I grew up during the 1980s. And like most kids, I watched a bunch of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. If only I had lived in Japan. I could have grown up with something even better: his commercials.
But good news! After a long absence, Arnold Schwarzenegger has returned to Japanese advertising, appearing in a Kowa coffee commercial. He's long overdue for a return. (Bruce Willis, another Japanese commercial favourite, also appears in the same series of coffee ads.)
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Schwarzenegger appeared in many cup noodle and energy drink ads. Known as "Schwa-chan," his catchphrase was "daijou-V", a wordplay on "daijoubu" ("ok" in Japanese) and the "V" in energy drink he was selling, Alinamin V.
That's why it's so good to see Schwarzenegger back in Japanese commercials. They were some of the most entertaining work he's done (dead serious!). Schwa-chan's playful, gonzo attitude is a perfect fit for the country's over-the-top marketing wizards.
Here are some of Schwarzenegger's most memorable — and mental — commercials.