Daily Archives: December 5, 2005

Pop Marketing

You’ve probably never heard of the U.N.O. Band, and you’ll never see them play live. The five-man group was formed to record just one single and play one live event before disbanding. Made up of two manzai comedy duos, Ungirls (photo) and Itsumo Kokokara, and one half of the duo Cunning, the group recorded the song “No.1” which was used for TV commercials promoting Shiseido’s “Uno” cosmetic range for men. The single went on sale on Friday, the band played a record-store event and immediately announced that they were breaking up. Of course, it’s all a marketing ploy to milk the current popularity of the band members, as the comedy boom continues to populate the variety show circuit with dozens of comedy acts. The tall and gangly Ungirls in particular have managed to gain a huge following among schoolgirls, though playing in a band is probably a bit too cool for their carefully tended dorky image.

• Another celebrity has ben the victim of a break-in. It was revealed yesterday that the Tokyo home of rock singer Uchida Yuya (66) was broken into in mid-November. Several watches and jackets that the singer described as “priceless” were stolen. The news of the burglary comes shortly after that suffered by actor and former boxer Akai Hidekazu just last week.

• Rock band Southern All Stars played Tokyo Dome last night, wowing 47,000 fans with a set made up of 29 hits and songs from their new album “Killer Street.” The album has sold over 1.25 million copies. The 21-date tour continues up to New Year’s Eve, when the band will play Yokohama Arena.