The best Japanese commercial that never was

Turns out you can get people to do just about anything if they think it’s for a Japanese commercial. 

 

Austin Powell

Internet Culture

Published Aug 25, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 8:15 am CDT

Turns out you can get people to do just about anything if they think it’s for a Japanese commercial.

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The country has a storied history of producing some of the most WTF-worthy ads to ever hit YouTube (see this list of 17 crazy/awesome commercials or this weirdly erotic PSA, for starters). All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby union team, used the stereotype to its advantage to prank three of its own players: Beauden Barrett, Dane Coles, and Francis Saili.

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Like a bizarro version of Punk’d, the elaborate stunt utilizes a director, interpreter, sumo wrestler, gong, ninja, and a costumed squid to convince the players they’re promoting something called Honzai Noodles. In short order, they’re dancing with Harajuku Girls, air-swimming to avoid imaginary sharks, wearing noodle wigs, and passing a bowl of Honzai like a rugby ball.

It’s damn good comedy made even better by its notable cause: Red Nose Day, an annual fundraiser that encourages participants to “do something funny for money.” The even garnered more than $1.4 million in New Zealand.

To skip straight to the commercial, jump to the 6:12 mark.

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H/T Reddit | Screengrab via YouTube

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*First Published: Aug 25, 2013, 3:38 pm CDT