Top 10: Japanese Car Commercials

September 12th, 2013By Category: Uncategorized


10. Honda City Madness

Being one of the vehicles most popular in the entry-level market, the Honda has always strived to find a connection to its loyal buyers. In the 1980’s the automaker teamed up with then popular ska band “Madness” to help introduce their equally wild but smart vehicle the Honda City. Spanning over several iterations from standard to turbo trims, the multi-member band brought just the right amount of visual appeal to an already quirky vehicle.

9. Bruce Willis Mira e:S

Establishing himself as on of Japan’s favorite bad ass with the worldwide success of the Die Hard franchise, he is still a staple in Japan’s foreign entertainment. A veteran of the Japanese commercial world for decades, Bruce Willis was selected as the face of Daihatsu’s new hybrid micro car, the Mira e:S. Instead of drilling him with the pronunciation of his lines, the directors decided to play on his typical overconfident American character. As he stumbles through each scene, much to the dismay of his employer, the ads continue to get more and more ridiculous.

8. Honda Z with ZZ Top

The Honda Z was one of the coolest cars that came out of the era of highly experimental vehicles by Honda. Although classed as a Kei (light) vehicle, it boasted a turbo mid-mounted engine with a four-wheel drive drivetrain making it a stand out vehicle. Knowing this, what better accompaniment would the vehicle need than the famous bearded band ZZ Top.

7. Stormship Troopers and Nissan Juke

Japan has had a long affinity with the Star Wars brand and using it to promote everything from drinks to Pocky. Although the Nissan Juke was not the first collaborative car commercial, it is definitely one of the coolest. Spicing things up, Nissan added a new limited edition trim that was marketed using a storm trooper with a unique sense of style.

6. Doraemon and Jean Reno for New Toyota Crown

As part of Toyota’s “Reborn” campaign, the classic children’s show “Doraemon” was revisited as a modern real world universe. A case of prominent Japanese actors were hired to play the characters in support of the main role of Doraemon played by Jean Reno. Surprisingly enough, his rugged features and deadpan delivery actually suit the character very well!

5. Toyota Human Touch

During Toyota’s “Human Touch” campaign, the automaker wanted to make sure that its audience knew how much thought went into every feature of their cars. Doing their best to shed the image of simply manufacturing vehicles at high capacities, the advertisement used an interesting approach to relating the human factor in automotive design.

4. Mercedes Next A-Class Anime

As one of the most prestigious luxury brands in the world, Mercedes has always enjoyed a nice spot in Japan’s premium vehicle market. However, with the launch of the all new A-class they hope to capture the attention of a younger and more experimental target audience. Playing off of the car’s new dynamic styling, Mercedes enlisted the help of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, who did the character design for Neon Genesis Evangelion, to bring the car into a futuristic anime world.

3. Honda Over the Years

Whether it is dirt bikes, planes, or the Civic, Honda has long since established itself as a company that knows about creative engineering. Although this commercial does skip around a bit in the history of Honda, the presentation of their story does a good amount of justice to the endearing brand.

2. The Toyota Tundra Endeavor

As one of the most memorable commercials in Super Bowl history, Toyota’s Tundra advertisement campaign was a well orchestrated series of videos that took full advantage of its time in the spotlight and after. With North America being one of the biggest markets for Toyota trucks, having one of their flagship vehicles pulling something as American as the space shuttle was a tremendous opportunity that was perfectly executed.

1. Toyota Auris (Corolla Hatchback)

It takes quite a bit of work to stir up as much controversy and news buzz in today’s desensitized market, but this commercial for the new Toyota Auris (hatchback Corolla) stole the show early this year. Without spoiling the shock value of ad, it is safe to say that the unique abilities will have you questioning more than the Corolla’s new marketing direction…

Author of this article

Axiom Magazine

Axiom Magazine is Japan’s leading source for newly released and hard to find information focused in the areas of gaming, culture and entertainment. We represent a small part of a bigger idea of bringing Japanese culture and achievements to an international stage.

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