It’s not unheard of to have big western stars appearing in adverts in Japan, and in this case it’s Hugh Jackman appearing in a Toyota Commercial Whats interesting about this particular case of Japanese use of a western celebrity is that Hugh Jackman speaks Japanese. Something often avoided due to their horrible foreign accent. And in Hugh Jackman’s case, probably should have stuck with not talking. In the commercial linked above, the advert includes two huge Japanese celebrities, Kimura and Takeshi play historical figures Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, reincarnated in modern Japan. They are reminiscing about the old 16th century Japan and how it was like trading with Europeans when Hugh Jackman pops up and startles the two by saying that “That’s the golden country, Jipangu, for you!”.
And Here is Hugh Jackman Singing
Hugh Jackman sings a song while drives along the coast in a hybrid Crown sedan by Andrew W.K. called ‘Kiseki’. Then an English version of ‘Ano Subarashii Ai o Mou Ichido’ by Greeen that also happens to be the title theme for a childish school-based anime called Nichijou. Why he sings it in a car advert I have no idea.
Other recent events of Western celebrities appearing in Japanese commercials include Tommy Lee Jones as a spokesman for Suntory BOSS Coffee, his face is actually all over Japan on vending machines and even some cans of Suntory coffee, next to the slogan ‘BOSS’. Bruce Willis sleeping with some sort of weird energy gun under his pillow for Eneos card and Charlie Sheen for Tokyo Gas. Thankfully these celebrities aren’t talking much in Japanese. But it just goes to show what kind of money the Japanese companies are putting behind their advertising and how influential western media is in Japan.