Oh, that wacky Bruce Willis
October 23, 2001 12:44 AM   Subscribe

Oh, that wacky Bruce Willis (Warning, links are to 2.5M/30" Quicktime movies.) This commercial has been running in Japan for awhile, and is being used to announce the merging of two gas station chains, Nisseki and Mitsubishi Sekiyu, into a new entity called Eneos. This one introducing Eneos high-octane fuel is even wackier. The third one has his voice dubbed except for the end where he utters that immortal Eneos slogan "Move You." Huh? Does anybody else have a favorite foreign (not to you, necessarily) commercial with American stars doing/saying bizarre stuff?
posted by Bixby23 (27 comments total)
Japander:n.,& v.t. 1. a western star who uses his or her fame to make large sums of money in a short time by advertising products in Japan that they would probably never use. ~er (see synecure, prostitute) 2. to make an ass of oneself in Japanese media.
posted by lia at 12:53 AM on October 23, 2001

lia is very, very cool. Thanks. You have given me a new way to waste my workday. Excellent.
posted by Bixby23 at 1:03 AM on October 23, 2001

There was a commercial for a "consumer finance" company a few years ago that had Whitney Houston in wrong English. It`s on the Japander site, but I don`t know how to make that particular link.

There`s also Meg Ryan and her tea commercials. Nothing notable except that she has a horrible accent in Japanese. I am told she was asked to make here accent as bad as possible.

It always surprised me that major stars would endorse things so out of line with their image. Jodie Foster does ads for a temp agency in Japan. I think they`re print only.

[OT] Bixby23, you use Mefi, etc to waste your workday too? I never thought I`d come to Japan to read email....[/OT]

I looked for links for all of these, but found none...
posted by chiheisen at 1:23 AM on October 23, 2001

If teevee commercials were that cool in this country, I'd be less likely to tivo through them.

Bebop bebop bebop....
posted by fraying at 1:29 AM on October 23, 2001

Also: I'd like to be the first person in this thread to say fishbulb.

posted by fraying at 1:30 AM on October 23, 2001

Bruce Willis also did those annoying billboards and ads for Police sunglasses, which I think weren't in the US (were all over Europe though).

Recently, George Clooney has been in a commercial for Martini in the UK and also Harvey Keitel (!) for Johny Walker Europe wide. The Keitel commercial btw, is really bizarre...

Yes, I travel a lot...
posted by costas at 1:55 AM on October 23, 2001

Who's going to make the first Mr. Sparkle joke?
posted by Nothing at 2:01 AM on October 23, 2001

Doh! I left out the link. That should have been "Mr. Sparkle joke."
posted by Nothing at 2:05 AM on October 23, 2001

Back when she was uber-popular here in Korea (for no readily apparent reason other than her pseudo-orgasm scene in "When Harry etc etc", which must have struck some deeply resonant chord, and her irrepressable cuteness (feh) of course), Meg Ryan did some shampoo commercials, but got in trouble because she was overheard opining that the place, was, well, stinky. Which it is, frequently, to be honest.

She doesn't make much money outta Korea anymore.

In related news, Miguel E Cardoso is slated to appear in a multimillion dollar cigar-ad campaign in Japan.

I'm lying. About the Miguel bit, anyway.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:41 AM on October 23, 2001

I'm convinced there's some sort of primal-scream therapeutic value to all this.
posted by donkeyschlong at 3:39 AM on October 23, 2001

I'm convinced there's some sort of primal-scream therapeutic value to all this.
posted by donkeyschlong at 3:44 AM on October 23, 2001

I didn't hit post twice ... dunno why it did that.
posted by donkeyschlong at 3:46 AM on October 23, 2001

The clip isn't on the Japander site nor can I find it but there's a great Leo Decaprio shill for the Wagoner SUV/Station wagon. Its starts off with your typical 'look at me' auto commercial shots and ends with a hilarious scene in which Leo, hollywood badboy/millionaire is driving this monstrosity - this bastard son of a Tracker and a K-Car Wagon, looks straight into the camera and says, "I love number one!"

They have him speaking engrish! Its just hilarious. It's his only line. To me he's saying he's off driving his Wagoner to be pee'd on.

We all love number one!
posted by skallas at 4:31 AM on October 23, 2001

Word is, in Japan, some of the lads are inordinately fond of #2, as well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:42 AM on October 23, 2001

Here in Luxemburg we can enjoy Arnold Schwartzenegger doing some very strange things to various household appliances, to promote a German energy corporation, E-on.
A site called Oakland has excellent screen captures. Mix it baby?
posted by jorun at 5:08 AM on October 23, 2001

stavros: Unchikun!
posted by skallas at 5:19 AM on October 23, 2001

"Being John Malkovich? " Eurostar. Big pretentious pile of crap.
Sorry, couldn't find screen capture.
posted by Frasermoo at 5:25 AM on October 23, 2001

When I lived in Japan, I was quite fond of a commercial that featured Sylvester Stallone in full Rambo regalia, holding a knife and fork, while sitting at a banquet table behind a large baked ham. He looks at the camera and utters in that inimitable deadpan style, "Ito Ham wa, oishii desu" (Ito Ham is delicious).
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:09 AM on October 23, 2001

I can see that!

posted by Frasermoo at 6:09 AM on October 23, 2001

In one of his books David Niven tells the story of how, in the twilight of his career, he appeared in a deodorant ad in Japan, on the strict understanding this would not be divulged elsewhere. Three years later a hit film revived his career and eventually he found his way, along with the rest of the cast, to a sumptuous premiere in Toyko. An enormous crowd greeted him by squealing and compulsively pointing to their underarms.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:15 AM on October 23, 2001

A Leonardo DiCaprio clip for the Wagon R is here, along with a bunch more, including Brad Pitt "singing" about some jeans.
posted by dmo at 6:17 AM on October 23, 2001

Here you go!
posted by byort at 6:21 AM on October 23, 2001

jorun - I saw that ad when I was in Lithuania this past summer. My family and I were wiped out from a day of hiking around Vilnius, and we decided to vegetate before going out for beer and dinner. We turn on the tube, flip to a German station, and there's Ah-nuld! Walking around his kitchen, molesting appliances!

I'm still trying to find the ramen commercial he did back in the 80s. Saw it on one of those "Aren't Foreign Commercials Wacky?" shows on Fox. Ah-nuld is running around in a suit and glasses, turns to the camera, holds up a packet of ramen and yells something like "Yosh!" Next thing I know, he's wearing a yukata, standing in the middle of a party with showgirls, confetti, and people slurping noodles.

And I swear I wasn't on drugs when I saw that.
posted by RakDaddy at 9:00 AM on October 23, 2001

I remember one with Hunk Hogan singing a kids song about the days of the week on a Japanese ad for compact air conditioners. It isn't on the Japander site which is an infinite shame.
posted by dithered at 9:08 AM on October 23, 2001

That Leonardo DiCaprio ad is particularly funny--I love the guy in the yellow shirt. First he's groping one of the other guys, then he's pelvic thrusting during the "WAGON R!" cheer. Very very strange.
posted by arielmeadow at 9:52 AM on October 23, 2001

The Smoking Gun dug up an affadavit from David Duchovny which mentions the Mulderesque European ad he made for the Ford Mondeo in 1997, which earned him a cool $400,000. ("The commercial will not air in the United States." Quite.)
posted by holgate at 11:40 AM on October 23, 2001

Oh, and Burt Reynolds for Specsavers was pretty funny, and very British: he hammed up the preening middle-aged actor thing something rotten. It's rare that stars take the piss out of themselves in US commercials.
posted by holgate at 11:44 AM on October 23, 2001

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