If the last 44 years Super Bowl commercials is anything else, brevity is the soul of wit, especially when it comes to getting football watchers to buy products and talk about them at the water cooler. Yet somehow, no weird celebrity-addled sports ball ad can hold a certain epic series of 11-part Japanese ads for a taffy-like candy.
The ads in question come from Japanese candy maker Sakeru Gummy. Back in 2017, Sakeru Gummy released a series of candy ads to build hype for its 15-inch long taffy, the aptly named Long Sakeru Gummy. The commercial series was officially called Sakeru Gummy vs Long Sakeru Gummy, but devotees of the pink candy on the Internet simply call them the “Long Long Man” commercials.
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The plot of these ads centers around three characters: a man named Tooru-san (played by Kokkuri-san: Koi Goku Edition actor Seiji Suzuki), his girlfriend, Chi-chan (who plays Kamen Rider Build actress Risako Itō), and a mild-mannered-but-seductive bubblegum lover known as Long Long Man (played by Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends actor Yukiyoshi Ozawa).
In the 11 episode commercials, Tooru-san tries to go steady with Chi-chan, who has strangely fallen in love with Long Sakeru Gummy. Unfortunately for Tooru-san, his advances inevitably fall flat when Long Long Man inexplicably arrives on the scene while sensually ripping and eating a Long Sakeru Gummy. To make matters worse, Chi-chan grows bored of Tooru-san and his tepid offerings of merely fun-sized Sakeru Gummies, and begins to desire a taste of Long Long Man’s deliciously elongated Long Sakeru Gummy. Subtlety is for cowards.
Their love triangle skits conclude in the final episode of the commercials, titled “True Love.” When Chi-chan is ready to finally risk everything and leave Tooru-san—on their cursed wedding day—to elope with Long Long Man, Long Long Man shatters her hopes and the audience’s expectations with an overwhelming confession. It turns out that Long Long Man has been pestering Tooru-san all along, and now he’s come to share his extra large gum with him.
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Super Bowl or not, trade stories don’t get more riveting than this. This is movie theater which deserves to stand alongside other cornerstones of film history such as by Martin Scorsese Goncharov. All I’m saying is that established rom-com directors like Richard Curtis and Nancy Meyers have been very quiet since Long Long Man first came out.
The Long Sakeru Gummies commercials were such riveting TV plot devices that they won a freaking award at 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. And there you have it, the best ad ever.