On December 17th at Akasaka Sacas, SMAP attended a press conference announcing a new series of commercials from [mobile phone carrier] Softbank, and also promoted their ‘SMAP SHOP 09’. [‘SMAP SHOP’ is a limited period store selling exclusive SMAP merchandise.] It was the first time in 10 years for all 5 SMAP members to appear at once at a press conference; the last time was back in May 1999 where they promoted their album ‘BIRDMAN’. They met reporters on a special stage constructed on the ice rink inside Akasaka Sacas.
The commercials were filmed during mid-November in New York. 4 of the members flew to New York to shoot the TV ads. Katori had been staying there already since he was the lead actor in the musical ‘TALK LIKE SHOWING’. Katori said “The very generous Softbank-san took us all to New York!!” Nakai added “We flew first class.” Katori was quick to point out “I was already there for the musical, so I didn’t get to ride first class…” Katori’s gibe made everyone laugh.
The five members then moved over to ‘SMAP SHOP’ to show off the various SMAP merchandise. The main concept for the store this year is ‘ちゃんとしないとね (ちゃんとしないとね; We must act responsibly)’. With that in mind, Kusanagi referred to a certain unfortunate incident that happened this year. [Kusanagi was caught drunk and naked out in public in April.] “I especially have to act more responsibly. I caused a lot of trouble for everyone. That’s probably why they changed the theme.” Kimura defended his fellow member. “It wasn’t changed because we did something wrong. The concept is meant to say that we should look back at ourselves before next year starts.” The members talked about good moments but weren’t afraid to discuss bad moments as well. It showed the strong bond shared among the 5 members.
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