Last week, we explored the phenomenon of "Japandering," whereby an American or European celebrity shills for some product in Japan. While we got to see Michael J. Fox rocking out in an Integra sedan last time, today we'll further dive into Honda's love of using American celebs in their ads, this time with the incredibly lovely Jodie Foster.
It looks like Ms. Foster was doing these ads for the Honda Civic right around the same time Fox did his for the Integra. They follow a similar pattern — while the Integra ads featured "The Power of Love," these all have "She Drives Me Crazy" by the Fine Young Cannibals. And as before, there are quite a few of them to be found on YouTube.
Jodie can be seen here taking photos of the famous fifth generation Civic hatchback and the Civic Ferio, which astute Gran Turismo 2 players will recognize as the Japanese name for the Civic sedan.
Most of the ads Jodie did for Honda seemed to center around the Civic Ferio, just like MJ's Integra ads featured that car's sedan variant. Using Americans to sell sedans instead of hatchbacks… interesting move, Honda.
"Powerful. Smooth. Clever," Jodie tells us while snapping off some pictures. But while Michael J. Fox gave us a taste of his Japanese last time, Jodie instead fires off some Engrish, bragging about the "Vwee-Tech" engine. Not VTEC, mind you. "Vwee-Tech." It's different.
In order to save you the trouble of doing so, I've gone ahead and made this delightful meme. Feel free to share it with your family, friends and co-workers for their general amusement.
I have to wonder how many other Japanese Honda ads from that era used American celebrities. These are the only two I'm aware of, but if it's part of some larger campaign that took place in the late 80s and early 90s, there's probably more out there. Maybe there's one with Mark "Marky Mark" Wahlberg driving a Prelude with "Welcome To The Jungle" playing in the background. If that's not an ad, it should be!