The actor Tommy Lee Jones has been the celebrity spokesperson for Suntory’s Boss canned coffee since 2006. Many Western celebrities do commercials in Japan, it’s a quick way to make a buck. But TLJ has been doing it for so long he has become synonymous with Boss coffee and his face firmly part of Japanese popular culture.
In all his commercials he is cast as an outsider, watching Japanese society as a melancholy observer. Over time, we discover he is an alien, sent to investigate the Japanese. He takes a series of odd jobs to get closer to his subjects but he is always removed, watching, alone, with his can of coffee. Stoic.
Last week the Emperor of Japan voluntarily stepped down and a younger generation took his place. It was the end of the Heisei era and the beginning of the next. Everyone in Japan was given 10 days off to reflect and, while I’m not there, I can imagine it must be a time of great retrospection as people look back on the past 30 years and how the country has changed.
The Tommy Lee Jones character is no different so in celebration, Suntory ran this 2 minute super cut of TLJ’s greatest hits as a nostalgia piece.
- For a detailed explanation of what’s going on in the video above, read this.
- Here’s a collection of several of Tommy Lee Jones’ other Suntory Boss commercials
- A huge list of other “celebrity sellout” commercials I’ve collected over the years.
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