(Commercial) Breaks of the Game: Pippen Turning Japanese

Quirky television commercials. Every country has them, some more quirkier than others.

Look no further than the advertising world of Asia, which has long been throwing money at the stars of Hollywood to hawk their products in zany advertising. The celebrities brought on board usually agree to participate under the assumption that whatever they are filmed endorsing will never be aired in the Western world. Generally speaking, celebrities and professional athletes are usually reluctant to appear in anything that may be perceived as “selling out” or heavily criticised, so keeping these lucrative ventures clandestine is in their best interests of protecting their image and personal brand.

Of course, the practice of foreign celebrity advertising was well established long ago, before the internet opened portals into the lives of the once untouchable stars. Which brings us to this new feature on the blog, I’ll be scouring the web and exploring the past and present world of advertising, focusing on the stars and athletes that have called Chicago home.

This first instalment features 6 time NBA world champion, Scottie Pippen. According to this report from Sportsbusinessdaily.com, Pip filmed the commercial for Japanese car company Mazda in July of 1996, to coincide with the Atlanta Olympic telecasts in Japan that year.

After watching the commercial, you know I’ve got questions. I wonder how much the Bulls star pulled in for plugging the Demio station wagon? Was this Scottie’s only advertising venture to the Land of the Rising Sun? How many dribbles per minute were captured on film in the back end of the car? Why did they feel it necessary to have his name on the front and back of his jersey?



If anyone can remember seeing Scottie driving a super charged RX-7 at any point circa 1996 or onwards, feel free to drop us a line.


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