Another month is upon us and another chance to look at some of the wonderful, wacky and weird adverts featuring Asian boxers! Today we look at an advert for insoles, a drink, some hair care products and some cosmetics. Once again we see that boxers can turn up in a very diverse set of commercials.
Guts Ishimatsu - Morito insoles
We kick off with a truly bizarre one featuring one of this series' favourites Gut Ishimatsu. The commercial sees Ishimatsu and a man in a bear suit, yeah we're lost already, promoting some insoles from a company called Morito. The advert, from 1986, seems weird to say the least, but it didn't cripple the company who are still around to this day and you can actually order various Morito insoles around the globe now. Still very odd advert and one that leaves us more and more confused as to what Guts' agent was doing in the mid 1980's!
Tomomi Takano - Suuuuper Wooooman
One of the few female boxers who has managed to maintain a strong base in advertising is model come boxer Tomomi Takano. Whilst Takano might not be a world class boxer she has sensational looks which has made her very marketable. Here she is in an advert for the drink Suuuuper Wooooman. The advert is a simple one, with mostly Takano doing some training, but the product does get spoken about and seen being drank which at least helps a lot more than some other adverts we've included. Still not a great commercial but better than many featuring fighters.
Shinji Takehara - Kamatori Housing Co.
In a rather sweet commercial for Kamatori we see former WBA Middleweight champion Shinji Takehara not just running through a neighbourhood but also, seemingly, speaking at a school. The sense of togetherness and being part of something bigger works well here and those in charge of the advert have used Takehara's ability to just be a decent person really well. Maybe not the most amazing or best of adverts but it's nice to see a boxer used in an advert that just has a strong sense of sweetness like this one.
Manny Pacquiao - Head and Shoulders
In 2010 Head and Shoulders did a commercial with Manny Pacquiao where, as we often see with Pacquiao commercials, they essentially inserted him into a role that anyone could have taken, in an effort to just have the brand associated with him. The advert lacks the charm that some other Pacquiao commercial's have and it misses the mark, but given the amount of commercial's Pacquiao was in there was always going to be some stinkers. This is one of the worst, and really does feel like Pacquiao was shoe-horned in to appeal to the Filipino market.
Yuko Kuroki - Amin Cosmetics
Last month we included Yuko Kuroki's confusing commercial for Autobacs, which really left us scratching out heads. With that in mind we felt it fair to include a much better one with Kuroki this time around. Here is her advert for Amin Cosmetics. It's a much smarter advert than the autobacs on, giving a lot of different images, and proving that being pretty doesn't mean you can't be a boxer, and being a boxing shouldn't prevent you from caring about how you look. This makes a lot more sense than the Autobacs one.
When we first started doing this "5 times Asian boxers have appeared in commercials!" series we expected to have 5 or 6 articles in the series and that was that. Instead however we've managed to find a lot, lot more adverts than expected and we'll be continuing the series right through the year and in to 2021, just based on what we have in the locker already. With that said, here are another 5 commercials featuring Asian boxers.
Manny Pacquiao - San Miguel
One of the few men who we could do a special one of these features about is Manny Pacquiao. The Filipino icon is in so many commercials and they are pretty wide ranging in what they're about. One of the most constant subjects for his commercials is alcoholic beverages. Here he features alongside Jet Li in an advert for San Miguel. The advert is certainly not one where Manny does much, but Jet Li's involvement is pretty cool. A decent advert but one where Manny seems to have been massively under-utilised and put there just because he's Manny.
Guts Ishimatsu - Aviva
Another man who could have filled up his own feature in these types of articles is Guts Ishimatsu, who is a regular in these articles. Here we have one of his more mundane and dull efforts as he tries to promote Aviva. From what we understand these were shown in, or around, the year 2000 and this one is certainly not one of his better efforts. Then again the best commercials with him are really good and this was more of short promotional thing than anything too memorable.
Yoko Gushiken - Mitsubishi Colour TV's
Another Japanese legend who was in a lot of commercials was Yoko Gushiken. Here's his very advert for Mitsubishi colour TV's from around 1980. The advert features colour video of Gushiken boxing with a character from Ashita No Joe, or "Tomorrow's Joe" a popular Japanese boxing anime. This is a rare time where we would have liked a longer commercial, but it does well to sell the product. Given that colour TV's are now pretty much every where we suspect this advert was much more impactful back when it was shown, but the technological advances in 40 years do show.
Yuko Kuroki - Autobacs
One thing that is quite rare, though there are examples of it, are female boxers being featured in commercials. Here we have former female world champion Yuko Kuroki strangely being used in an advert for Autobacs tyres. That's right the cute, and adorable Kuroki was used to try and sell car tyres in what may go down as one of the most confusing and confounding ideas. Not only was she used to sell tyres but we legitimately don't understand how her actions have anything to do with the product. Crazy and almost disconnected advertising here folks...at least the jingle is good!
Gennady Golovkin - Apple Watch
To finish this months look at commercial's we have another short one, with Gennady Golovkin featuring in an advert for Apple Watch. The advert is little more Golovkin training and showing off the heart beat monitor of the watch. Yeah this is not an advert that screams "Apple Watches are amazing". Then again at least it makes a lot more sense that the Yuko Kuroki advert.
We're back again with more commercial's featuring boxers. This time is maybe the most eclectic selection so far, featuring a herbal product, a Wonderboy promoting a banking product, a Monster in his underwear and a legendary along with a monkey. Yes the world is a strange place and commercials are real oddities.
Manny Pacquiao - Tolak Angin
We kick off this months look at commercials featuring Asian boxer's by returning to the face of Asian boxing, Manny Pacquiao. Here Pacquiao is promoting a herbal supplement Tolak Angin. The product is best known for being available in Indonesia, but has spread around the globe and could be purchased in the UK from Amazon at one point. The commercial is a really basic one, but one that sadly left us wondering what on earth the product is...needing us to research it. For an advert appealing to a market who knew what the product was this is great, but those who didn't know would just be confused...as we were.
Rex Tso - Standard Chartered Balance Transfer Loan
From one of the most marketable men in Asian boxing to another, with Hong Kong star Rex Tso advertising Standard Chartered Balance Transfer Loans. Yeah we were completely lost by that idea too. The commercial does little to connect Tso to the product and appears to be more of a training video until the final seconds when we see the product details on the bottom of the screen. Yeah this is just a terrible mess of a commercial. Really bizarre.
Ryota Murata - Under Armour
Japanese star Ryota Murata is another very marketable fighter and someone who has often found himself as a face of products in Japan. One of his most notable contracts has been with sportswear company Under Armour with this being one of the many commercials for the company he has featured in. Give the previous two adverts this month at least we know what he's promoting, which is a huge improvement from the Rex Tso advert. Still it's a bit boring and little more than a training video.
Naoya Inoue - Body Wild Airz
We stay in Japan as we feature Naoya Inoue walking around in his underpants! Yup this one sees the Monster advertising some underwear in what is a short but interesting advert that clearly makes it obvious what he's advertising. An advert making the product clear seems a novel here, but it's good to see Bodywild using one of the faces of Japanese boxing to sell their product, rather than just...featuring him training.
Guts Ishimatsu - ENEOS
One of the few men who always seems to be in humorous and entertaining adverts is the legendary Guts Ishimatsu. He's in another here for ENEOS, who are an oil and energy company. We'll admit we're not totally sure on what the commercial is selling us, though it appears to be some kind of loyalty card, but in reality that hardly matters, seeing the interactions here between Ishimatsu and the Monkey is brilliant. We suspect, although we could be wrong, that part of the advert is a call back to a previous Ishimatsu advert, for Ape Escape, but even if that's not the case this is still a funny advert and much more memorable than other adverts we tend to see.
We're in the middle of another month and once again it's time to look at some commercials featuring boxers from Asia!
Rex Tso - "Heavy Hammer Grilled Iron Plate"
Hong Kong fighter Rex Tso was, at one point, among the the nation's biggest sports stars and the marketing departments of various companies knew it. As a result Tso featured in a number of adverts, one of which was this one, which we believe was for Cafe De Coral Hong Kong and their "Heavy Hammer Grilled Iron Plate", which appears to be a glorified mixed grill. According to the company the product features steak, pork, seafood sticks, sausages and soup. Not the best advert or the most interesting, but still at least it's advertising a good looking product!
Daigo Higa - "JTA"
Another rather notable name modern day name featured in a recent commercial was Daigo Higa, who stared in an advert for JTA Corporate. The advert is a very simple one focusing more on Higa than the actual company the adverts trying to promote. Supposed the advert is for Japan Transocean Air and Japan Airlines but in the end the company only really gets mentioned at the very end of the commercial. It's nice to see Higa looking happy but as a promotional video. Yeah this ain't good.
Bernabe Concepcion - "Johnson and Johnson"
It's fair to say that Bernabe Concepcion isn't the most well known fighter out there, but it's still interesting to note that he was in this very peculiar advert for Johnson and Johnson. We're not sure if Concepcion was more famous in the Philippines than we were lead to presume but it's clear they have actively selected the fighter. As for the advert it's self, it's a sweet caring one, and appeals to those who see Johnson and Johnson as a key brand of families. Odd, sure. Still a notable advert and something that we suspect few have seen.
Guts Ishimatsu - "Asahi Shinbun Digital"
There are very few fighters in as many commercials as Guts Ishimatsu. Part of that is the remarkable career change that Guts has made, going from world class boxer to professional actor. With that in mind he's in a lot of adverts, and they are pretty wide ranging in terms of products that he's affiliated with. One such advert is for the digital edition of the Asahi Shinbun. Essentially this is an advert for the online version of a Japanese newspaper...with Guts' natural charm shining through throughout.
Chris John - "Kuku Bima Ener-G!"
To end this we go to Indonesia for an energy drink advert featuring Indonesian boxing great Chris John alongside spiritual guardian Mbah Marijan. The advert was filmed close to Mount Merapi, which sadly erupted in 2010 killing Marijan. The advert seems to show John running from the volcano with thanks to the energy drunk, which shows off the various flavours of the drink. For those curios the Kuku Bima energy drinks come as powder, which needs dissolving in water.
Another month and another chance to see some adverts featuring fighters from Asia. This time we include a sportswear advert, two game adverts, a commercial for a TV service and a vehicle.
Yup we're all over the place this month!
Ryota Murata - Under Armour
Starting with the bright lights of Las Vegas we see Ryota Murata wearing some Under Armour clothing, sparring and seeming very happy at the clothing. The advert was given the name "I just want to be strong Ryota Murata" but in reality the commercial doesn't really seem to sell the product. Sure the brand and it's logo is flashed a lot on the screen but unless you're a Japanese speaker our feeling is the concept of this advert falls somewhat short.
Guts Ishimatsu - Drift Spirits
This one is a very short one, at just 15 seconds, but is one that just makes us wonder what was going through everyone's mind when they came up with the idea. The commercial has former Lightweight champion Guts Ishimatsu dressed like a thumb with a steering wheel. And the thumb looks a little bit like a different body part. The advert is for a phone video game called Drift Spirits, and the games looks alright here, but it's Guts that steals the show in bizarre advert.
Yoko Gusiken - NTT
Whilst seeing Guts Ishimatsu as a thumb is entertaining, and easily the most interesting of the adverts here, we have to give Yoko Gushiken credit for all the work he's done in promoting things as well. Here he's advertising a TV service in Japan along with a Feisty young lady throwing combinations on the mitts with him. The CS and BS you see mentioned in the advert are the two satellite systems in Japan, with NTT offering both. Interestingly the eagle eared among you will maybe even recognise the music used here , it's "Conquistador" by Maynard Ferguson, the same track that Gushiken used for his ring walk music.
Koki Kameda - Pigg Fishing
If you thought Guts Ishimatsu being in a commercial for a video game was odd, here's one with Koki Kameda advertising some other game. This advert just looks terrible and poor Kameda seemed confused through out. Really not sure what's going on here, but the game looks absolutely terrible and Kameda's acting doesn't look much better than the game. Absolute no idea how to play the game, but it looks like a really poor social sim type thing with some fishing in it.
Tae Shik Kim - Saehan Motor Elf
Another short one to finish off as we look at a 1979 advert featuring former WBA Flyweight world champion Tae Shik Kim advertising a Saehn Motor Elf. Yeah the product sounds a bit naff in terms of it's name and the advert is old, and in black and white, but we can't help but love the music in use here and just and just how old this really is! It's over 40 years old...and it looks it!
So this is the 4th in our mini series looking at Asian boxers in commercials and today we do a special looking at 5 adverts that were based around food and drink, and trust there's more of these for future editions of this series. In fact it appears food and drink is probably the #1 subject for Asian fighters to advertise!
Joichiro Tatsuyoshi - Stir Fried Beef
Whilst we said food and drink was the #1 subject for Asian fighters to be involved in commercials for, we didn't say they were all good, and that's obvious here in a 1994 advert featuring Japanese icon Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. For those saw edition 2 of this series you should be aware Tatsuyoshi didn't do a great Nissan commercial, and this wasn't any better. For a guy who oozed natural charisma his adverts were terrible.
Takanori Hatakeyama - Kirin Beer
We like beer! Do you like beer? It seems that Takanori Hatakeyama likes beer! Here we see the popular Hatakeyama bringing in the laundry before the rain begins and enjoying a can of Kirin lager afterwards. This is simple, slightly comedic and essentially void of dialogue. Not the best advert but still an interesting look at Japanese commercials circa 2001...they typically weren't great.
Ryota Murata - Pork miso soup
As we've seen already some Japanese food adverts were awful, though in fairness there does seem to be a bit more polish to this Ryota Murata advert for some a Sukiya product, in fact a soup set. It's not an amazing advert but compared to the two above, it works much better in selling the product, with the product clearly on view.
Guts Ishimatsu - Sweet Gum
When a former boxer has legitimate acting roles you tend to think they can work a commercial, and Guts Ishimatsu can certain work commercials. He's been in a lot of them including this one for a sweet gum. The veteran is a natural on camera and the advert not only looks professional and works and also has a comedic element. A really solid advert for...gum... Nothing amazing, but solid.
Manny Pacquiao - Uni-Pak Sardines
Whilst Guts Ishimatsu has been in a lot of commercials, we believe that Filipino great Manny Pacquiao has been in more, and we mean a lot more. They vary in quality and humour, but the Filipino marketing teams know what they are doing with the "Pacman". Here we have an advert for Uni-Pak Sardines, and this probably the best of the food and drink adverts on this list, with Pacquiao and friends enjoying the sardines. It's light-hearted, it's silly and it's got Pacquiao not taking himself too seriously.
We bring another in our mini-series of commercials featuring boxers, and here we have an interesting mix of legends bringing us a very varied variety of products and quality of commercials.
Manny Pacquiao - Hennessy
Filipino great Manny Pacquiao was in so many adverts that it was clear some of them would be complete stinkers. We think this one for Hennessy isn't a good one. The product isn't featured at all until the final few frames and it tells us little about the product. The sense of fun Pacquiao pokes at himself in most of his adverts is gone and the whole commercial just takes it's self way too seriously.
Manny Pacquiao and Chris John - Kuku Bima Ener-G
From an overly serious advert with Manny Pacquiao to one featuring Pacquiao and Chris John selling an energy drink with tigers and dragons. This is much more the style of silly commercial we are used to seeing from Pacquiao, and it really tries to sell the product. This is a commercial that isn't taking it's self seriously and uses the people involved pretty well. We've never tried the product but on the back of this we'd like to.
Guts Ishimatsu - Ape Escape
Manny Pacquiao isn't the only Asian boxer featured in a lot of commercials. Another is Guts Ishimatsu, who's adverts really are varied from food to subscription services to video games! Here's his advert for popular Playstation video games Ape Escape, featuring Ishimatsu, and his acting chops, and a giant Ape.
Hiroki Ioka - Top Boy
Western readers will be well ahead of "Head and Shoulders" and it appears there's a Japanese product that is similar, combining Shampoo and Conditioner. That is Top Boy. Here we have a 1988 advert featuring Hiroki Ioka trying to sell the product. This is one of those commercials where the subject matter seems to come second to the people involved in what is a real 80's advert. A little camp, a little garish ans certainly not something that would help sell the product in this day and age.
Yoko Gushiken - Ishigaki Memorial Park
Someone who has done quite a lot of adverts over the years is Japanese legend Yoko Gushiken. Sometimes they really don't make the most of his ability to catch the eye, but this one does, as we see a lot of Gushiken, or is that Gushiken's, singing and trying to entice people to Ishigaki Memorial Park. This is silly, daft, and shows Gushiken having some fun. A simple but effective commercial!
After having had fun in January with our first look at boxer's in commercials we've decided to make it a mini-series. Today we look at 5 more featuring fighters from Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, including some genuine legends of the sport...and someone who wasn't such a big legend.
Tomomi Takano - Laudarin'
We started the first one of these with a Tomomi Takano advert for a kitchen spray so we though we should show Takano in another advert, this time for a fabric softener...yeah Japan should be ashamed, and so should the guys watching this one multiple times. We'll admit it made us somewhat interested in the product and we found out Takano actually did two adverts for the company, this one and one with her in a dress heading for a night out.
Joichiro Tatsuyoshi - Nissan
As the biggest name in Japanese boxing for much of the 1990's we were surprised to not find a lot of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi adverts. What we did find was an anti-bullying message, after the fighter had been bullied as a child, this short advert for Nissan from 1995 and one other, for a beef product. It really is odd how little marketers seemed to use the charismatic Osaka.
Koichi Wajima - Boxer's Road 2: The Real
One thing we never expected to come across was a Koichi Wajima advert for a video game, especially not in the 00's when Wajima was into his 60's! But here were are with Wajima being featured in an advert for a PSP game "Boxer's Road 2: The Real". The game was a boxing game featuring over 100 professional fighters and 77 gyms. Sadly the game doesn't appear to have made the jump over to the West, but you never maybe Boxer's Road 3 could do so, with the attention the Japanese scene is now getting...we can hope right!
Chris John - Extra Joss
One man who was in a lot of adverts in Indonesia was Chris John, in fact he was in a lot with Manny Pacquiao. Here is John trying to show the effects of Extra Joss. From a quick glance on wikipedia Extra Joss is a health drink, that is typically sold in powder form, and required the addition and was originally aimed at the less economically well off in Indonesia, hence coming as a powder.
Manny Pacquiao - HP Touchpad
We've just mentioned that Chris John did a number of commercials with Manny Pacquiao, and here's one Manny did by himself. In fact the sheer number of commercials Pacquiao did could have filled a number of these articles by himself, and they are incredibly varied ranging from shoe stores to drinks, to sardines to this, for the HP Touchpad. This sees the Filipino legend poking fun at himself a little whilst also showing off the product. Simple but effective.
Today we want to take a look at something different to usual. There is, after all, a real lack of actual fights taking place right now and whilst we are chomping at the bit to talk about in ring action there's not a lot of it to talk about. There doesn't appear to be much being announced either and we're sort of sat an impasse until the year kicks off properly.
With that in mind we've decided to look at some out of the ring work some fighters have done in recent years, and look at how some fighters have kept themselves in the minds of fans between fights. Here we look at 5 commercials featuring fighters from Asia. Whilst some of these are for relatively obscure local companies others are for international giants.
Tomomi Takano - Kitchen Punch
Japanese fighter Tomomi Takano is one of the most marketable looking fighters in the history of the sport. Incredibly easy on the eye, with looks that will instantly get peoples attention. She has been in a host of commercials over the years but the one that intrigued us the most was this one for "Kitchen Punch", which...certainly could raise questions in the political correct West about the "women in the kitchen" stereotype. Still it's an amusing advert, features a woman who should have been in far more adverts, and the item they are selling has punch in it's name. Clever from those involved!
Rex Tso - Nike
This 2017 Nike advert features a man who was, at one point, the face of Hong Kong sport. Rex Tso was involved in a lot of adverts, he seemed to be linked to almost every major Hong Kong company from Hauwei to HongKongBroadbandNetwork and even the Hong Kong International airport. Here though we see him being featured in a 2017 advert for Nike.
One odd thing about Tso's adverts is there was quite a few where he knocked down as a boxer, perhaps not helping the star of your advert look good here folks!
Nonito Donaire - McDonald's
One fighter who has always been willing to poke fun at himself has been Nonito Donaire, and he has been in a number of adverts for various products over the years. Here we share an old advert of a much younger looking Donaire helping promote McDonalds in the Philippines...maybe this is how he made the move Featherweight!
Koki Kameda - Snickers
We've all seen some form of the "You're not you when you're hungry" adverts that have done a world of good for Snicker's. What you may not have known is they did something similar in Japan. One of the Japanese adverts featured a Karaoke setting and Koki Kameda. This is one where you don't need to know the language to know exactly what the commercial is doing.
Daisuke Naito - Haseko Corporation
It only makes sense to from a commercial with Koki Kameda that makes complete and utter sense to everyone to a Daisuke Naito advert that has us scratching our heads at what is going on. This commercial features a smiling singing Naito, along with a lot of other people, in an advert that has us wondering whether this was actually a success or not
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features