No matter how big the stars get, no matter how much money they earn, odds are they will be tempted over to the dark side for the promise of bundles of Yen. With that in mind, here is a short selection of the craziest, silliest and strangest Japanese commercials starring household names…beware, the “cringe-factor” may be too much for some!
After starring in Con Air, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Rock and The Knowing, you would think Cage would have a hard time embarrassing himself further…well he has truly outdone himself with this Sankyo Pachinko ad. If inept piano playing and awful singing weren’t bad enough, the punchline is as funny as damp seat on public transport.
Stiller brought down the house with Zoolander, by mocking the fashion world and, in turn, silly Japanese commercials. How ironic then that Ben found himself in an advert every bit as odd as those he created for comedy’s sake. From the looks of his rubber-faced smirk at the end of the ad, it looks like he has had one too many chu-hai!
This one may tip the scales into the territory of complete insanity. Arnold acts as a businessman who beats his customer at mahjong, his partner then informs him that the customer always has to win, so Arnie makes a quick escape, chugs an energy drink, goes through a quick henshin, turns into a demonic clown and showers the customer in winnings, whilst laughing hysterically…for a full 12 seconds!
Fair play to Brad Pitt on this one, as it is genuinely funny. Pitt plays the personal assistant to sumo legend, Musashimaru, who is reluctant to eat his greens, Pitt has a clever ploy, though, that pays dividends. Hats off to Softbank for thinking of something original and subtle.
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Do you have trouble staying awake? Do you find dousing yourself in water, smashing a vase over your head or pounding your skull against a wall fails to keep you awake? Then JCVD has the answer…Black Black Gum!
Many of these commercials were shot in the late 80’s during the peak of the Japanese economic bubble. However there are still some companies clinging to the past and celebrities willing to cash in. Check out this deliciously 80’s ad featuring Leonardo promoting Jim Beam whiskey.
What Japanese commercials do you love? Let us know in the comment section below.