Two Ads I Like and One I Don’t – Hiroaki Adachi

Is Japan considered a curious and weird strange country looking in from abroad? Or is it depicted as charming and attractive?

The Japanese have a peculiar way of communicating. From a foreigner’s point of view, it may feel as if the conversation is performed by using telepathy. It requires the ability to grasp the meaning from context and read between lines, similar to haiku-poems. It is considerably difficult for foreigners to understand, as they might find the means of communication strange and even a little troublesome.

I was born and raised in Osaka. Osaka, a city that developed into a town of merchants, has a unique culture. I am not exaggerating when I say that the unique Osaka ads, with which I was so familiar since I was very young, have formed me into who I am today.


I would like to introduce my favorite ads, but as I explained earlier, it may be difficult to understand because of the Japanese uniqueness and the Osaka essence it contains, but once you understand it, it becomes very amusing. For those who are interested, please try living in Osaka. For at least 3 years (lol). However, I am not in Osaka at the moment.

That became quite a long introduction. I hereby introduce two ads I like, and one I don’t.

Two Ads I Like

【金鳥 不快害虫 ままごとシリーズ】 (Kincho Pest Control Campaign)

Many of the commercials from Kincho are planned out in the Osaka dialect, even though they were broadcast nationwide. There have been a lot of great ads that have not changed for decades that are interesting, well recognized and functional.

Amongst these, this Kincho commercial is rather simple, but I think it is a masterpiece as I find myself laughing with its surrealism and, on a subconscious level, it makes me want to share it with others.


【サントリーBOSS 宇宙人ジョーンズ】 (Suntory BOSS – Alien Jones)

Hollywood actors often appear in Japanese commercials. Tommy Lee Jones has played in the Suntory BOSS Canned Coffee Commercials for more than 10 years now. The target for these canned coffee Commercials is mostly Factory Workers and Laborers. Jones is portrayed as an alien who comes to Earth to do research, and he’s performing all kinds of jobs. And these mixed stories in all these different areas attract the audience. It’s a series I don’t want to ever end.

One I Don’t Like

自民党2019「新時代」】 (#LDP2019 – “New Era”)

I think the worst thing that can happen in advertising is for people to ignore it. I think that advertising that is disliked, compared to advertising that is ignored, is at least serving some purpose. In that sense, there are no ads that I really really hate.

However, there are some advertisements that I find unacceptable and this is one of them. This is a commercial made by the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan in 2019. They show children talking about their dreams, which are far from the actual policy of the LDP (in my opinion). I don’t want them to create ads that use children without their own clear policies.

This became a long article, but thank you for reading until the end.


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