With an insane intensity he avoided showing American audiences, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor, appeared in multiple TV ads in Japan selling energy drinks and satellite television, among other products.
Now, the Republican governor is appearing in a more buttoned-down TV ad for the Japanese market.
The California tourism promotion looks and sounds less slick and, well, less Hollywood than the familiar TV spots running in the U.S. that feature Rob Lowe, David Beckham Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, and the Schwarzenegger-Shrivers.
They star governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a celebrity who most Japanese will recognize. Variations of this commercial have been running for a while now, all of them using the pun-tastic slogan “なんでもアリフォルニア,” which I suppose would be translated as something like “It’s got everything-fornia.” In previous versions of the commercial, Arnold himself said the slogan in Japanese, but it now seems they’ve replaced him with a voice-over. Probably a good idea, given his accent.
In another part of the globe, the California Travel and Tourism Commission recently gave its "Golden Arnold" award to a British man, Edward Rowe, who participated in a YouTube contest for the best video promoting California from England. Rowe parodied Cornwall as if it had all the comforts of the Golden State. Rowe will be flown to Hollywood to film another tourism ad alongside a celebrity.
All of these spots are funded through the commission's public-private partnership with hotels, theme parks and other tourism-related businesses. Last month, Schwarzenegger returned $235,000 in royalties paid to him and Maria Shriver by the commission, after questions from the LA Times about the payments.
Below are some of Schwarzenegger's crazy ads from Japan. Please enjoy: