American celebrities have been flying over to Japanese shores for years to record commercials – for handsome wads of cash. To outsiders these ads can appear just… well… wacky.

Though, to be fair, advertising often appears odd in another language. It seems as though we don’t realize how bizarre our own advertising is, but when we see a commercial in another language, the blinders are absent and everything on screen just strikes us as weird.

I know that that’s often been the case for me. When I first see ads in a foreign language, I find them amusing or perplexing. But if I eventually learn that language, then the ads are nothing out of the ordinary to me. I’m sure that some of that is due to cultural immersion and internalizing some of the cultural traits that make that ad click with its target audience. But I think a lot of the phenomenon is down to simple comprehension and being able to put these in context – or to get the joke, since humor is a common tactic in advertising.

Regardless, this James Brown commercial is hilarious to me. Enjoy.

P.S. – Yes, he is singing about miso soup to the tune of “Sex Machine”.


(via The Retronaut)