Ad Review - Japanese spot: of mice and men

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We on the AdReview staff are pretty rigidly occidental.

We see Japanese advertising and tend to dismiss it as extremely peculiar. But, then, to show you how culturally narrow we are, when we were in Tokyo and saw businessmen reading pornographic comic books on the subway, we thought that was peculiar.

So you can probably take our take on Mizuho Bank's new ad with a grain of soy. The commercial, from the Tokyo agency Tugboat, features two street buskers at a Tokyo subway stop, tossing each other a tiny rubber ball to attract handouts.

Oh, we should mention: the buskers are mice. Performing mice.

Then a millionaire walks past, and suddenly-with the help of digital magic-the mice are doing tricks worthy of Chinese acrobats. "There is a chance to win 100 million yen every week," the copy says, so try your luck with Loto6.

Our reaction: Performing mice?

Furthermore, while it's undeniably cute to see a mouse spinning a parasol with a rubber ball bouncing atop of it, this commercial isn't merely asking us to watch the rodents; it is asking us to identify with the rodents.

Very strange. But we're probably just, you know, disoriented. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan94d

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