Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Beer Rivalry

The debut of Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka in his new uniform took place recently in Japan via the magic of the Asahi Super Dry television campaign. The commercial has become well known thanks to the magic of YouTube, and I posted it myself over at Matsuzaka Watch. The wave of Red Sox related imagery that I've seen in Japan since his signing has been steady and powerful as the best rivalry in sports makes its mark in Japan.

Recently, I was shocked to see a Hideki Matsui commercial in the same style. Thank God. I was beginning to think that Godzilla had been drummed into history, with the new toy on the shelf. Matsui is an experienced and beloved pitchman himself. His ads tend to be very different than the Ichiro fare that regularly airs. Ichiro's image is "cool", while Matsui is perceived in a much softer and more refined way. He often pitches for vegetable juice, home building companies, and the like. Ichiro pitches for NTT fiber optic service, energy drinks, and that kind of thing. We've now seen Matsuzaka air ads for Japan's #1 importer, Toyota Motors, as well as Asahi Super Dry.

I've managed to track down a way for people in the US to see the Matsui ad, after finding nothing on YouTube. You can head directly to the Asahi Super Dry webpage, and click the logo you see here, on the left side in the center of the page:

The screen that follows is a large format graphic of Matsui and Matsuzaka in their MLB unis (as seen at the head of this post). Click either of them to view their ads. I think you'll appreciate the ads if you haven't seen them, especially the end of the Matsui version, featuring his now famous "slide and stomp" highlight from the playoffs. Enjoy.