Japanese language learning through commercials:ルル・アンド・むじんくん

In putting together this post, I was once again struck by the amazing array of tools that language learners have at their disposal nowadays.  Relatively speaking, I had an easy time finding copies of old commercials, manipulating media, mixing it together with my whiteboard doodles, and then sharing it back here.  Exciting!

As you’ll hear in the video that I put together, I’ve been hit with a bit of a cold this week— I was thinking of buying some medicine (we seem to be out) and a memory of some Japanese cold medicine came to mind.   As it happens, this commercial was how I learned the word “効く”, and the tune has always stayed with me.

Another favourite Japanese commercial from that time was the series of “Mujin-kun” commercials advertising banking machines— it was basically a series of silly scenes where the aliens (out at the club, on a group date, etc.) would find themselves short on cash and would say “地球寄っていく?(Shall we stop off on Earth?)” (i.e. and stop at the bank machine.  Here’s a playlist of some their shorts, including one that was filmed like a French movie shot in the fifties (1’45”).

I did some searching and found several sites listing this year’s most popular ads, but really liked this video (below) that included commentary from a couple of folks ‘in the know’ (i.e. Creative Directors from Shiseido, Dentsu).  They each shared a bit about what made each one special, and talked about how viewers might connect with the content.  This playlist includes all of the commercials they discussed.


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