• Kyodo


Japan’s top air conditioner maker hopes a giant billboard of its mascot, Pichon-kun, will take the city of Osaka by storm this spring.

The 13-meter-tall, 11-meter-wide full-color LED display, set up by Daikin Industries Ltd. on the rooftop of a building in the Umeda district on Wednesday, will show the mascot changing facial expressions and colors in dozens of patterns according to the temperature, humidity, pollen count and level of harmful PM2.5 particulates in the air.

For instance, Pichon-kun will be shown wearing a mask when there is lots of pollen in the air, and sweating on hot days to alert the public to the risk of heat stroke.

Depending on the temperature and humidity, the mascot’s head will appear in nine different colors and matching onomatopoeic words that convey the conditions, such as kara kara for dry air and hie hie for cold.

Pichon-kun, named after the sound of falling droplets, debuted in 2000 in a TV commercial for one of the company’s household air conditioners.

Flashy billboards feature prominently among Osaka landmarks, and Daikin clearly hopes the giant Pichon-kun will earn its place in the city.

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