Article: Top 10 Japanese Commercials Starring Hollywood Celebs

Hollywood actors starring in overseas commercial ads were a common and often accepted concept in the ’80s and ‘90s. No internet, no exposure, and money for making ads could be the concern, but Japanese brands reached their peak in their nationality. Various actors have endorsed different categories of brands. Some have drunk many beverages, and some have just said the product name. The brand and the celeb’s faces go hand-in-hand in this commercial world.

1. Tommy Lee Jones, Boss Coffee

He is an American actor and film director, well-known for his portrayals in movies like- The Fugitive, Men in Black, U.S.Marshals, etc. Tommy Lee has appeared in various Japanese ad campaigns and vending machines all over Japan since 2006. Cannes hot coffee brand ‘Boss Coffee’ of Suntory ((beverage company) is endorsed by Tommy Lee. It has shown a series of commercials where Lee is the alien undertaking multiple jobs on earth observing human life and, in the end, drinking coffee from the can.


2. Nicolas Cage, Sankyo Fever 

He advertised for Sankyo, a Japanese company manufacturing Pachinko machines. Nicholas Cage, Nicolas Kim Coppola originally is an American actor and film producer, and his best work lies in Leaving Las Vegas, receiving Academy Award. Other actions and blockbuster movies are Nicholas's genre in the industry. Sankyo Fever was a Miscellaneous game introduced for which Nicholas endorsed. Maybe it was Nicholas’s charm replaced by the Fever!


3. Brad Pitt, Softbank

Hardly there is a chance of not knowing Brad Pitt and the Japanese brand Softbank. Once upon a time,  Brad Pitt worked for brands like Softbank, Japan’s largest telecommunication network. At that time, Brad did a lot of commercials for Softbank cell phones, but one of the most memorable remains is a personal assistant of a Sumo wrestler. Brad Pitt also is seen in a campaign for a beverage brand ‘Root,’ rolling as an office worker.


4. Arnold Schwarznegger, V Energy Drink

He is an Austrian-American actor, film producer, former bodybuilder and governor of California, and a businessman. Arnold has done significant blockbusters like The terminator, Total recall, Twins, Predator, etc. Kowa Coffee, Cup of Nissin instant noodles, and Alinamin V energy drink are the notable brands Arnold gave his face to, ‘V energy’ drink ads are the most viral ones. He has also been for commercials like grocery store ramen and canned coffee drinks.


5. Bruce Willis, Kowa coffee

Having a presence in Hollywood as an actor in many movies and tv shows, Bruce Willis has endorsed in Japan’s Softbank ad. This brand has many Hollywood brand ambassadors starring in their campaigns, and one of them happens to be Bruce Willis acting as a Doremon. Daihatsu Mira, Kowa Coffee was also promoted by Bruce, speaking Japanese in the campaigns.


6. Harrison Ford, Kirin Beer

Kirin Beer, the Japanese brand, made Harrison hike near a volcano,  dine in a sushi restaurant, and take steam and some adventurous stunts on screen for their commercial. Harrison Ford is rich in the memorable movies he gave. He has an ‘Indiana Jones 5’ movie upcoming in 2023. Kirin is a Japanese beverage company and a member of the Mitsubishi group (an independent Japanese multinational company).


7. Madonna, Sake- The Whiskey 

Madonna, the Queen of pop, the musical star of America, has endorsed n number of international brands. She entered the Japanese commercial business and filmed for many Japanese brands. One of the famous ad commercials is for the ‘Sake- The whiskey’ brand, for which madonna wrote a jingle and starred on screen for the brand. He endorsed in Mitsubishi ads, Takara June Legend commercials, skincare brands, and food and drink commercials. She has had her game on since the 1990s in Japanese commercials.


8. Britney Spears

An American Singer and songwriter acted in two Japanese commercials. Britney Spear has done an ad for GO GO Tea (G, G, Tea), showing off her dance move in Pink & Blue costumes. The second one is a 1999 commercial for Japanese Suki Candy. Britney, in a plane, is dancing around, eating Suki candy, and offering the bodyguard candy and some dance moves. She speaks Japanese in the ad.


9. John Travolta, Tokyo Drink (Shochu)

The commercial series is all dance, song, and fun. John Travolta dances off with the Tokyo drink can in his hands, ending the commercial with graphics. Travolta is known for many hits, including the most famous Pulp Fiction film but started with television sitcoms. About the Tokyo Drink, shochu is the original name, a distilled beverage in japan. The drink ascended the fame after the commercial with the title, ‘Tokyo Drink.’


10. Hugh Jackman, Lipton Ice Tea, Toyota Commercial

Hugh Jackman had a dance routine in the Lipton Ice Tea commercial. Saying Drink Positive, Hugh dances all over the resort in a flash mob scene. The ad did get viral by the fans to date. Hugh is an Australian actor and had his big break after The Wolverine and X-Men-like films.