The Random Griffith

Hip up to Baroo-baddo!

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson Griffith on 26/02/2010

Please, no offense to the Japanese, but I’ve been entertained by Japanese ads for years. I used to buy Japanese car mags written in kanji-hiragana-katakana with random Jingrish and then I would lay around practicing the sort of behavior that makes one laugh at butter and make a ritual out of baking chocolate chip cookies, and then I’d settle in and crack up at adverts with copy that said stuff like “We are special Golf make shop” (aftermarket products for Volkswagens, I’d guess) and “The aweness of its white silence.” But now with YouTube, we can cut to the chase and watch funny Japanese car ads from the period any time we’d like.


Not sure what makes me laugh most about this Mitsubishi Galant ad. I think the idea of “Hip Up Coupe” may be the clincher; I think “hip up” is going into my vocabulary starting right now. You’d better hip up, pally. I hipped up to those Ron Schmeck sides. This whole darn town is hipping up to civet catpoop coffee. Anyway, I think at this point these Mitsubishis were sold in the U.S. as Dodge/Plymouth Colts.


“Nyuu Baroo-baddo” screams the ad copy. Nissan has some funny names for its cars in Japan; American rice rocket fans will recognize this sedan and coupe as the Datsun 510, which with the addition of stiffer shocks could give the Bimmers of the early ’70s a run for the money. In its time and place, the 510 was one of the finest imports offered for sale in America. Another Nissan product from the 1960s, the Fairlady, was rebranded the Datsun 240-Z in the U.S., for pretty obvious reasons.



More Nissan genius, this time for “Dynamic Bluebird.” I love the snappy songs, and the posing actors. I think Datsun used the same ad agency for its U.S.-market ads at first, too, because I remember they were as aggressively forceful as these Japanese ads.


I love this ad. Prince is another Japanese carmaker that was absorbed by Nissan, and I think the current Gloria is something in the Infiniti lineup in the U.S. now (I could be wrong; I’m too lazy to look it up, but I did anyway; the Gloria ended production, but the last iteration made it here as the Infiniti M45). Anyway, this guy is great: He’s totally pissed off and butthurt about everything, until a sip of brandy or whatever he’s quaffing reminds him of the bliss-inducing experience of driving a mid-’60s Japanese sedan.

I’ve got a bunch of these bookmarked. And some pretty funny German ads from the 1950s, too. If you’re extra nice and tell me you like this stuff, like by writing me a little note here, I’ll post more.

So hip up, compadres. —Jackson Griffith

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