Much like the overall bizarreness commonly found in Japanese pop culture, many TV commercials in Japan are known to be chock-full of weirdness.
Local advertisers use the inexplicably odd to catch viewers’ attention similarly how ad agencies in the West use “#ex” to sell a product.
These ads, which are made to surprise, shock, laugh out loud, cringe and confuse the audience, can oftentimes be a complete assault to the senses. But in a good way.
One noteworthy example of the Japanese brilliance in advertising is the 11-part mini-series of commercials for Sakeru Gum which occasionally go viral online.
The ads carry an engaging narrative about a woman named Chi, her boyfriend Tooru, and the “Long Long Man”– an enigmatic character who loves to chew on very long gum in public.
Complete with a sexy background music reminiscent of “Careless Whisper,” each episode takes multiple twists and turns as the story progresses.
In the first ad, we are introduced to Chi and Tooru-san who were both at a park enjoying their short pieces of gum when a mysterious stranger suddenly appears. Chi’s attention was immediately captured by the Loooong, Loooooong, Maaaaaaaaaan.
The succeeding episodes will take the viewer on a special journey of love, betrayal, and redemption like a typical TV drama but mixed with unexpected scenes that would make you go “WTF, did I just watch?”