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May 8, 2024
(Updated on
Jul 11, 2023

Giant 3D cat billboard has taken over Japan

The new 3D billboard in Tokyo leaves civilians mesmerized. The 26 by 62 foot LED screen is in central Shinjuku and has drawn upon large crowds to see the billboard in-person. What’s so amazing about the billboard is its 4k, real-like features. The digital features bring the cat to life, in fact, it behaves like an actual cat, doing what it pleases.

The cat appears on the digital billboard a few times an hour, in-between other advertisements and videos. Interestingly, the cat also takes nap breaks and sleeps at 1am for about 6 hours. Although it doesn’t have a name, fans have called it “Shinjuku’s east exit cat” after the nearest subway station.

Another feature about the billboard is that it is not advertising a specific product nor brand. One of the companies running the cat display, Unika, advertised that the cat is simply being used to light up everyone’s day. Ohkawa, a spokesperson for Unika, said that “there are many reasons we decided to display the cat, but one of the big reasons is that with corona, the world became very dark.” At this time, Japan is under its fourth state of emergency, with the highest number of reported cases since mid-May.

The city of Tokyo is hosting the Summer Olympics later this summer, and this is a billboard that is getting a lot of global attention. Unika shares an impactful message during COVID, which is to share some light and add happiness in Tokyo’s period of uncertainty. The cat is one of Asia’s first 3D digital displays, with Chengdu, a southwestern Chinese city displaying a spaceship which due to its 3D properties, looked like it was emerging from a building.

Regardless of whether the cat was used for advertisement purposes or just to light up people’s day, it brings forth a new realm of advertisements, specifically digital and 3D, life-altering ones.

UPDATED - March 17th, 2023

The Giant Cat Billboard Looks Different Based on the Time of the Day

The 4K-resolution display portrays the cat walking around high above the Japanese capital, accompanied by audible meows, and is shown intermittently between 7 a.m. and 1 a.m. every day. As the day progresses, the video changes, showing the calico cat being startled awake in the morning, standing up and meowing at passersby in the afternoon, and lying down to fall asleep with its head resting on its paws in the evening.

While the official launch is scheduled for July 12, test broadcasts have been ongoing since last month, and the "Shinjuku cat" has already gained a significant following online, with users admiring its cuteness and expressing amazement at the technology. One Twitter user even shared a video of the cat yawning and falling asleep, describing it as looking sleepy at night.

If you're one of the unlucky ones who can't see the mammoth 3D cat display in Tokyo, don't fret! Cross Space, one of the companies behind the awe-inspiring billboard, is now streaming live footage of it on YouTube. But, as impressive as it may be on screen, the owners of the screen have cautioned viewers that the 3D effect might not be as impressive depending on the viewing angle.

Situated atop the bustling east exit of Shinjuku train station - a vibrant shopping and business district - the screen has fast become the talk of the town. According to Cross Shinjuku Vision, the website created especially for the billboard, a staggering 190,000 people pass by the colossal screen every weekday. Don't miss out on experiencing this larger-than-life 3D feline for yourself!

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