On this day 70 years ago, the first Japanese commercial jingle was broadcast. The song “I’m an Amateur Cameraman” made its radio debut on September 7, 1951 on Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting (CBC) and New Japan Broadcasting (NJB) as an ad for Sakura Film by Konica Minolta (then called Konishi Roku Photo Industry Co., Ltd.). Curiously, the song never mentioned the company or the product name, but was written by Toriro Miki, a popular composer at the time. That’s why September 7 is known as Commercial Jingle Day in Japan.
There have been a great number of captivating car commercials from both sides of the Pacific. Japan’s often made use of surreal situations, celebs and, of course, unique songs composed just for the ad. The American spots leaned towards humor or cars speeding through the desert. Any format can be memorable, impactful, perhaps even immortalized as a piece of pop culture.
What’s your favorite car commercial?
The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Why do you love (or hate) the Fast & Furious movies?”
We expected lots of varying opinions on the Fast & Furious movies but in a strange turn of events, received as close to a consensus as we’ve ever had in a QotW. The general feeling is best summed up by L.P., who reminds us that they’re not supposed to be high art. speedie echoed what a lot of us think about them, that they have eye-catching stunt but horribly written dialog. Like many of us, Elrik just watches them for the cars.
At the end of the day the franchise seems to have been truly influential. Curtis described how seeing a fiberglassed interior with bright yellow paint job on a Civic was the coolest thing to a 9-year-old. Likewise, JoJo Musashi said the films made Japanese econoboxes cool to his cadre of friends at the school cafeteria. But perhaps MWC70 illustrated this sentiment best with his winning comment:
Sorry about the length…its all a matter of perspective.
In the grand scheme of things, we must look at the impact its had on car culture in general, and love it or hate it, its brought more young people into the hobby. If that means we see many poorly modified 90’s Toyota Camry’s on cruise night, so be it. I remember being at the Chapters book store in the automotive section and there was a book “How To Modify Your Car Like Fast and Furious” – so in fact volumes have been written on how to emulate this style in your own garage. I’d rather see a kid learn how to use his hands and create his vision then hang out with the wrong kids and go the wrong way, and that is a real scenario.
The movie has also brought global attention to Japanese sports cars. The value of those cars today, in one way or another, can bee accredited to those movies. People started buying up the Turbo Supras, 240SX’s and RX7’s because of that franchise – at least here in North America. When the 1st movie was in its heyday, 99.9% of car guys in North America had never heard of Initial D. The JDM Auto scene gained serious traction because of these movies, and with it came the interest in the Culture that supported and in fact helped shape the cult status they enjoy today. The JDM Cult Car movies have now been enjoyed by an exponentially growing mainstream audience….they’re on Netflix now.
In short the movies were never meant to win an Oscar, but they have inspired millions to enjoy our hobby – and that’s not bad.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!