Ever hear the term "Japander"? It's when an American (or European) celebrity heads off to Japan to shill for some product in TV or print ads that rarely show up in their home country. It's a great way for these actors or musicians to make some money without cheapening their image in the U.S. There's even a website dedicated to the phenomenon — which may have even coined the term — but it hasn't been updated in forever, sadly.
A more recent example of Japandering includes the Toyota ads featuring French tough guy actor Jean Reno playing the children's anime character Doraemon, which is so fucking weird it keeps me awake at night.
But let's talk about this gem of a TV commercial from 1989, which shows a young Michael J. Fox cruising around in the second-gen Honda Integra sedan.
As you can see, he's having an awesome time in the car, turning the ladies' heads with its slick DOHC VTEC engine. He even fires off his best Japanese with a wink at the end. You try having a bad time in an old-school Integra when Huey Lewis and the News are on coming through the stereo! Fun Sexy America Time!
I remember seeing this ad on the web a few years ago, and when I went looking for it, I found out that there's a lot more of them than I thought. Looks like Mr. Fox Japandered for the Integra (typically in its sedan variant) for a good three or four years in the late 80s and early 90s.
All of them have "The Power of Love" playing in the background, which is pretty funny considering that song came out in 1985 along with the first Back to the Future film. Honda got a ton of mileage out of ol' Huey Lewis, that's for sure.
This is also the second week in a row that Mr. Fox has made Jalopnik, what with the news of his Toyota truck from BTTF getting a full restoration.
What did you think of the ad? And what would you pick — an 80s Toyota truck, a DeLorean or an 80s Integra?