As part of a series of campaigns supporting Osaka’s bid for the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Kansai, the Glico sign is displaying a promotional message every four minutes from 30 minutes after sunset to midnight every evening until March 11.
The landmark Glico sign is a 20-meter-tall digital display in Dotonbori, Osaka’s Minami (south) district. All of the sign’s redesigns have included the iconic runner, created by Ezaki Glico Co. Ltd., a major confectionery company headquartered in Osaka.
Teruo Suzuki, the section manager of Glico’s advertising division, said that Glico supports Osaka’s candidacy for the expo, viewing it as an opportunity to show Japan’s cutting-edge technologies and the city’s capability to host international events. “We want to boost the local people’s morale, too,” he said.
Some of Glico’s products, such as Pocky, are sold in China, Thailand, Singapore and in other countries throughout the world. “The name Glico is known worldwide, so we’d like to showcase Osaka’s energy to foreigners through our sign,” said Atsumi Eguchi, the associate corporate officer and general manager of the corporate communications division.
Hiroshi Ozaki, chairman of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that it is a good venue to promote Osaka’s candidacy because “it is a popular spot where most tourists visiting Osaka go.” He also expressed his hope that many people will share photos or videos of the promotion so the message will reach a global audience.
“Osaka is a homelike place for everyone. Unlike other big cities where everything is too speedy, people here notice you and try to reach out to you. I think the expo will be a good opportunity to promote the city,” said Magdalena, a Tokyo resident hailing from Iceland who was visiting Osaka for a vacation.
If Osaka wins out over the two other candidate cities — Ekaterinburg, Russia and Baku, Azerbaijan — it will be the second world exposition to be held in Osaka in 55 years.