Another month is here and we get another chance to dip into the subject of boxers being involved in commercials and adverts. As people familiar with this series will know, this isn't something to take too seriously but is a bit of fun and a chance to see fighters in some interesting roles outside of the ring.
Guts Ishimatsu - Ricoh Printer
A show on to kick off with but one featuring a favourite of this series, former Lightweight world champion Guts Ishimatsu. Ishimatsu was involved numerous adverts, having a long post-boxing career as an actor and talent, and one of his many assignments was Ricoh Printers, featuring in two Ricoh Printer adverts. This one sees Ishimatsu walking in to an office with a before some confused looking colleagues. We're sure the advert makes sense to those able to speak Japanese but to us, it's just amusing to see Ishimatsu, once again, showing brilliant presence on screen and being involved in a humourus role.
Tomomi Takano - Christian & Co
Another regular in this series is female fighter Tomomi Takano, who had the natural aura to draw eyes and attention to anything she was promoting. That's seen here in an advert for Christian and Co. The advert is very modern, very basic and a bit boring if we're being honest, yet it's almost impossible to look away from Takano who really does act as the main factor in an overly artsy commercial. This is very style over substance, and is supposedly the "simple version" of the advert, suggesting there is a more complex version out there, despite us not yet coming across it.
Manny Pacquiao - Anta
Another boxer who has been in numerous commercials over the years is Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao, who has put his face to pretty much everything and anything. Here is a commercial he filmed for Anta Sports Products entitled "I am a Fighter". The entire video focuses more on Pacquiao and his career than the product he's selling, which is a bit strange. In fact almost the entire advert is based on Pacquiao with Anta barely getting an actual mention in the video. Very odd for the brand awareness if we're being honest.
Gennady Golovkin - GGG Energy Drink
Kazakh boxer Gennady Golovkin is undeniably the greatest professional boxer from Kazakhstan so far. He's also the only one to have an energy drink emblazoned with his his name, or rather his initials. Sadly the advert here is a very weird one being mostly training with the energy drink coming at the very end of the video. We understand the idea behind it, with the energy drink fuelling Golovkin's great training, but it very much feels like a missed opportunity and it would have made more sense to push the product at the start of the video, or during the middle of it, rather than flash it at the end of the advert for a few seconds.
Katsunari Takayama - BODYMAKER
We suspect long term fans of Japanese boxing will remember the "Bodymaker Colosseum", and that was a deal where sports where company Bodymaker bought the naming rights for the Osaka Prefectural Gymansium for a number of years. Bodymaker also had a number of notable athletes promoting their clothing, such as Katsunari Takayama, who featured in a number of commercials for them. They included this very basic one of him sprinting in their clothing as part of one of his work outs. Again a very simple advert, but one where we at least see the brand's logo during the advert as well as at the end. We can at least understand what Bodymaker are here, even if the advert isn't the most artistic one out there.
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.
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!
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