Japan's longest running commerical?


Watch this video (wmv) or this one (quicktime) and try to guess what they are advertising. No fair if you already know.

Give up?

It's an ad for a loan company, Takefuji. You can check out their other commericals here and there is even a page to learn the dance here.

Those ads have been running for at least the last 3.5 years. Since I got here. Similar ones have been running since the first time I got here 6 years ago.

Loan companies is one of those things I found different when I first got here as we don't have any big ones in the states that I know of. Here in Japan there are several. I believe the started as loan sharks but they are now so big they have branches at every major train station as well as ATMs that will give you an instant super high interest loan. Rumor is if you don't pay it back in a timely manner large scary men will show up at your door. No idea if that's true but it's been the topic of a few Japanese TV dramas.

Most of the other companies have ads that make it clear they are a loan company but there have been a few other interesting commericals. A company called @loan had ones where the guy would be put in a crazy situation where he needed money. Like he's at a restaurant with some girl on a date and says "Anything you want just ask" and she's like "Anything?, then I'll take that" and points to a giant wine bottle (3 feet tall, 1 foot wide), clearly expensive and he screams "Ah!!!!" but fades it into "Ahhhhht" as in "at" or @ and he sings a little jiggle which is basically "when you have an AHHHHT! moment think @loan".

Another is this one were these people do this really stupid dance where they sing "Ba ban ba". The commericals basically show people wanting to do something but not having enough money, like they are on vacation in Hawaii but can't afford to take the scuba lessons and then they will say "Sometimes you just have to Ba Ban Ba!" and they will sing their Ba Ban Ba song. Basically sometimes you have to break the bank and take out a loan. The commericals are pretty lame but they are unforgetable.

Japanese can't dance