HKT48 and Keyakizaka46 Face Off in a Gum Fight for Commercial Supremacy!

HKT48 and Keyakizaka46 Face Off in a Gum Fight for Commercial Supremacy!

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HKT48 and Keyakizaka46 met up in Tokyo on October 11, 2016 to announce the launch of a new campaign for Lotte’s lineup of chewing gum. Rino Sashihara, Meru Tashima, Mio Tomonaga, Natsumi Matsuoka, and Hana Matsuoka represented HKT48 and Manaka Shida, Yuka Sugai, Miyu Suzumoto, Yurina Hirate, Rika Watanabe, and Risa Watanabe appeared on behalf of Keyakizaka46.

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The campaign titled Tsubuyaki CM Grand Prix would use Twitter to collect ideas from fans of both groups to make 100 different commercials in several categories. Additionally, fans would be able to “push” their favorite commercials on the Lotte website during the promotion period.

After both groups made their way to the stage and introduced themselves, 2 of the 100 commercials planned for the campaign were revealed. Rino Sashihara’s commercial for Fruito which was made to show off her cuteness (可愛い kawaii) was shown first.

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Sashihara expressed her surprise at how it turned out because it seemed kind of strange that they were just filming her chewing gum in slow motion. She added that even though it was filmed in Meguro, the set made it look like a big US city. Hana Matsuoka thought that it was “interesting”, especially the part where Sashihara mouthed the product name at the end.

Next was Yurina Hirate’s commercial for Xylitol showing her as a refreshing (爽やか sawayaka) and cool male student in a school uniform.

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Hirate’s first danso (crossdressing as a male) experience won praise for how cool it made her look. Manaka Shida shared that she particularly loved the final pose.

The members of both groups were then asked to talk about what kind of commercials they wanted to be in as the campaign continued. Sashihara answered that she wanted to be in one where 2 handsome men fought over her. Mio Tomonaga expressed her wishes to appear alongside brightly colored koi fish. Hana Matsuoka simply wanted to be in a commercial with lots of smiles. Meru Tashima envisioned setting up an elaborate prank on the other members and being forgiven when she offered them gum. Team H’s captain Natsumi Matsuoka, who had just turned 20 recently, wanted to do a commercial that was more mature. Sashihara was enthusiastic about all the ideas but reaffirmed that it would be up to the fans to decide and come up with ideas.

When it was time for Keyakizaka46 to present their answers, Yurina Hirate started things off by answering she wanted to do something cool, like making a dramatic entry on stage via a trap door. Manaka Shida again showed her appreciation for Hirate’s coolness and offered that maybe it could be filmed during a concert. Shida referenced her recent photoshoot with Risa Watanabe by imagining them together in Harajuku on a rainy day. Risa admitted that it would be nice but, she was hoping to be in a commercial with Rika Watanabe where they could show their hidden charms instead. Hirate added that the two were a lot more entertaining than their usually quiet demeanor would reveal but was unable to have either do anything to support her claim. Another side to the “love triangle” appeared as Rika professed her desire to make a kawaii commercial with Shida. Miyu Suzumoto suggested that there be a commercial with some dramatic acting in it. Yuka Sugai pitched an idea for an action-filled commercial with horseback riding.

Hirate and Sashihara both ended by saying how they were looking forward to what the fans would come up with.

Next was a photo session where the members of both groups posed with the sign for the campaign and the speech bubbles containing #つぶやきCM which would be used to find commercial idea suggestions.

During the question and answer session which followed, both sides expressed their mutual admiration for each other. Hirate professed her love for HKT48’s cute and poppy image and cited “Suki! Suki! Skip!” and “Melon Juice” as her favorites and Sashihara perkily responded with “I’m so happy! That was a great question!”. She also added that she wanted to do cool songs like Keyakizaka46 does. When asked what each group had that stood out, Hana Matsuoka mentioned that HKT48 concerts were really fun but, Manaka Shida and Hirate struggled to find an answer for Keyakizaka46 right away, making the excuse that they didn’t know because the group was still so new. Sashihara pressed them to come up with an answer, saying that it was unfair to use that as an excuse. Shida eventually offered up their youth as a highlight. Hirate commented how she wanted to see the others in danso as well, Sugai in particular, but vowed that it wouldn’t become a hobby. Sugai responded by mentioning that she wanted to do a princess cosplay.

Although it was not specified whether or not ideas in languages other than Japanese would be considered, if you do choose to submit, don’t forget to use #つぶやきCM when you tweet. Additionally #キシリトール (Xylitol), #キシリトールホワイト (Xylitol White), #ブラックブラック (BLACK☆BLACK), #フィッツ (Fit’s), #フルーティオ (Fruitio), and #アクオ (ACUO) should be included to specify which gum you want the commercial for.

As this is not the first time that HKT48 and a 46 group have come together to promote Lotte gum, could there be another GUM ROCK FES coming soon with HKT48 going against Keyakizaka46 in the future? In the meantime, be sure to check the special site to watch and vote for your favorite commercials and submit your suggestions! It might take a bit longer than “12 seconds” to do it but don’t miss out and be left in the “Silent Majority”!

Photos by Mime Soga

Related Links

Keyakizaka46 Official site:

HKT48 Official site:

Lotte Gum Official site:

Lotte Gum Tsubuyaki CM Grand Prix Official Twitter:

Lotte Gum Tsubuyaki CM Grand Prix YouTube channel:

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Related Artists : HKT48
Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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