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This Japanese Febreze ad looks a bit like the start of a kaiju movie 【Video】

Before moving to Japan, I always liked to imagine that Japanese TV shows would be a cross between Takeshi’s Castle and Iron Chef. In reality, television here is far less entertaining, and seems to consist predominantly of carefully orchestrated panel shows and broadcasts which are so plastered with gaudy graphics and subtitles that I often feel as if I’m reading more than I’m watching when I sit in front of my TV set.

Thankfully, Japan’s primetime ads are usually far more quirky and entertaining. Take this recent commercial for odour-removal spray Febreze, for example, which features a giant, gurning sun dual-wielding bottles of the stuff.

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New Nintendo 3DS ad flaunts the incoming console’s spiffy new features 【Video】

With just a few weeks to go until its launch in Japan, Nintendo has begun streaming an introductory ad for its new, analogue nub-toting 3DS.

Check out the video in full after the jump.

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Ryoko Shinohara’s smouldering lingerie ad is a Triumph【Video】

As we saw last week, Japan has some marvellously eccentric ads. But sometimes it’s best not to mess with an old tried-and-tested formula. So while lingerie company Triumph International does its bit for the “WTF Japan” cause by occasionally launching concept bras with solar panels and detachable chopsticks, they also pride themselves on making (regular, non-weird) gorgeous lingerie! Hurrah!

And with this ad for the ‘Tenshi no bra’, a 50th anniversary design from Triumph, they haven’t gone far off the underwear commercial beaten track. That’s right, reader: it’s a beautiful woman in her underwear.

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Real-life Fruit Ninja! Watch Isao Machii slice up flying fruit like a boss 【Video】

They call him ‘The Modern-Day Samurai’. Master swordsman Isao Machii can slice a BB gun pellet in mid-air. He holds four World Records for swordsmanship – so what’s he doing slicing up fruit in this ad for Toaster Strudels?

It’s still a cool video, though, as he slices his way through watermelons and pineapples at lightning speed. Join us after the jump for a look at this “live action fruit ninja” vid. What would Gretchen Weiners’s father think?

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Toyota’s dance craze contest invites you to Wakudoki your way to Tokyo【Video】

Japan is famous for its quirky and original commercials, and Toyota is a strong player in the constant provision of video-based weird Japanese ad-tertainment. This summer’s offering is the wakudoki, a song and dance routine performed by techno-pop outfit World Order. With some tribespeople. Oh yes, and a dancing gorilla.

It’s weird, wonderful, and we can’t stop watching!

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Cristiano Ronaldo is endorsing one of Japan’s weirdest ever beauty products 【Video】

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…

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Sony’s summer PlayStation Vita ads are all about growing up【Video】

We’re already well into the school summer holidays here in Japan, and Sony is taking the opportunity to entice younger gamers over to its decidedly more grown-up portable console, the PlayStation Vita. Join us after the jump for a closer look at these cheeky ads from Sony’s summer campaign.

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Microsoft’s cringeworthy new Surface ad makes Japan squirm in unison

Anyone who’s watched more than a smidgen of Japanese TV will tell you that the line between “appropriately heartwarming” and “so cheesy you want to tear your eyeballs out” is drawn in a different place in this country. It can seem like every exchange in a Japanese drama is overly emotionally charged. Why are the actor’s reactions so exaggerated? Does it really have to rain every time someone is sad? And why is there someone running through the streets frantically in every single episode? I have grown to love J-drama’s clichés and warm heart, but still occasionally regard Japanese acting as perplexingly over-done.

It’s heartening to discover, then, that a series of spectacularly cringe-inducing ads for Microsoft’s Surface tablets have been widely panned in Japan, as the nation screams, “Stop! You’re hurting my ears!” in one voice. Let’s take a look at this awkward new advertisement in all its glory.

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“Racist” Air France geisha poster prompts satirical home-made fixes

Air France has come under fire this week after its latest promotional ad campaign, which consists of a series of 18 photos featuring mostly caucasian women dressed and made up to represent countries the airline serves, depicts Japan as the land of giant-haired geisha.

It’s hardly the most offensive ad ever – and it’s certainly better than ANA’s big-nosed white men commercial from earlier this year – but critics are calling for it to be pulled, with many suggesting that it is “stereotypically racist” and in poor taste. Fortunately, net users were on hand to “fix” Air France’s photos, and make them that little bit more Japanese…

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George Clooney appears in Kirin beer ad, sounds a bit like Batman when he speaks Japanese

As we’ve seen before, Hollywood stars who ordinarily wouldn’t be seen dead in a commercial in their homeland for fear of damaging their reputation as a serious actor aren’t quite so shy when it comes to commercials in Japan. With Japanese companies eager to push stacks of cash stars’ way in exchange for endorsing their products, occasionally a big-name actor will pop up on billboards over the famous Shibuya scramble intersection and on primetime TV.

This week, smirking silver fox George Clooney follows in Leonardo DiCaprio‘s footsteps by lending his face to a Japanese commercial, in this case one for Kirin Brewery Company’s Green Label brand of beer. Clooney is no stranger to ads even at home, but Kirin’s commercial – which sees the actor painting a house and communicating with a small bird – is kind of an odd one, partly because it doesn’t have an awful lot to do with beer, and partly because, to our ears at least, Clooney appears to be channeling Christian Bale’s Batman for his single word of Japanese dialogue.

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“Are you married yet?” – Chinese ad attempts to guilt-trip young women into trying the knot

Chinese dating company Baihe.com has taken the unusual step of producing an ad that attempts to guilt-trip young women into marriage. In it, an elderly woman who is steadily inching closer to death pesters her granddaughter to find a man and tie the knot, constantly asking, “Are you married yet?”

Eventually – and we swear we’re not making this up – the troubled young woman resolves that she should stop “being picky” and decides to marry right away.

The full WTF? video after the jump.

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World-famous actress Maggie Q warns rich Chinese men that shark fin soup just isn’t cool

Unlike numerous other animal rights groups, non-governmental organisation WildAid aims to combat the problem of illegal wildlife trade – most notably the killing of sharks for their fins, elephants and rhinos for their precious ivory, and tigers for their skins – by attacking the problem at its source: the people whose money encourages it. The group’s message is simple: “When the buying stops, the killing can too.”

With the help of numerous high-profile figures like footballer David Beckham and even Britain’s Prince William, WildAid puts pressure on the people providing the demand for these “luxury” items. This week, world-famous actress, animal rights campaigner and, in our opinion, full-time babe Maggie Q appeared in the group’s newest commercial, which aired in China. The ad, titled “Impress”, aims to dissuade wealthy Chinese from eating shark fin soup, with Maggie telling both her date and TV-watching China that although there are many ways to impress a woman, shark fin soup is definitely not one of them.

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11 unique advertisements found in the trains of Japan

If you’ve ever had the experience of riding in a train in Japan, there’s no doubt you noticed the carriage advertisements that cover the doors, windows, walls, and ceiling. There are even television screens above the doors showing silent versions of popular television commercials. With so many ads constantly shoved in the faces of thousands of commuters, advertising companies have to be extremely creative. Here are 11 hanging train advertisements that manage to stand out amongst the clutter.

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Honda’s cool new “Hands” video just made our day

It may be just a bit of clever PR, but this video released by Japan’s Honda Motor Company earlier this week, simply titled “Hands”, is one of the coolest shorts we’ve seen in a long time.

Beginning with the line “Let’s see what curiosity can do,” the video treats us to a look at some of the company’s creations past, present and future, all in the form of sleight of hand tricks, topped off with a generous helping of computer-generated magic. Check out the full video after the jump.

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McDonald’s Japan’s “Dancing McCrew” Video is Catchy, Surreal 【Video】

There are part-time jobs, and then there are jobs at McDonald’s. Despite recent concerns that the fast food chain’s management is steadily losing the plot, McDonald’s Japan continues to throw promotion after ad after promotion in its customers’ direction. This time, the golden arches is running a special recruitment ad that tells the story of two young men who are suddenly transformed into members of the team which, it turns out, has a penchant for dance.

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Presenting: RocketNews24’s First Ever Commercial

That’s right, kids, we’ve hit the big leagues. And it’s all thanks to you. Sure, we began in a tiny one-room office in Shinjuku, bickering with each other about elbow space, missing pencils and who had been using the communal coffee without putting a five yen coin in the jar beside it, but thanks to our wonderful readers and the attention of the Internet masses in general, we’re now a fully fledged news beast stationed in a swanky high-rise where we rub shoulders with some of Japan’s greatest innovators and creative geniuses.

To mark the occasion, we’ve just put the finishing touches to our new commercial, featuring none other than reporter extraordinaire Mr. Sato, and a tremendously catchy jingle. The full video — plus a special bonus version — after the jump!

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Ads in Tokyo Stations for Western Horror Movie Deemed “Too Scary” for Japan’s Commuters

Stroll through any of Tokyo’s larger train stations this week and you’ll inevitably come face to face with the vision of a disheveled teenage girl, trapped behind a layer of glass crying for your help.

As part of the promotional campaign for “multi-layered” horror movie Cabin (released in the west in 2012 as The Cabin in the Woods), a series of frightening advertisements is currently being displayed on 160 screens across 14 stations in and around the Tokyo area. For many, though, the ads were simply too scary, and an advertising standards agency has made the unusual step of asking for them to be toned down.

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Your Japanese TV Commercial Favourites, All Under One Funky Beat

I think I’ve just found my new favourite YouTube channel.

Thanks to a tip-off from an awesome RocketNews24 reader, I’ve discovered Eclectic Method; audio-visual remix masters and providers of horribly funky beats, whether the sampled videos were intended for musical enjoyment or not.

The video that pulled me in, however, was the group’s fantastic Japanese TV commercial remix…

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New Playstation 3 Commercial Packs a Nasty Little Surprise, Small Children Now Wary of Plastic Boxes

Just before this year’s Tokyo Game Show, Sony lifted the lid on its newly-modelled Playstation 3 console.

While many of us were hoping for even a tiny snippet of news on the next generation of consoles, Sony is still busy squeezing the few last drops of juice out of its multi-million-selling game machine, and, in an effort to cut production costs and shift a few more units before going next-gen, has somehow managed to shave a few more inches off the console’s size, giving it a facelift in the process.

Eager to show off their newest toy, a brand new ad campaign for the console hit Japanese TV late last week, drawing consumers’ attention to the machine’s snazzy new lines and bragging about its smaller size.

And then something a little bit unexpected happens. Read More

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