Foreign Commercials

Product endorsement and celebrities go together like shit and a toilet. However, there are myriad moments when companies approach these personalities with gobs of money to do advertisements in foreign lands – moments which could potentially ruin a career stateside. Everybody’s heard the rumors about Woody Allen doing some tacky commercial in Japan for millions of dollars (I couldn’t find this on Youtube) and he’s not the only one our Asian buddies have enlisted to hock products. Below is a list of my favorite commercials from foreign countries featuring either celebrities or characters from popular visual media. Thanks to Rick for pointing out the great Robocop commercials from Korea.

Also, my character study on Nomi from Showgirls should be done by the end of the week. Thanks.

Here’s a Robocop commercial where he’s hocking noodles:

Here’s one where Robocop is selling fried chicken:

Here’s one of Arnold Schwarzenegger selling some kind of bullshit Japanese energy drink from the ‘80s:

Here are two more commercials featuring Schwarzenegger. I’m pretty sure they’re Japanese because I had coffee in a can when I was in Tokyo (although it wasn’t the brand Quaid’s advertising here):

Here’s a commercial where Hulk Hogan’s selling what looks like an air conditioning unit. I remember the a/c unit in my Japanese hotel room looked like this:

 The best part of this commercial is that Lucas is a terrible director. Honestly, have you even watched those new Star Wars movies? They suck and it’s not only because of the CGI, Jar-Jar Binks, and an acrobatic Yoda:

There are countless other examples of embarrassing moments for celebrities surfacing on Youtube but I don’t want to have a post featuring dozens of videos. Search these out for yourself and find those moments caught on celluloid or video where celebrities sold themselves because they thought nobody in the U.S. would see it. God bless the internet; it allows us to witness these people selling out even more than they normally do.

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4 responses to “Foreign Commercials

  1. “What the… I don’t even…”

    The most bizzare thing to me, is Robocop flicking off the viewer in that first commercial. I have see the AHA Arnold one a bit ago, but I don’t really discredit the guys for making these commercials. They may seem bizzaro to us, but we are not the intended market. Will all the lights in asian countries, maybe it takes a lot of weird visuals to get any attention at all. And if you happen to watch any of these, they certainly ‘stay’ with you awhile 🙂

    • These commercials are hilarious and I agree that we aren’t the intended market. Actually, it’s possible my making fun of them is a bit racist; in essence, I’m Orientalizing their aesthetic by comparing it to an American one. However, any potential prejudices on my part are completely offset by the hilarity of these little advertisements.

      And yes, I love that Robocop is flicking off the Korean audience. It’s almost a dare, saying, “eat this crap or my insult is founded.” =)

  2. Haha. Perfect. I’d been aware of the Arnie ads for some time, but the Robocop ones are new to me. The Fried Chicken one is genuinely terrifying. Like a cyborg Colonel Sanders meets The Ring.

    Hogan’s is probably the most normal there. And that’s saying something. Because it’s still fucking nightmarish. I think the trailers are advertising Japan and Korea to me more than the actual products. I can’t wait until I finally get the opportunity to bask in the madness of these countries.

    Mac.

    • Mac,
      Don’t expect to enjoy Japan any time in the near future unless you’re looking to become the Toxic Avenger. My buddy Rick showed me the Robocop commercials and I lost my shit; I spent the last four months of my life researching and writing about Verhoeven’s films – most notably Robocop. I think there’s something lost in the translation of the character from English to Korean. In the film Robocop is a product, an automaton defending the rights of those with power; in those commercials he’s hocking products. Ok, so maybe there isn’t much difference. =)

      I understand artists need to make money and foreign commercials are a good way to do that. I just got in a Facebook argument about this shitty black metal band sponsored by Scion and adhere to a shitty black metal manifesto. The guy argued that artists need to make money and my comments are unfounded. I agree artists need to make money but there’s a difference between putting out a mediocre product and having integrity. Artists with integrity, while sometimes making less money, have longevity; I think this was lost on that guy.

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