One of my favorite things about Japan is the television commercials. They’re always entertaining (and slightly confusing). Half the time I can’t figure out what they’re advertising until the very end of the commercial. The rest of the time I can’t see how the ad relates (in any way) to the product. However, I always find myself watching the entire commercial, and usually buying the product later (and that’s an ad campaign win no matter what country you’re in!).
Check out this Dole banana commercial. Who wouldn’t love to have some bananas shot out of the nose of a weird banana guy?
Apparently this ad campaign was designed to combat the high tariffs on bananas and capitalize on a water and banana diet craze created by a Japanese housewife. The Dole ad campaign has been so successful that the banana guy is now a celebrity of sorts with several commercials.
And what about a creepy (and often seductively posed) dog who runs like a human, plays baseball and just also happens to sell potato chips ? Makes you want Calbee Panchi right? (No idea how this ad came about.)
While Japanese commercials can be perplexing, they are extremely entertaining. Even the weird-ish commercials in the U.S. don’t hold a candle to the everyday commercials in Japan (and I also tend to ignore and forget U.S. commercials).
If Dole bananas and Calbee potato chips are any indication, Japanese television commercials not only entertain the viewer, they sell product. Japanese commercials also tend to be more fun and lighthearted as opposed to high-pressure and serious. So as you can see, Japanese television ads definitely have a style all their own.
Videos: YouTube/Dole Banana Guy , YouTube/Calbee Dog
The actor who played Dole Man was a big name celebrity long before that ad campaign! His name is Shingo Katori, and he’s been one of the most famous entertainers in Japan since the 90s. He’s also responsible for the song “Shingo Mama no Oha Rock” and is/was a part of the group that sang “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana”
That is great info – I did not know that! Thanks 🙂