If the past 44 years of Super Bowl commercials are anything to go by, brevity is the soul of wit, especially when it comes to convincing football watchers to buy products and talk about them at the water cooler. Yet somehow, no bizarre celebrity-addled sportsball ad yet created can hold a candle to a certain epic, 11-part-long series of Japanese commercials about a taffy-like candy.
The commercials in question come from the Japanese candy maker Sakeru Gummy. Back in 2017, Sakeru Gummy ran a series of candy commercials to drum up hype for its 15-inch-long taffy, the appropriately named Long Sakeru Gummy. The commercial series was officially named Sakeru Gummy vs. Long Sakeru Gummy, but internet devotees of the pink candy just call them the “Long Long Man” commercials.
The plot of these commercials centres around three characters: a man named Tooru-san (played by Kokkuri-san: Koi Goku Edition actor Seiji Suzuki), his girlfriend, Chi-chan (played by Kamen Rider Build actress Risako Itō), and a softspoken-yet-seductive gum enthusiast known as Long Long Man (played by Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends actor Yukiyoshi Ozawa).
Across the commercials’ 11 episodes Tooru-san attempts to go steady with Chi-chan, who’s become strangely enamoured with Long Sakeru Gummy. Unfortunately for Tooru-san, his advances inevitably fall flat when Long Long Man inexplicably arrives on the scene while sensually tearing and eating a Long Sakeru Gummy. To make matters worse, Chi-chan grows tired of Tooru-san and his tepid offerings of merely fun-sized Sakeru Gummies, and begins to desire a taste of Long Long Man’s delectably lengthy Long Sakeru Gummy. Subtlety is for cowards.
Their love triangle charades come to a close in the commercials’ final episode, titled “True Love.” When Chi-chan is ready to finally risk it all and abandon Tooru-san — on their goddamn wedding day — to elope with Long Long Man, Long Long Man dashes her hopes and the audience’s expectations with an earth-shattering confession. Turns out Long Long Man has been pining after Tooru-san the entire time, and now he’s come to split his very long gummy with him.
Super Bowl or no, commercial sagas don’t get more riveting than this. This is cinema that deserves to stand next to other cornerstones of film history like Martin Scorsese’s Goncharov. All I’m saying is acclaimed rom-com directors like Richard Curtis and Nancy Meyers have been mighty quiet since Long Long Man first dropped.
The Long Sakeru Gummies commercials were such riveting telenovela plot devices that they won a freaking award at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. And there you have it, the best commercial of all time.
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