People Are Outraged Over How Sexist This Commercial For A Wearable Translator Is

This ad for a wearable translator has caused outrage by glorifying what appears to be street harassment. UPDATE: The company behind the ad has said the whole thing was scripted.

1. This is a video called “Kisses For Tokyo.” It was released by a Japanese tech company called Logbar to advertise its new wearable translator, Ili. You speak into Ili and it spits out a translation. It works with English, Chinese, and Japanese.

2. This is Dean. He’s the spokesman for Ili.

3. In Logbar’s newest ad for Ili, Dean takes the little translator around Tokyo. And while wearing a camera on his head, he goes up to random women on the street.

4. And then asks the women if he can kiss them.

5. The women appear visibly uncomfortable and try to laugh it off.

6. Others are shocked.

7. The woman just straight-up runs away from Dean.

8. When trying to kiss this woman, Dean actually touches her.

9. She swats him away.

11. The video shows Dean getting a kiss from two different women, though.

12. One girl awkwardly says he can kiss her on the cheek.

13. Another agrees, as well.

14. And then it shows Dean physically pulling her off the bench she was sitting on.

16. TechCrunch Japan noted that Japanese social media users were split between thinking the commercial was sexual harassment and thinking that if the product works as well as it appears to, it could change the world.

As far as I have read on Facebook and Twitter, there are comments ranging from those who enjoy the video saying that “it’s sleazy and funny” to those who harshly criticize that it’s “definitely a sexual harassment.”

It cannot be verified whether the video was fake… Nonetheless, if we can communicate without the language barrier, then it’s going to be a real life-changing experience.

17. The Gaijin Pot Facebook page shared the video, writing, “Japanese company creates innovative new translation product. Decides to market it using the most cringeworthy video possible.” Their version of the video has been shared over 40,000 times.

18. Reactions on English social media are equally split between thinking the video is super creepy and being incredibly impressed by how good the translation device appears to be.

20. It is still unclear how much of the “Kisses In Tokyo” advertisement is real. BuzzFeed News has reached out to Logbar for comment.

22. The video is also similar to a pick up artist technique used by Julien Blanc, who was filmed saying that white men are allowed to grab women in Japan and touch and grope them.

After the Blanc’s videos were noticed, several petitions were launched to get Blanc banned from a handful of countries, including Japan.


The company behind the ad told the BBC that the whole thing was a scripted stunt:

“The promotional video in question was created with an intention to showcase the effectiveness of the translation device,” Logbar’s CEO Takuro Yoshida said. “The women are all actresses and were instructed to act the way they did. No one was forced to do anything against their will.”

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Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at
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