Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The "Shenmue Zanmai" Campaign | 1999 Shenmue Promo Leaflet

SEGA promoted Shenmue heavily in Japan for its release back in 1999, and in this post we look at an item that was part of that promotional effort.

It's an A4-sized shop leaflet that advertises preorders for the then-imminent release of Shenmue Chapter One, as well as information about a promotional campaign.

It features an image of Shenhua on the front side, accompanied by the slogan "1999 - the RPG will be transformed...". At the bottom is the Shenmue logo (the kanji version) beneath which is the scheduled release date.

On the reverse side is an image of Ryo Hazuki, the usual expression of determination on his face. At the top of the page is a sentence that reads: "In a certain bar in Yokosuka sits a single old JukeBox..." At the right, a box that gives information about how to get the Shenmue JukeBox CD through a promotional campaign (see further down in the post for details); and in large hard-to-miss letters are the words "Preorders Now Being Taken at this Store".

At the bottom of the reverse side of the leaflet is a pre-order form that people would fill and hand to the shop.

The retail price is also stated: 6,800 yen + consumption tax (5% in 1999, since having risen to 8%) .

It is also interesting to note that the date given for the scheduled release is October 28th. (Midway through 1999, a rescheduling was announced and the actual release date in Japan turned out to be a couple of months' later on December 29th).

Details of the Shenmue Zanmai Promotion

The 1999 Shenmue Zanmai (="to live and breathe Shenmue") promotion campaign consisted of three components, of which parts Two and Three are described on the leaflet.

  • Part One ("See it?"): June 24th~. Anyone purchasing a Dreamcast console or any Dreamcast software would receive a copy of the "What's Shenmue" promotional video on a VHS tape.
  • Part Two ("Play it?"): August 5th~. Anyone purchasing a Dreamcast or any Dreamcast software would receive a copy of “What’s Shenmue” the game. (This was a short demo game set in Dobuita that involves Ryo hunting for Mr. Yukawa, the former senior managing director of SEGA).
  • Part Three ("Buy it?"): August 5th~. Anyone preordering Shenmue would qualify for the Limited Edition, which comes with a Juke Box CD containing tunes that can be heard in bars in the actual game.

Add It To Your Shenmue Collection!

Our friends at Retro Import Gamer (who provided the photos for this article) have this leaflet available for purchase right now at their Ebay store, and despite its age is in near-perfect condition. Shipping is from the UK.

It's starting price is a bargain-level £14.99, so if you are interested check it out below.

 Link to the Shenmue Promo Leaflet listing on Ebay

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