The Mario stunt was just a preview of Tokyo's Olympic fever, suggested Benjamin Boas, a tourism ambassador for Tokyo's Nakano Ward and a government-designated "Cool Japan" ambassador.
"In the past, the government has struggled to communicate effectively with overseas audiences but in this instance, the choices of content and characters were both appropriate and effective for reaching out to non-Japanese supporters. It may be the first video produced by the Japanese government with real potential to go viral worldwide."
That could be critical for tourism figures in the lead up to the 2020 Games. Increased consumer spending is a key pillar of Abenomics but while that's still struggling to gain traction domestically, foreign tourists are helping.
Japan has experienced record spikes in incoming arrivals. For the first six months of the year, the number of foreign tourists reached 11.7 million, exceeding 10 million for the first time in history, according to government statistics.
Some analysts believe 'Cool Japan' is the key trigger.
"The reason why tourism growth has taken off is because of the younger generation, who's interested in Cool Japan. For example, it's impossible to get a ticket to visit the anime museum because demand is so strong, compared to an exhibition on zen scrolls," said Jesper Koll, CEO of investment firm WisdomTree Japan, alluding to the various museums around Tokyo focused on manga and anime characters.
"I expect promotion of 'Cool Japan' to grow exponentially over the next four years," he added.
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