If it’s one thing that Japan does stranger than anywhere else in the world, it’s the making of commercials. Living in the United States, I see my own fair share of some very bizarre commercials, but those from this small island country blow them out of the water. I have to wonder, however, whether these look strange from the inside of Japanese culture or not? Is it just us in the West that see these and scratch out heads in confusion? I’ve found some videos showing a few examples of what Japan has to offer, so you can make your own judgments.
The first on is a general compilation of some strange stuff. Some of these might even be considered to be genuinely creepy by my own cultural standards. None of them make too much sense. There also seems to be a proliferation of singing and dancing throughout this particular collection. See if you can figure out what’s going on.
I think the expression on the little girl’s face from the strange, orange-doll noodle commercial says it all. Or at the very least, it was remarkably similar to my own.
The next involves a popular American franchise that has invaded Japan in an attempt to make them fatter and have more heart attacks. That’s right, it’s McDonalds. This commercial, however, takes quite the different approach to selling hamburgers, one that perhaps we here in the states might think of adapting.
Screw the creepy clown, I want the sexy girl!
And finally, someone that most people will recognize right off the bat. It’s Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the day before he went into politics (and then left again and went back into movies). Even Arnie likes money, and there’s no better way to do it as a celebrity than making foreign commercials.
This is, I think, proof that it’s not just the Japanese. People from other countries are willing to jump on board the strange-train and perform outlandishly in front of the camera to sell products. Japan just happens to be the best at producing said strange products. But regardless of whether you come away from a Japanese commercial experience confused or not, you almost always come away a bit amused.