I just got hired on accident by a Vocaloid company.

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  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Here is the Japanese box for Miku Hatsune.

    Miku_hatsune_cover.jpg

    halkun on
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  • Muse Among MenMuse Among Men Suburban Bunny Princess? Its time for a new shtick Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    That Miku Hatsune cover looks pretty good, I think it is a nice starting point, though the advantage the old Sonika cover art had (its only redeeming quality I'd say) was that she held a microphone. That gets the point across sort of. Actually, the more I look at it, the better and better Miku's cover looks. The text and character don't compete with each other but are both visually appealing and the background is minimalistic but it isn't plain (CJ's post on the other hand is an excellent example of using bold colors in both the foreground and background to great effect) .The cool colors do lend to the technical aspect (cool colors seem to be associated with technology), so that could lend guidance to the design. I'm rambling a bit, but color is very important. I am guessing you are going to keep the current color pallate however, which personally, I think is fine. The background color is kind of muddy though, I think; you may want something lighter or more saturated if you intend to use yellow.

    Absolutely get rid of that ugly CG thing. An anime look would stand out on shelves; I can imagine girls passing by and picking it up if they thought it was cute/pretty. Mascot culture is definitely a very Japanese thing, but American audiences do respond to mascots (Erin E-surance, Geico Gecko, The Cavemen, Mickey Mouse, Kellog's Cereal). Okay, some of those examples are real, physical people, but obviously, audiences liked them otherwise they wouldn't continue appearing in commercials (E-Surance commercials are barely about insurance anymore, more like Erin's continuing adventures). Perhaps, to please the superiors, you may want to take a more western aesthetic, but with its roots firmly in anime . . .Gosh, JC's picture is another good example.

    Youtube contests are a good idea, just contact some popular Vocaloid youtubers and it would spread. Deviantart is another place (you can have official contests on their site too). I'm not entirely sure what they are, but you would find receptive audiences in the larger anime communities, and anime blogs (I'm sure they would accept a tip-off). Perhaps have someone craft a sample video to pass along. Start looking into anime conventions and think about getting a booth and maybe some uh, cosplayers (there is a specific word I think, but it escapes me).

    Muse Among Men on
  • CognisseurCognisseur Registered User
    edited November 2009
    Huh. I'd never heard of Vocaloid so I looked it up on wikipedia/youtube and uh... that's pretty damn cool. Way to net yourself a job in this; this could potentially go places.

    Cognisseur on
  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I I'm trying figure out different community packages. The Japanese equivalent that we are thinking about doing is Piapro but more culturally appropriate for westerners (Piapro is the Japanese community website made by Crypton, a Japanese Vocaloid company).

    It will have a forum, but the front page will probably have something like News and picboard.
    I was thinking something like this. (Warning, underage Japanese idol link, may cause internal hemorrhaging). But that doesn't seem very conducive to collaboration.

    halkun on
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  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The packaging you’ve had designed stinks. It’s just a poorly executed and generic video-game box knockoff with shit art and a color scheme known as “baby poop green”. That box isn’t going to sell software to anyone who wouldn’t buy it anyway.

    If you really want people to notice your project, you need to hire a graphic design firm that can rebrand it for Americans, design branded package suitable for Americans, and build a decent web site for Americans. Fortunately every graphic design firm in America is in the toilet right due to the recession and you can get people to work cheap. Cheap is relative here (think comparable to paying a plumber his normal hourly rate), and you aren’t going to get anywhere by looking for cut-rate chop shots or setting up design contests. While you’re waiting for all that to come back you should be studying social networking systems and relevant marketing strategies so that you can use them as a low-cost means to promote the new software until the economy picks up, at which point you can start expanding out to trade shows and advertising in physical media.

    supabeast on
  • CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    halkun wrote: »
    aunsoph wrote: »
    Wow. The day I go looking for real into Vocaloids as a tool for a project of mine, I stumble upon this thread, while looking for suggestions regarding which of the "characters" to pick for more natural sounding English.

    What are the chances that the contest winner would be able to influence her new look, Halkun? I'm going to work on this for a bit. Who knows? It might even solve my problem of which version to acquire. :P

    The problem you are going to have is that the Vocaloids are made in Europe, and have accents. Not bad ones, but don't expect one to pronounce "Tall" like "t'all" it sound like "taol"

    And the idea is that the contest is going to influence the design, but it has to go past the president.

    It doesn't matter how good the vocaloid looks if it sounds like trash.

    CygnusZ on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    supabeast wrote: »
    The packaging you’ve had designed stinks. It’s just a poorly executed and generic video-game box knockoff with shit art and a color scheme known as “baby poop green”. That box isn’t going to sell software to anyone who wouldn’t buy it anyway.

    If you really want people to notice your project, you need to hire a graphic design firm that can rebrand it for Americans, design branded package suitable for Americans, and build a decent web site for Americans.

    Yeah, I'm gonna back Supabeast on this. You were hired to do a re-branding, not graphic design. But so far, you don't seem to be doing any re-branding at all... you're just trying to recreate the vocaloid phenomenon from Japan.

    In your original post, you said:
    halkun wrote: »
    their product was being marketed like shit and they were missing a huge opportunity.

    What were these opportunity areas that you're talking about? Did you find a new market? Or are you trying to bring a product made for Japanese consumers over to non-japanese consumers?

    My advice would be to study the opportunity areas you identified and develop a plan tailored for them... not a plan tailored for the minuscule fan base. Otherwise, you're just focusing your plan on a group that has no room to grow.

    Edit:

    I sincerely hope that you started this project by answering these questions with measurable data... otherwise you just made a project that would appeal to you:

    Goal
    What is your long term goal?
    What is your short term goal?
    When is the dead line?

    Audience
    Who is your audience?
    What age groups do they fall in?
    What is their income?
    What do they do for fun?

    Competition
    Who is your competition?
    What do they sell?
    Where do they sell it?
    How much do they sell it for?

    Opportunity
    What can I change?
    What should remain?
    How can I attract new fans?
    How can I compete with the competition?
    Will the new fans accept the change? (but to be honest... you haven't really changed anything... this is not a re brand.... it's just a waste of money)

    You have a lot of data available to you from the European community and the Japanese community... study it... see what works and what doesn't... but don't fall in love with any ideas. You have to be ready to sacrifice everything in order to make a succesful re-braning.

    MagicToaster on
  • SkyCaptainSkyCaptain Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    If the programmer doesn't work for Yamaha, why can't he write his own program that does what VOCALOID does and just rebrand it under a different name?

    SkyCaptain on
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  • aunsophaunsoph Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    After checking some YouTube posts of Sonika, mostly so I could picture a new design for her based on her voice, I've gotta say...

    She sounds awful. Absolutely awful. For a vocaloid supposedly focused on English with the ability to branch out into different languages, she sounds nowhere near as natural as some of the Japanese-centric vocaloids. Especially the newest ones.

    Case in point:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af9H_we6sm0&

    That's one of the best examples of a piece sung by Sonika, found on YouTube. Not even the heavy reverb helps her sound natural.

    On the other hand, here's Gumi, the newest Japanese vocaloid:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hZNtYfErfE&

    While the song itself makes me cringe, the singing sounds way more natural. The difference is night and day.

    Why is this relevant? I don't see any professional using Sonika. Unlike say, Miriam or Prima, she just doesn't sound real enough or interesting enough. It's Microsoft Samantha.

    In that case, I don't necessarily think appealing to the weeabo market is a bad idea. Especially since you'd be doing to only one of the vocaloids published in the US. The otaku, karaoke-aficionados and tech geeks might be the only people even buying the product to begin with.
    I'll still participate in the contest. :P

    aunsoph on
  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I had never heard of this before, it's a neat idea. Judging by that comparison, though, I'm willing to believe that marketing isn't the biggest reason the English ones don't sell well. Without the subtitles, I can't even understand what the English one is saying. The Japanese one sounds great, really impressive for a computer.

    PolloDiablo on
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  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Without the subtitles, I can't even understand what the English one is saying. The Japanese one sounds great, really impressive for a computer.

    I agree. I looked on YouTube and found pretty much all of the English Vocaloids incomprehensible. The Japanese one sounds great.

    LadyM on
  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    So, update...

    Evidently, I'm getting a taste of the new artwork coming in for the box art. The boss likes this one...
    zgsonikanewimage.jpg

    It's getting closer....

    halkun on
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  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Ooh that is nice.

    darkmayo on
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    That is much much much better than the graphics-card-boxart version

    FyreWulff on
  • LurkLurk Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I don't understand the ribbons on her.

    Lurk on
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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    It's required by Japanese law to have at least 4 belt-esque objects on your person at all times

    FyreWulff on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    If I were your boss and I found out that you posted high resolution images of a make-over that hadn't launched, I'd fire you so fast.

    MagicToaster on
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    I'm sure the massive vocaloid community will be critiquing that image as we speak, but both of them need to get back from traveling for thanksgiving

    FyreWulff on
  • CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    If I were your boss and I found out that you posted high resolution images of a make-over that hadn't launched, I'd fire you so fast.

    That's what I've been thinking reading this thread. Isn't any of this supposed to be confidential?

    Casual on
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  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    No, it's one of the many fan-arts that have been accumulating. There is a make over contest... Nothing is official yet.

    halkun on
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    I'm sure the massive vocaloid community will be critiquing that image as we speak, but both of them need to get back from traveling for thanksgiving

    I am pretty sure 4chan doesn't close down over the holidays, Fyre.

    DarkPrimus on
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  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Having some background in psychology and focus groups (albeit not necessarily in marketing), something to consider when consulting a pre-existing fanbase is that essentially what you are getting is a heavily biased population. The key thing to consider is that the group you are soliciting is pretty much already sold on the product. The current marketing may be shit, but they managed to find the product and become huge fans of it anyway. That says something about the group itself, and should always be placed in the context of your overall analysis. That's not to say that you can't get invaluable information from them, but always keep in mind that they are not the same group of people to whom you are trying to sell the product. They're the group of people who already have it. Consider the Wii as a case study.

    Inquisitor77 on
  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Must her hair be green by the way, I was thinking that maybe her having a slightly western look would be nice since she sings in english.

    For example Aya Brea from Parasite Eve:
    pe2aya01bw3.jpg

    Also after listening to her videos on youtube I would agree with the guys over here that it's can be really hard to understand what she's singing. Maybe you can get someone to do a really good video and put it on your site or youtube to showcase the voice of Sonika.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9RVb2wQFJA
    I like this but I believe that the voice can be more natural sounding.

    Peas on
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  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Peas wrote: »
    Also after listening to her videos on youtube I would agree with the guys over here that it's can be really hard to understand what she's singing. Maybe you can get someone to do a really good video and put it on your site or youtube to showcase the voice of Sonika.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9RVb2wQFJA
    I like this but I believe that the voice can be more natural sounding.

    This was done by Sonika's programmer. I conference call with him every Tuesday.

    halkun on
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  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Oh wow that's great. Did he work on that animation too? It's nice but I think you guys should make replace it with a new one after the new design of Sonika is confirmed. The new video should include her inside like every other vocaloid videos.

    Peas on
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  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Casual wrote: »
    If I were your boss and I found out that you posted high resolution images of a make-over that hadn't launched, I'd fire you so fast.

    That's what I've been thinking reading this thread. Isn't any of this supposed to be confidential?

    Unless they make you sign a Non Disclosure Agreement, you're free to talk about what ever you want. However, posting marketing material on the performance of a company, designs for a new campaign or future projects screams lack of professionalism.

    I would loose my job instantly if I ever posted anything about the new campaigns I'm working on.

    But then again... all that has been discussed here is box art. I'm still waiting to see any solid marketing strategies. My money is on that there is non.

    MagicToaster on
  • GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Sounds interesting and all, but I'd suggest a good name. Think about it, it may be slightly descriptive name but vocaloid is a bit of a bad name. If I were you and if you're stuck with the vocaloid name try and downplay the name on the boxing and emphasize a new name. (like placing the vocaloid name in a smaller font, less highlighted against a background etc)

    Also, by using an manga type images on the box you're also limiting your demographic to essentially fellow nerds.

    Although I will say it's an improvement over the cgi woman.

    EDIT: After watching that video, my only thought is to market it to the tweens market. Young girls may like that.
    EDIT2: Mind you, depends on how easy it is to make them as well.

    GrimReaper on
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