It’s 40 seconds of your life you won’t get back, but this strange and spicy ad is worth it, writes Laura Swinton
Noodle brand Nissin is never shy when it comes to putting out commercials that test the limits of convention – and their latest outing does not disappoint.
Directed by Wataru Sato, the spot sees a giant mohican-sporting punk embark on a destructive rampage – triggered by a new line of burnt-flavour noodles. The Godzilla-esque monster man is played by well-known Japanese comedian Kuroki, also known as Ku-chan. The spot may also be a modern twist on the ‘hungry ghost’ archetype of East Asian culture – but we’re pretty sure that ancient Buddhist scripture never mentioned said ghosts battling Iron Man-inspired, noodle-themed superheroes.
For ad nerds outside of Japan, the name Wataru Sato may not be familiar – although he did come second at the Young Director Awards in Cannes in 2011. However his work should be. In April, his surreal, serialised romance for sweet brand Sakeru Gummy went viral and introduced international audiences to the irresistible character Long Man (or ‘loooooong, loooooong maaaaaaaan’). That campaign also took silver at Cannes Lions.
The spot is the latest treat from a brand that joyously reinforces the stereotype that Japanese ads can be totally bonkers. Two years ago, Nissin exploded advertising and pop culture clichés in the spot ‘SamuraiDroneCatIdolSuperhumanRubeGoldbergViewerWarningTooExplosiveHighSchoolGirl’.