Ichiro played for the Orix BlueWave from 1992 to 2000, then signed an endorsement deal with Orix Bank in 2011. He began appearing in their ads last year, and now he’s the star of the first-ever Orix TV commercials — read this press release for details.
Both spots feature the Yardbirds’ cover of Bo Diddley’s “I’m a Man.”
This appears to be a print ad for Steinway pianos that I found online awhile back, but I don’t remember exactly where. I’ve never heard of Ichiro playing piano, but I don’t think this is Photoshopped, either. The man on the right looks like some Hugh Downs/Charles Kuralt TV host-type guy who I can’t quite place. Nutty.
this, but the video has since been removed. So here are a couple other bizarro ’90s commercials for the same product, both featuring a clean-shaven Ichiro and his cohorts beating up on some malevolent corncobs, somehow turning them into the Japanese equivalent of Bugles.
Last year I posted
Flet’s appears to be a subsidiary of NT&T… Be sure to watch the bizarro video in the upper-right corner.
Nice moves. Here are some of his other NTT spots.
Brian Setzer wrote and performed the song heard in the above ad. Apart from the lyrics, it’s the same song as Sexy, Sexy, though I’m not sure which one he did first. At the beginning of the below video is a different version of the ad, and Setzer talks a bit about it as well…
And here’s some Pepsi-sponsored “Refresh Project” highlight reel…
This post might also be classified as Ichiro Rock.
Seattle’s KOMO AM-1000 was the flagship station for the Mariners radio network between 2003 and 2008. During that time, Fisher Plaza, which houses KOMO’s studios, had this monster Ichiro image on its windows. It was photographed a lot since it was right across the street from the Space Needle.
BWT, NTT is Nippon Telegraph and Telephone.
From his Orix days.
The product is called Tongari Corn, which is the Japanese brand name for Bugles.
Nippon Oil’s service stations are called Eneos, whose attendants and/or mechanics are apparently called Dr. Drive.
In these two spots (unembeddable), Ichiro appears to enjoy hanging out at gas stations as Dr. Drive helps out pretty girls.
In another, watch as Dr. Drive washes Ichiro’s car.
Finally, on a site called Woopie is an ad with Ichiro sitting on the roof of an Eneos station, though I can’t get it to play.
Flexing his comic muscles in this 1995 commercial…
He lists his favorite sport other than baseball as car racing, though these days he reportedly drives a Porsche.
When he’s not knocking back Kirins, Ichiro goes for Yunker energy drink…
His condition, his Yunker…
Back in the ’90s, Ichiro preferred Asahi’s Mitsuya Cider…
I once read somewhere that Ichiro doesn’t drink, but if these commercials are to be believed, he totally pounds the Kirin…
Interesting that Japanese beer commercials, unlike in the US, actually show the product being consumed. And did you hear those gulping sounds?
All this brings to mind a quote from Ichiro during an especially nasty Mariner slide in 2008: “Playing on this team and seeing what is happening around me, I feel that something is beginning to fall apart. But, if I was not in this situation, and I was objectively watching what just happened this week, I would probably be drinking a lot of beers and booing.”