One of the more enjoyable aspects to living in Japan is the constant stream of entertaining TV commercials, and I love seeing what random “CM” (as TV commercials are called here) will come up next. Japan’s advertisers are good at getting your attention, whether it’s through dance routines with business-suited salarymen singing about stomach medicine or cute idols dressed as panda bears while they talk about insurance — the randomness is one way they break through all the noise. Companies hire popular faces like AKB48 or Kyary Pamyu Pamyu to promote their products, and if they can find a way to put cats in an advertisement, they will, like the popular ad that features cats eating at a “conveyor belt sushi” restaurant with plates of cat food instead of sushi. In addition to being less “talky” than American TV commercials — often an ad will show a car being driven with no words other than a beautiful woman shouting the car’s name as it zooms past — I believe Japanese advertisers try to show more honesty. For example, an ad for toothpaste will show CG imagery of a toothbrush sweeping away 98% of the food stuck on your teeth but will always leave a tiny amount behind, to avoid making a claim of 100% effectiveness.
TV commercials in Japan are always entertaining.