It is no secret that Japan is always looking for the next Hollywood celebrity to endorse a new product, but poking fun at the fact that they do is definitely something new. With the latest ad campaign for Daihatsu’s new e:S (pronounced “ee-esu”), the Toyota-owned company has selected Bruce Willis to be the face of their latest vehicle. Just as in his home country of America, Bruce Willis is most known for his over-the-top “Die Hard” series character and has enjoyed his popularity in Japan for decades. From gas station ads, to cosmetics, Bruce has had a long history with Japan and has finally made the jump to Toyota’s Kei Class sub-brand with comical effect.
In the new ad series, Bruce Willis is shown flying to Japan, while a less-than-interested brand manager mutters endlessly about how the new car does not need to be endorsed by a celebrity. Highlighting the car’s amazing fuel-efficiency (about 70 mpg/ 30 lpr) and affordability, the manager speaks on how the car can sell itself and briefs Bruce on how to approach promoting it in a supporting role. In typical foreigner fashion, Bruce butchers everything from the pronunciation to timing as the director and manager shake their head in disbelief off camera.
The entire series’ play on the “American actor on Japanese TV” is perfectly executed in a way that lets everyone in on the ridiculous nature in which celebrity-endorsed products are advertised in Japan. The car itself is interesting enough to take a look at, but at the end of the day Bruce steals the show.