Meet Japan’s most popular Ad Family

by thewheatandthechaff


The father is a human in a dog’s body (for reasons “you’re too young to understand,” he once barked at his daughter), the son is a black American, and their maid is an alien incarnation of Tommy Lee Jones.

They are “The White Family,” a staple of telecom Softbank’s marketing, and they have become the most popular recurring commercial characters in Japan. The family is made up of a father (Otosan), a son (Kojiro), a mom (Masako) and a daughter (Aya).

Telling you much more about their family dynamic would require me actually knowing Japanese, since few of the many YouTube clips from the campaign have been subtitled, though you can read a great profile on the Whites’ commercial success in The Japan Times.

Like me, you may have stumbled across their ads before and been too distracted by the craziness of their antics to actually recognise it as an ongoing campaign—one that has been tallied as the nation’s favourite for six years running.

The sprawling series of more than 130 spots, credited with vaulting SoftBank from industry newcomer to one of Japan’s top mobile providers, have even featured cameos from Quentin Tarantino, Tommy Lee Jones and a real Japanese astronaut filming his appearances in space.

For the fellow uninitiated, some of the more interesting clips from the campaign are compiled below.

Disclaimer: Seeing more of these ads doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll understand them any more.

(Hat tip to WTF Japan Seriously)