‘’Mr. Tomato Man was a hard-working farmer. He adored his plants more than anything else in the world. He worked from the break of dawn until the last light of dusk, taking meticulous care of all of his plants, but especially his tomatoes…’’ (From Petomato website).

I know I know, I’ve just talked about Japanese drinks brand and its ambitious mission on the Moon last week. And here I am, talking about Japan again. I’m not obsessed with Japan. I just couldn’t let this one go without sharing. It’s been a busy week for many, (and probably your brain is already thinking about weekend.) So why don’t you take a little ‘blog’ break. This week our office was totally blown away in a totally different dimension. This guy is going viral at least in our office. Meet Mr. Tomatoman! Please don’t judge by his appearance. Yes, he is wearing a relatively rare tomato onesie. Yes, he’s got a strange move. You will never find him working in Abercrombie & Fitch. Yet, he is an official marketing spokesperson for an innovative product series called Petomato. Don’t believe it? Have a look at this video. You’ll get the idea-ish. ‘‘The birth of Tomatoman – Tomato communication’

The video hit 150,000 views within the first 2 weeks in the United States. This man knows how to sell, by turning himself into the product.
  • A serious issue – sustainability and environment – with a surreal twist.
  • A song that really sticks in your head.
  • Good use of viral video to convey a meaningful and deep message in a weird way.

Check out his Facebook page.   Literally no one knew this guy till recently. Don’t be fooled by his appearance. He’s got an interesting story too. He is a hard-working, passionate farmer. But he was constantly worried about the crows and chickens that would eat up his tomatoes. He tried every possible method. He even painted eyeballs on his eyelids to fool the crows while he is asleep.   Didn’t work well. But one day he got an inspiration that would (potentially) change the world, when he was sipping water from a plastic bottle. Petomato is actually a quite innovative product for everyone – kids, students, full-time workers. The concept of home horticulture is changing, thanks to Tomatoman. It allows you to grow cherry tomatoes or herbs in a used plastic bottle by simply inserting a special cap with hydroponic holder. It is a great combination of ‘‘eco recycling and home horticulture’’ (see Redferret). We are moving into an era of green marketing, as it is generally believed that ‘eco’ or ‘sustainability’ buzzwords have some sort of positive effects on consumer behaviours. Currently they are selling 14 product series – including cherry tomatoes, habanero pepper and basil, costing $14.99 each. And they’re making their way to the European market (yes!). Tomatoman is not the only official mascot for Petomato series though. There are about 38 animated PR mascots.   Japan loves animated mascots – for drinks brands, food, cities, political parties, military and so on. Pretty much everything has a mascot to promote anything.   They even turned Pharrell Williams into anime. Something surreal in the west.

This one got so popular that it has its own twitter account with 341K followers. It is an official mascot of Kumamoto prefecture to promote tourism since 2011, called Kumamon. It helped the prefecture generate ¥29.36 billion that year. Quite a big PR success (http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/kumamon).   Today there are Kumamon t-shirts, pens, pillow cases etc…  Recently the city has turned Kumamon into a registered trademark to promote it internationally.   Can Tomatoman also follow Kumamon’s career path? I really do hope so. You’ve got our support Tomatoman!

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.



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