This Wonderfully Bizarre Ad for Wasabi Doritos Is a Love Note to Japan, From Brazil

AlmapBBDO did 'extensive consulting' to get the tone and details right

From 1960s monster movies to modern anime, Japanese entertainment is on display throughout the ad. AlmapBBDO
Headshot of T.L. Stanley

A giant sea monster attacks a city and menaces its populace, with one brave woman daring to fight back. Her weapon of choice, sent down from anime heaven, is a spicy Doritos chip, which she uses to somehow vaporize the multi-tentacled beast before it can cause Godzilla-level destruction.

If that sounds like a zany setup, wait until you see the rest of this commercial, a 60-second, pitch-perfect homage to the best of Japanese pop culture, both modern and classic. There are manga and video game snippets, a cameo from a telegenic Scottish fold cat, bizarre human-snack mashups and the aforementioned supersized beast from the kaiju genre. (Though this puffy red villain looks less like a killer Toho creation and more like an angry Pokémon character).

The work comes from agency AlmapBBDO with production company The Youth for the launch of Wasabi Doritos in Brazil. The team did “extensive consulting with translators, specialists and even stage co-directors of Japanese descent” to guard against any overt or subconscious cultural appropriation. The goal was “to come up with a campaign faithful to the unique culture of this country.”

The delightfully whack, neon-accented spot, whose narration is almost entirely in Japanese with no subtitles, appears on social media channels for the brand and agency. Like a good chip, the ad is a hard thing to enjoy only once—multiple viewings are key.

CREDITS:

Agency: AlmapBBDO
Client: PepsiCo/Doritos
Product: Doritos Wasabi
CCO: Luiz Sanches
ECD: André Gola, and Pernil
Creative Director: Fernando Duarte, and Henrique Del Lama
Creative Team: Bruno Bizuti, and Lucas Andrade
Illustration: Fábio Vido
Production: Vera Jacinto, Diego Villas Bôas, and Vanuza Passos
Account: Fernanda Tedde, Tatiana Vidonscky, Ana Carolina Bergmuller, Rafaella Cioffi, and Julia Reis
Media: Fábio Urbanas, Mauricio Felicio, Mariela Fernanda, Bruno Doretto, Mariza Akemi, Carolina Vartanian, Anderson Quaresma, and Natalia Santos Barbosa de Sá
Planning: João Gabriel Fernandes, Mariana Corradi, and Thassio Rolim
Digital Production: Rodrigo Falcão, Aline Macedo, Raphael Caffarena, and Victoria Lopes
Client Approval: Daniela Cachich, Isabella Castilho, Ana Carolina Castanhe, and Lais Pinto
Production Company: The Youth
Director: Henrique Bueno
Co-directors: Two Lost Kids
Photography: Yuri Maranhão
Sound production: Jamute
Translation (Japanese): AdTalks


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@TLStanleyLA terry.stanley@adweek.com T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.
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