Tissue-pack marketing is one kind of guerrilla marketing that become phenomenon in Japan. Small, portable tissue package were used by companies to make more advertising copy directly into customer hand. By the time they used the entire piece, the potential customer had accidentally glanced at the advertisement a couple of times. It might be thrown away a leaflet without reading it, since the leaflet offers nothing of immediate value.
The concept of tissue-pack marketing was first developed in Japan. In the late 1960s, Hiroshi Mori, the founder of the paper-goods manufacturer in Kochi Prefecture called Meisei Industrial Co. was looking for ways to expand demand for paper products. The most common marketing at that time by using matches box. It is often give away at banks and used by women in the kitchen. Mori figured tissue would have even wider appeal than the matches. As a result, he developed the machinery to fold ad packaged tissues into easy to carry, pocket-size packs and use only for advertising purposes, not for sale.
The simple diagram below shows the tissue-pack marketing concept.
If you are walking around in Tokyo and the tissue distributor skips over you, do not get offended. You are probably not in their target demographic. If it keeps happening and you need some free tissues, you can always go up to the next one and politely ask for a pack.