My friend Zaq

My friend Zaq | DSC-RX1 | 1/2000s f/2.0 ISO100 35mm

I don't think that this advertising ploy had any effect on these little girls, other than a few moments of happiness. I felt sorry for the person inside, though they're probably keeping warmer than we were. I was debating taking a video - the little girls were running around and around, giggling, whilst the mascot bobbed up and down and waved its arms.

Only in Japan.

J:COM, Jupiter Telecommunications Co., Ltd, is the largest provider of digital television and broadband internet in Japan, and this little guy is its brain child.

Never appearing alone, ZAQ is actually a species of little egg-headed beings who inhabit everyday appliances around the house, creeping out every so often to convince residents that they need faster Internet connections and more channels.

Created in 2003, he was modeled after the forest sprites found in the beloved Ghibli filmPrincess Mononoke. ZAQ is obviously the three leftmost keys on a QWERTY keyboard making his name easy to type, and the letters stand for Zone Access & Quality.

More recently, it has been translated into Japanese as Zutto, Anshin, Quality, meaning “Always, Safety, Quality.”