It sometimes feels like the serialized commercial—admittedly, a niche area of interest in the first place—has become a dying art. We’re decades past the golden age of the Taster’s Choice (or Gold Blend, depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on) couple, for instance, and even those David Harbour Tide ads from this year’s Super Bowl only lasted for a few installments. Where, we ask ourselves, are the truly great multi-part TV ads these days, the ones willing to go to great lengths in order to sell us crap we absolutely don’t need?
The answer to that question, apparently, is Japan, and, specifically, the ad agency working for the Sakeru Gummy brand of tasty-looking shareable candies. Since 2017, the company has been running a campaign pitting its regular and “long” varieties against each other in an extended (tee-hee) series of innuendo-laden ads, all of which have now been subtitled in English and placed on the internet. Most of the commercials follow the same basic formula: Sweet Chi-Chan keeps getting distracted from her adoring boyfriend (and his bite-sized snacks) by an enigmatic, bearded bad boy identified—with a perfectly porny, sax-laden stinger—as “Long, Long Man,” and whose major distinguishing feature is his willingness to stuff whole gobs of Sakeru Gummy candy in his mouth at every available opportunity.
That’s all well and good, as far as candy-based dick metaphors go, but the real appeal here is seeing just how far everyone involved here can take that premise; by the end, it’s a full-on soap opera, stretching from early dates to the altar (complete with a twist ending!), and engorging—sorry, engaging—our attention more than any series of dumb candy commercials reasonably should.