Once synonymous with New York City, Woody Allen in recent years has become known for his more international ventures that have left his passport stamped with a variety of ink, as he’s filmed in London, Barcelona, Paris and Rome. But in a curious little bit of film trivia, the director headed to Japan to make some extra coin nearly three decades ago.
The folks over at Open Culture have come across a YouTube compilation of Allen’s TV ads for Japanese department store Seibu. As ads featuring American celebrities go, this is actually relatively normal, with the filmmakers wisely choosing to use Allen’s deadpan demeanor to comic effect. And as the site notes in a nice bit of research, Allen was actually chosen because he wasn’t well known with Japanese public, but instead because he was able to “personify Seibu’s multiple features” that they were pitching at the adult market they were trying to grab. Did it work? See for yourself below.