Remember that episode of ‘Friends’ when Joey was hiding the fact that he made a Japanese commercial where he wore blue lipstick? Yeah, it was hilarious. But that actually exists in the real celebrity world. Maybe not with the blue lipstick, but actors and other Hollywood stars do indeed take their famous faces to the East and star in hilarious Japanese commercials.
Here are some of the better ones…
Brooke Shields – Lux Shampoo
Brooke Shields, the former child model, and actress who gained critical acclaim at the age of 12 for her performance in the film ‘Pretty Baby,’ became a true Hollywood icon in the ‘80s and ‘90s. But most people have no idea that the actress also appeared in a Japanese commercial while still in her prime.
In the commercial, she’s seen uncomfortably struggling with knots in her hair. That is until Lux shampoo swoops in and saves the day. Did she need to learn a word in Japanese? Not one. All she says in the ad is “Lux, super-rich” in English.
Arnold Schwarzenegger – From Noodles to Energy Drinks
There are celebs who dabble in Japanese campaigns, and then there’s Arnold Schwarzenegger. The muscle man has appeared in so many of them that he’s even been nicknamed “Schwa-chan.” He’s starred in commercials for anything from cup noodles to energy drinks. So aside from being a bodybuilder, actor, and governor of California, he also has Japanese commercials on his resume. Talk about random.
According to the news site Kotaku, it was in the 1980s and early 1990s that Schwarzenegger appeared in many cup noodle and energy drink ads. He was known as ‘Schwa-chan,’ and his catchphrase was ‘daijou-V,’ a wordplay on ‘daijoubu’ (which means ‘okay’ in Japanese).
Francis Ford Coppola – FUJI Cassettes
A hilarious moment in advertising history was when Francis Ford Coppola fell in love with a cassette tape. The whole Japanese commercial shows Coppola passionately caressing the FUJI cassette before eventually turning it to show the audience, so they can join in on loving the product as much as he does.
Those were the days, huh? When all you had to do was show love for a product. And bang! Money made. We can only imagine this being aired in the United States. And if cassette tapes were still a thing, we would probably go out and buy one. No?
Cindy Crawford – Pocari Sweat
The hugely famous and popular actress and model of the 80s and 90s also turned to Japan for some extra cash. It looks like her time on American screens just wasn’t enough for her. So Cindy starred in an advertisement for Pocari Sweat, an energy drink sold in Japan.
Strutting her stuff in gladiator style armor, Crawford shows off her sword skills, swinging around her blade while panthers and a flying dragon pass by (Game of Thrones, anyone?). The word “sweat” isn’t so appetizing to us, but this energy drink apparently gives people the power to fight off imaginary creatures.
Justin Bieber – SoftBank
Bieber is one of the most recent American celebrities to be seen in a Japanese commercial. It looks like SoftBank was looking for a teen heartthrob, and they couldn’t have made a better choice. Bieber is seen alongside Japanese YouTube star Piko Taro to promote one of the country’s leading telecommunications companies.
He’s in full traditional Japanese clothing and even tries his hand at the language, saying “Konnichiwa” right before he takes a selfie and walks into a school. Piko is one of the teachers in the school. Piko and Bieber reportedly have a long-time friendship that resulted from this commercial.