By Megan McCluskey
January 7, 2016

A Japanese tech company called Logbar has chosen a controversial way to advertise its new wearable translator, Ili. The basic premise of Ili is that the user can speak into it in English, Chinese or Japanese, and it will reproduce the words in any of those three languages, according to Buzzfeed. It’s a seemingly inoffensive product. However, the commercial that Logbar released for the device features its spokesman, Dean, using Ili to ask random women on the streets of Tokyo to kiss him.

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The Gaijin Pot Facebook page posted the video on Wednesday with the caption, “Japanese company creates innovative new translation product. Decides to market it using the most cringeworthy video possible.” That version has now been viewed over 2.6 million times and shared over 51,000 times, and has sparked a dialogue about the nature of the ad.

Many were impressed with the product but weirded out by the ad itself.

While others could only focus on the how creepy they found the clip.

Only time will tell how this marketing strategy will play out for the company.

 

Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com.

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