Take home the small tissues that are handed out to you on the streets in Japan.
In Japan you can see small tissues being distributed in front of train stations or on the streets on a daily basis. These are called ‘pocket tissues’.
In many countries the price for paper and tissues is higher than in Japan so a lot of foreign tourists wonder whether they have to pay for the small tissues when they see them being handed out at random to all kinds of people.
But no, they are all for free!
The reason that these pocket tissues are distributed for free is that they serve as advertising. Inside the packets, there’s a small advertising insert.
There are several reasons why it’s profitable to use pocket tissues for advertising:
・people are more likely to accept tissues than flyers, because you simply cannot have too many of them
・the advertising effect is increased because people carry the tissues for a long time before they are used up
・since they are distributed to the consumer by hand, the company is able to target potential customers directly
For those reasons, companies can delight people with their tissues for free.
Whether it be wiping your nose or wiping off a stain, having some small tissues in your pocket can serve many purposes.
This culture of handing out pocket tissues is unique to Japan and not often seen in other countries.
Taking a packet of ‘pocket tissues’ with you may make travelling in Japan even more convenient. Please don’t hesitate to accept one next time you see them being distributed on the street.