Japan is no stranger to celebrity-endorsed products. Stars who ordinarily wouldn’t be seen dead in a commercial in their home country practically flock to Japan where, rather than being seen as a black mark on one’s resume, appearing in an ad can be a sign of having made it big, with companies prepared to pay top dollar to get a celebrity’s face alongside their product.
World-famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, though, was the last person we expected to see endorsing a face-toning exercise product that makes the user look like they’re devouring a frantically flapping seagull head-first…
Despite being crowned World Player of the Year and having one of the most recognisable faces on the planet, it would seem that Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is currently short of cash. That or he really, really believes in the new Facial Fitness Pao, a facial toning device which requires the user to insert it into their mouth and rapidly nod their head, making the weighted ends flap up and down like a bird’s wings.
▼ “Oh God, someone help me! She’s eating me whole!”
Appearing on both the product’s lavish homepage and in a series of ads, Ronaldo is seen posing with the Pao while wearing a huge grin and staring at it like it just told him it poops gold (which in this case it probably does…).
The ad itself begins with Ronaldo showing off his lifting skills as if to remind viewers of what he’s famous for. A screen then flashes up with the message in Japanese, “There’s just one place left that I as an athlete haven’t trained…” before the bizarre product is introduced by a bunch of trendily-dressed people seemingly having a fantastic time working out with the Pao.
Beware, dear reader, things are about to get cringe-worthy.
Mercifully, it would seem that Ronaldo drew the line at actually been seen using the product in the ad (although a GIF currently doing the rounds online shows him demonstrating it on a Japanese TV show), with the athlete simply holding and staring at the device in amazement. Still, if his endorsement has inspired you to munch a plastic seagull in the name of toning up your face, you’ll be pleased to know that the Facial Fitness Pao is available to buy now, beginning at 13,824 yen (US$135).
People tend to fall into two distinct camps when it comes to Cristiano Ronaldo: those that hate his arrogant smirk, diamond earrings and poser lifestyle, and those who think “hell, he’s earned it” and admire how much he donates to charity each year. We have a feeling those in the former camp just found a new reason to dislike him that little bit more, though…