stickers of Astroboy the candy company had created an incentive for the children to want to buy more candy and specifically the Marble Chocolate candy Children could now physically have astroboy and the only way to get it was through buying the chocolate. Adding to the characters image was very successful for Meiji, however the candy would not sell if there were no Astroboy associated with the chocolate. When the candy had become more and more popular the marble chocolates had become more and more dependent on the cartoon character. The head of the marketing department had told Steinberg, “We thought we were the ones in control [of the Atomu sticker boom] but it turns out we were the ones being controlled. The Atomu tail had started wagging the Meiji dog.” (pg. 63). Astroboy already had the strong association with the television show however the candy would not be recognizable any longer with out Astroboy. Not only does Astroboy save the day in the cartoon, he saves the day for the marketing team for Meiji.