Hollywood Stars In Japanese Commercials
Jul 02, 2022 By Harry Evans

'Friends' fans may recall Joey trying to cover up the fact that he appeared in a Japanese advertisement wearing blue lipstick. There is no denying that it was amusing. Nonetheless, this is a reality in the celebrity world as well. Even if they don't wear the blue lipstick, Hollywood actresses and other A-listers travel to Japan to feature in hysterical ads.

Lux Shampoo by Brooke Shields

As a child actor and former child model, Brooke Shields rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s because of her role in the critically acclaimed film "Pretty Baby." However, most people are unaware that the actress participated in a Japanese ad during her peak. In the commercial, she appears to be battling with her hair, which depicts her in an uncomfortably distressed state. Until Lux shampoo comes to the rescue, would she need to learn a new word? There isn't a single one. 'Lux, super-rich' is the only thing she says in the ad.

Arnold Schwarzenegger – From Noodles to Energy Drinks

As far as Japanese advertisements go, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the king. Since his 1980s acclaim as Conan the Barbarian and The Terminator, he's been raking it in Japan. After all, Hollywood was hungry for action pictures at the time, and Japan, the biggest importer of Hollywood films then, was smitten with Arnie. In a series of bizarre commercials for Nissin Cup Noodle, the Austrian-American actor carried vehicles and blue mountains apart. But the noodle clips "Schwa-chan" (as he is popularly called in Japan) produced for the Alinamin V. energy drink pale in contrast to the ones he made.

These advertisements epitomize the best of Japanese gonzo advertising. There are several instances in which Schwarzenegger needs a pick-me-up, and strange things happen when he does. It's not uncommon to see Arnie emerge from within a glass bottle of V, genie-style, laughing uncontrollably. Still, the most unusual instance occurs when he's accused of molesting a lady while riding the train and escapes the situation by downing a V. In 2014, he and Willis returned to Japanese advertising as part of the "Power" campaign for Kowa Coffee, which included the former California governor.

Francis Ford Coppola – FUJI Cassettes

During the height of the cassette tape craze, Francis Ford Coppola had an epiphany. It's all about the FUJI tape in the Japanese commercial, depicting director Francis Ford Coppola lovingly stroking it before ultimately flipping it over to show the audience. Oh, what a time that was. There was a time when all you had to do was express your admiration for a particular product. And with a thud! Gained financial resources. We can only imagine this would be like if it were shown in the US. And if cassette cassettes were still available, we'd buy one. No?

Cindy Crawford – Pocari Sweat

She was a tremendously successful and well-known actress and model of the 1980s and 1990s. It appears that her time on American television was insufficient for her. Pocari Sweat, a Japanese energy drink, wanted Cindy to feature in a commercial for them. Putting on a sword display surrounded by panthers and a flying dragon (does anyone remember Game of Thrones?) Crawford shows off her sword abilities while dressed as a gladiator. Sweating isn't exactly appealing to us, but this energy drink offers individuals the ability to combat imaginary animals.

Justin Bieber – SoftBank

It's not unusual for American superstars to appear in Japanese commercials, but Justin Bieber is one of the most recent. They could not have picked a better choice than SoftBank when searching for an adolescent heartthrob. Justin Bieber appears in a commercial for one of Japan's biggest telecoms carriers alongside YouTube sensation Piko Taro. When he walks inside the school, he says "Konnichiwa" and takes a picture before entering the building. An instructor at the school, Piko, is named after him. As a consequence of this advertisement, Piko and Justin Bieber are said to have formed a long-term friendship.

Hugh Jackman

Few realize that Hugh Jackman has also utilized his talents to sell a US brand overseas: Lipton Iced Tea. He has already shown his versatility as an action hero in the X-Men films and a singer and dancer in musicals. Jackman performed a highly choreographed dance routine in these commercials as part of a more extensive global campaign for the company (which had a three-year contract with Lipton.) There was no effort to hide from Jackman's traditional admirers regarding international marketing initiatives. The "Drink Positive" marketing technique was used for the campaign and made available online.

Britney Spears for Suki Candy

In 1999, Britney Spears became the world's most successful pop singer when her debut album,...Baby One More Time was released. As a result, she was in high demand worldwide, including in Japan. Despite being one of the singer's first public performances in Japan, witnessing her squirm as one of the interviewers smacks the other's hairless head repeatedly isn't as embarrassing as the Suki commercial she went on to do later in her career.

After dancing around her luxury jet's pink interior, Spears pops out a Suki candy and hands one to her sour-faced security, who breaks into a dance of his own as he tries it. However, we have to pat Brit on the back for her one line of Japanese: as far as we can tell, she did a great job with her pronunciation.

Cindy Crawford for Pocari Sweat

Cindy Crawford appeared on the cover of Vogue in 1986, just two years after she dropped out of her chemical engineering program and moved to New York City to try her hand at modeling. Her role in a particularly outrageous Japanese sports drinks commercial that year went unnoticed. In the video, Cindy appears in a Gladiator-like costume and raises a sword to a panther's face. Famous French artist Moebius created the visuals for this Labyrinth-like sequel, in which Cindy soars above bleak landscapes dotted with prehistoric creatures on the back of a giant bird. Kaia Gerber is everything we need right now for a weird reenactment.

Mariah Carey for Nescafe

While hyped on caffeine in 2000, Mimi unleashed an incredible Hadouken on her opponent, knocking them unconscious." Quickly the situation changes, and we find that she is scoring goals while wearing a little pink soccer outfit. Not for long, though. As a professional racing car driver, she downs a cup of coffee to celebrate her victory. What's the point of all this squealing? Someone felt Mariah Carey would be the perfect fit for a Nescafe and Playstation cooperation. Aren't you pleased that occurred, even if it was a strange decision?

Nicolas Cage for Sankyo pachinko

Once a true Hollywood A-lister, Nicolas Cage appears to have found a home as a straight-to-VOD star. But in Japan, he's still a household name. According to reports, during an online Q&''A with fans, he claimed he was interested in bringing The Wicker Man (2006) back to Japan for a sequel. Actor Nicolas Cage's suggestion that his character, Edward Malus, returns as a ghost attracted considerable scorn from the internet of popular opinion in the first film. The worst idea Cage ever had? Probably not.

In addition, Sankyo engaged him to feature in a weird commercial campaign for its pachinko machine brand (a cross between a traditional arcade game and a slot machine). While Nicolas Cage's encounter with silver-suited aliens on a lonely road is the most bizarre, the actor shot several other bizarre commercials for Sankyo.

Madonna for Jun Legend's sake

Spears was only following in the footsteps of a prior generation's pop star. " Madonna appeared in a slew of ads for Mitsubishi throughout the 1980s. During the commercial, a Japanese voiceover highlights the characteristics of the tech company's top-of-the-line VCR players as the singer performs her music. The commercials are simple and unremarkable, at least by Japanese standards.

Though she's not one to do things half-heartedly, Madonna went to Japan the following year to record an even glitzier advertisement for Jun Legend sake, the preferred alcoholic beverage of the Japanese. There is a new piece of music written and sung by Madonna for the commercial, and she is armed with a samurai sword to cope with the golden monster.

Bruce Willis - Kowa Coffee

It's no secret that Die Hard is a massive hit in Japan, and it's not hard to see why. Watch this video of the "Japanese Bruce Willis" coming on a Japanese TV show and the audience going wild with glee if you don't believe us.

Examining the figures is an approach that is less amusing but more demonstrative in demonstrating how highly the Japanese regard Willis and his no-nonsense action series in the country. For the first time, according to Box Office Mojo, Japan has outperformed France and Germany as the top foreign market for Die Hard films, with 1995's Die Hard: With a Vengeance grossing an astounding $82 million.

Since the first Die Hard movie established him as a household celebrity in Japan, Japanese advertisers have taken advantage of Willis' star power multiple times. His "Power" advertisement for Kowa Coffee is not as awful as his past efforts.

Sylvester Stallone - Hot dogs

As far as Japanese ads go, Sylvester Stallone has a history of shoddy work. Both Rocky Balboa and John Rambo are heroes in Japan because of the way they take their fate into their own hands, making them heroes in their own right. As a result, Stallone has benefited from his celebrity status on several occasions, most notably by promoting Knorr soup in front of a crowd of children while working out semi-naked.

Stallone starred in a Japanese advertisement for an unknown brand of hot dogs, but that ad was the weirdest of the bunch. Dressed up like an action hero, the film star is shown giggling at the sight of dogs being dumped into the bowl. This one is definitely on the weird side, but it's just plain disturbing simultaneously. The Italian-American also rode a horse to promote Japanese producer Kirin's bottled beer, but he was far from the last Hollywood personality to do so.

Harrison Ford - Kirin Lager Beer

Another well-known Hollywood actor, Harrison Ford, is seen as bankable in Japan. Also, in the mid-'90s, he joined Kirin Lager Beer as an ambassador. Kirin must have shelled out a lot of money to get Ford's clothes off at the time, as he had expanded on the success of Star Wars with the Indiana Jones franchise.

To promote Kirin, the actor once sat in a sauna with an unknown Japanese man and raced him out the door when they both became thirsty. On a beach, at a restaurant, and even in the bush, Ford is searching for Kirin while managing to speak a few words of Japanese in each location. After a few years away from the spotlight, Ford returned to Japan in 2011 to star in a bizarre ad for the PlayStation 3 game Uncharted 3. After 30 seconds, the elder actor appears to give up on the game, as seen in the commercial.

Edward Furlong - Hot Noodle

Why can't John Connor sell quick noodles like The Terminator? In the years after he co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in James Cameron's sci-fi action blockbuster, Edward Furlong has fallen to the bottom of the heap in Japan.

Because of this, Hot Noodle decided to make him the face of their product, clothing him like a little kettle, and have him dance around the edge of the cup. While playing soccer for a Japanese team in a 1992 commercial, he is watched by a female admirer—he had no shortage of them in Japan at the time.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Furlong had a brief music career in Japan, where he released two gold records. The former child star's songs were geared toward a devoted audience of young Japanese girls, but he later grew to regret that decision. His Japanese music effort was described as "the absolute antithesis of rock" by Furlong and "a horrible blunder."