Friday, March 23, 2012

Major League Baseball Advertises Cardfight!! Vanguard

Today was a surprise for many thousands of baseball fans, both in the bleachers and viewing at home, as they were treated to an advertisement for Cardfight!! Vanguard in the backdrop of a Texas Rangers' game. The advertisement depicts series protagonist Sendou Aichi in the outfit designed for his debut at Asia Circuit, Vanguard's second season. Although the first season has yet to air in the United States, many fans are already familiar with the show through CrunchyRoll's simulcast of it, and this appears to be part of a marketing strategy coinciding with Bushiroad's release of the second season trial decks and booster packs in the USA.

While this may come off as surprising to some, Vanguard's publisher works closely with Dentsu, which is both the largest domestic advertising firm in Japan and a major figure in the international scene. Having recently covered the advertisement of the 2012 book-turned-film The Lorax, Dentsu's most current move was its closing of ties with the Publicis Groupe, a French multinational company with a similar historic background.

They had previously held a strong strategic alliance from 2002 until February of this year, when Dentsu withdrew from its relationship with Publicis and sold off most of the stock it held in the company. Together with Omnicom and WPB, the Publicis Groupe fought for total domination of the world market, but it can now be taken as a sign of the times that Dentsu is a large enough player to stand on their own in the international scene. During their time with Publicis, Dentsu owned almost 10% of the company's shares, now lying at around 2%. Despite this move, Dentsu and Publicis have both publicly expressed a desire to continue working together and maintaining a strong professional relationship.

It isn't quite to the level of televised matches, but Cardfight has certainly made its way into the competitive stadium. The advertisement can be seen in the video below from 0:16 to 0:19