10 Weirdest Sports Commercials from Around the World
In the hopes of selling sports drinks, soda and air conditioners, foreign ad executives have gone some bizarre routes.
Perhaps people from the countries where these commercials came from are understanding some nuance that we’re missing.
Or maybe they’re just crazy commercials.
As you might expect, Japan has provided a healthy portion of these.
An overweight Power Ranger, a talented squirrel and a stoic ice cream all star in the most out-there, nonsensical and enthralling sports-related ads floating around.
10. Ben Stiller-Kirin
A litany of perplexing choices went into making this commercial.
For starters, a Japanese soda company decides to reach its audience by using American football, which is—what, the 39th most popular sport over there?
I’m also stumped for a possible connection between Ben Stiller and football.
If they were to go with an American actor, how about one who’s been in a football movie? Adam Sandler apparently doesn’t turn roles down, so he could have been good.
Perhaps they thought no one could be as sprightly as Stiller.
Since he knew they’d be dubbing his voice anyway, do you think Ben Stiller just said a bunch of gibberish?
9. Kobe vs. Jay Chou
This spot features China’s biggest pop singer turned movie star, Jay Chou.
Chou sells out concerts, makes hit movies and gets teenage girls to scream until their voices fade.
Is he a good basketball player?
Only in his movie Kung-Fu Dunk, and only when he drinks Sprite.
I assume it’s considered traveling when you cut to the basket on a skateboard.
But Kobe’s the type of guy who doesn’t call little things like that, especially when they all have more serious things to worry about, like that approaching tidal wave, even if it does have a delicious lemon-lime flavor.
If you thought drinking Gatorade made you better at sports, you should definitely try Carlsberg’s sports drink called Sport.
If it can turn a squirrel into Messi, think what it can do for you.
It’s amazing how much money they must have put into this CGI squirrel. The short meeting to decide the product name might have made up for the cost, though.
“So what’s this drink?”
“It’s for sport.”
“Great, we’ll call it that.”
7. Kareem/Pele/Andretti-Atari 2600
Latin America brings us this Atari commercial, where famous athletes become test subjects.
Does Mario Andretti think a blue thingy zipping around a bunch of pixels accurately simulates the experience of high-pressure racing?
Not at all, but he sure looks like he’s having fun.
After watching this, I’m left with a few unanswered questions.
Why do they need to wear their uniforms while playing the video games? Why does Kareem’s dubbed voice sounds like an old ship captain who drinks too much?
Why is Pelé not angered by his virtual team exploding on the screen?
6. Giant Baba-Ice Cream
Giant Baba was, in many ways, the Japanese Hulk Hogan.
For decades, he was a major pro wrestling star in Japan.
Like Hogan, Baba’s stardom took him beyond the ring. Here it lands him an ice cream commercial.
Any ad where an ice cream is wearing glasses and a tie is going to be weird.
Throw in a behemoth of a wrestler who mutters but one line and some dinky music, and the oddness is elevated even more.
When you think of a great air conditioner, you probably think of babies and shirtless, muscular men, right?
Well, Hitachi certainly knew what they were doing, then.
Hitachi asked Hulk Hogan in this Japanese ad to sing a bizarre lullaby in a pair of breezy, white shorts.
The song sounds like the producers asked the Hulkster to just sing whatever came to his head as the cameras started rolling.
Is Hogan embarrassed to have this floating around the Internet, or does the many zeroes on his check for this cancel that feeling out?
4. Nike Soccer
Most of the times that I’ve been covered in green slime, I haven’t felt nearly as happy as the kids in this commercial.
I suppose wearing Nike changes everything.
With Nike gear on, it’s probably easier to kick a multi-eyed talking ball filled with puss and escape the bald weirdos in SWAT gear.
I haven’t felt this weird watching something since I hosted a David Lynch marathon. But strangely, I also want to go shopping.
3. We Love Sports
The Power Rangers are apparently saving money and/or lessening their carbon footprint by tandem biking through this Japanese metropolis.
A kid has passed out and they want to help him.
I’m with the plot so far, though the red ranger’s obesity is a bit curious.
Then the Rangers are intercepted by three lovely ladies in text-bearing blindfolds.
They could tell the rangers, “This is our turf” or “We save the school kids around here.”
Their actual response is bizarre, especially with the accent. We don’t even see the product until the last two seconds of the ad.
Just as I was about to complain about the difference in weight class between these two Muay Thai boxers, a giant chocolate glove hit one of them in the head and destroyed all semblance of reality.
I assumed that the guy losing would pop in the candy and be powered by its deliciousness, like in this ad.
Instead, it’s used as a weapon. I suppose Dynamite candy knocks folks out because it is so incredibly tasty, but that seems like an odd message to send your viewers.
I applaud the ref for staying calm despite the giant falling candy, but should he really be counting the guy out?
There has to be a rule against using over-sized food in a fight.
1. Japanese Baseball
It may take several viewing before you even realize what’s being sold here (hint: the ad is for Japanese satellite company, SKY PerfecTV).
But by that time, your mind might become jelly.
The ad turns baseball into a dangerous battle.
With this much high-pitched screaming, aren’t ad execs worried that viewers will get annoyed and change the channel?
If every pitch lasts as long as this one, how long do you think the games last—seven, eight hours?