Japanese Commercials: The Good, The Bad & The Weird

Top 5 Japanese Commercials

Japan is a land of unorthodox teachers, strange floating babies and Ronald McDonald’s extended family….. or so you may be forgiven for thinking after watching this batch of Japan Centre’s favourite Japanese TV commercials. We’ve trawled Youtube and compiled with what we think are our 5 favourite commercials or commercial series of recent times. Prepare to be amused, enchanted or maybe even a little bit frightened!

5. Everything – Gackt 

Musician Gackt is probably the King of Japanese TV commercials. Some people may not like his music but there is no denying that this man is a legend of Japanese advertising, racking up more than 35 ads! He’s hawked everything from throat soothing sweets to games and canned coffee, usually with his iconic aura of mysteriousness and almost always with a good sense of humour. We can’t think of a single stand out Gackt commercial to show, so check out this compilation of his best!

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4. McDonalds

Relegated to 90′s oblivion with the likes of Mr. Blobby and the Honey Monster, Ronald McDonald barely crops up in UK adverts any more. No need to mourn though as it looks like he’s simply upped sticks and taken his talents to Japanese shores. Cue musical numbers and even two inexplicably sexy Ronald McDonald children! Below we’ve linked the original McDonald’s advertising campaign encouraging children to exercise, but this re-mix is probably more famous….and definitely more mental!

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3. Fanta – Sensei Series

A million times more interesting than any soft drink advert that has ever graced UK TV screens, this series of mini Fanta commercials are short, funny and expertly timed. See a class subjected to Leather-sensei, Shogun-sensei and our Japan Centre favourite, Blackbeard-sensei!

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2. Suntory Mugicha – Forest Fire

A personal favourite, this commercial for mugicha barley tea is crazy but adorable at the same time. Vaguely linked to the health benefits of mugicha, see how these two office workers bravely tackle a growing forest fire on the side of an isolated mountain road.

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1. QP Tarako – Chanting Babies 

Strangely hypnotic, this series of adverts for tarako (salted fish roe) pasta sauces features what can only be described as an army of chanting QP Mayonnaise babies donning tarako costume and marching on several stunned children. If that’s not enough to give you some psychadelic nightmares check out the looks on the kids faces! There’s certainly something very creepy about it all!

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Tunnel Vision

There are so many Japanese commercials that we would have loved to include on this list and Japan Centre implore you all to get searching through Youtube for some great 30 second slices of entertainment. Obviously we’ve not seen every Japanese commercial out there so if any of you have any good ones that you would like to share with us leave a comment and link below or feel free to share on our Japan Centre facebook page!

And don’t forget! If the adverts that we’ve posted above have piqued your interest you can buy the subject of these quirky commercials at Japan Centre online, or even check out the famous Pocky and Koala’s March ads out before you buy!

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3 Comments on “Japanese Commercials: The Good, The Bad & The Weird”

  1. Alex Sims
    August 2, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    This is a very quirky, sweet and uniquely Japanese advert for sushi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTZ17bIiwLQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  2. Mark
    August 3, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    My favourite is the Pocky advert with YMO (a favourite Japanese band of mine in the 80s)

  3. ParamedicFoetus
    August 4, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    The Nicolas Cage Pachinko adverts are pretty great

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