Toyota Japan Goes Deep With One of the Most Delightful Baseball Ads in a Long Time

Taking it to the streets

Some people complain that modern baseball games last too long, but the one in this Japanese ad for Toyota's G cars will make you root for extra innings.

Salarymen and businesswomen push fantastical red "G" buttons positioned around midtown, and the action begins. Soon, balls are flying off bats toward skyscrapers, and office-attired players are diving across concrete (ouch!) to make dazzling catches. They use manhole covers for bases, and a traffic cop (I think) serves as an umpire. At one point, Warren Cromartie, a former star in the U.S. who was much more popular when he played in Japan, argues a call. You tell 'em, Cro!

The final at-bat features an airborne Prius in a grandstand play of epic proportions—truly a towering drive.

Dubbed "Baseball Party," the film has deservedly earned almost 3.5 million YouTube views in Japan in two weeks. And there's a behind-the-scenes clip, naturally.

Sure, the connection between the brand and baseball is tenuous, to say the least, but the two-and-a-half-minute commercial is such exhilarating fun, only a mean-spirited boo bird would object. You might shout, "Let's play two!" and watch it again.