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Tokyo tea taxis drive marketing message

In a unique marketing initiative, Tokyo tea taxis are offering passengers a complimentary cold beverage.

From this month, taxi operator Nihon Kotsu has decked out three of its cabs in the livery of beverage maker Suntory’s Iemon green tea, calling them the Iemon Hospitality Taxis.

Quirky Japanese news blog RocketNews24 reports that when the rear passenger-side door is opened by the driver, passengers will notice a noren – the horizontal tapestry hung at the entrance to traditional Japanese shops and restaurants – bearing the Iemon logo and brand name.

“As you take your seat, you’ll be given a 500-milliliter bottle of chilled Summer Iemon green tea, so that you’ll arrive at your destination with your feet rested and your thirst quenched.”

The generosity doesn’t end there, though, report RocketNews24.

“Lemon Hospitality Taxi passengers will also be given a non-folding uchiwa paper fan and a pair of slippers inside a drawstring bag.”

Uchiwa and slipper bag

The taxis will be in service for a month, serving the 23 wards of central Tokyo plus the adjacent semi-autonomous cities of Mitaka and Musashino. While pedestrians can flag one of the cabs down if they spot it on the street, they can also be summoned using a free Zenkoku Taxi app.

Is this the sort of immersive branding experience fashion and retail brands could use? We’ve seen trams on the streets of Hong Kong, and trains on Bangkok’s SkyTrain track covered in retail brands and shopping centre livery. This Tokyo concept takes the experience that extra step.

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