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Softbank to release record-long TV ad featuring 'White Family'


Japanese cell phone giant Softbank Mobile will release a record-long 5-minute, 30-second-long television commercial featuring the “White Family” – the multiracial, multispecie nuclear family that has driven Softbank ad campaigns for several years.

The commercial, titled “Letters from Space,” depict the family father – a white, talking dog – trying to fulfill his dream of space travel.

The ad also features astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, as well as actresses Aya Ueto and Kanako Higuchi.

The previous record holder for longest commercial was Unilever, which advertised a hair care product with a 5-minute spot. Both commercials are significantly longer than the majority of Japanese television spots, which often run for less than a minute.

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I am surprised we haven't seen any black vans nor any demonstrators around the softbank HQ. There are too many korean stuff on TV these days, and now we get an apology of bestiality and interracial relationships. Geez, japanese viewers it's time to get a backbone!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It's just wacky and funny. If they were an actual family, maybe you could have a problem with it, but really....are you going to get offended at every implausible TV spot or movie?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How much is this going to cost?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Isn't the "White" family insulting to blacks? The men are either dogs or black. This structure presents being black as being being like a dog.

The adverts are very down on men too of course. Simone De Beauvoir wrote "The Second Sex" for women in the West, where being a woman is to be weird and not quite part of "mankind." The reverse is true here in Japan. Where is Simon DeTanaka?

Having said that, perhaps because I do feel like I am seen as a dog, and find the ads very moving.

-19 ( +1 / -20 )

I think you're over-thinking this. Best Buy, Verizon, there are many many more obviously misandric ads out there....Best Buys latest series openly makes fun of Santa Clause, with cool moms and chicks 'beating' Santa at present buying 'Don't cry, big boy' type of thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Serrrano: Why is the cost an issue to you? Are you a Softbank shareholder?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Isn't the "White" family insulting to blacks?

The dog is white, is all. An interracial, interspecies group all working together as one happy family - very symbolic, and not in the least insulting to anyone.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

timtak lets not look for offensive meanings/racism where it doesnt exist, there is enough in the world already without making it up.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This was shown yesterday on TV Tokyo. You can watch it here:


1 ( +1 / -0 )

timtakDEC. 30, 2011 - 09:10AM JST Isn't the "White" family insulting to blacks? The men are either dogs or black. This structure presents being black as being being like a dog.

I'm a black guy usually pretty sensitive mostly due to my mental problems and daily mood swings, but i don't find these softbank commercials being insulting to blacks in any way, well not for me anyways. I watch em, laugh, done over. I don't take it seriously.

Now the Obama monkey one from i think it was t-mobile a while back or that thai toothpaste commercial, that's different. Instant Mood swing.

Japanese commercial producers mock both Blacks and Whites too by the way. Different day, same soup.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

How about spending that money on improving your network coverage!!!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

There is nothing racist about these softbank tv cms, should white people get offended because the dog is white?? Should Dante Carver get offended because he is not Japanese?? Should Aya Ueto want to become blond and blue eyed? Nonsense! This is what makes this Softbank tv cm so interesting, now should I be offended because a MEXICAN CHIHUAHUA has never been used on this hit series here in Japan, maybe yes and I WANT TO BE THAT CHIHUAHUA, maybe I can be the long distance cousin from south of the border?? Try to speak Japanese with an accent like Speedy Gonzales??

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Dante is out though isn't he?! Got caught doing an illegal uturn with an expired international license so... Out he is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wouldn't "record length" be more accurate?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perfect for hitting the toilet and making a sandwich.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

why are they called the "White Family"?

i think it is a not too subtle stereotyping attack on japanese family and societal models by the korean, who was born in japan, that runs softbank--mr. son.

mr. son was a more successful predecessor of mr horie, basically. he went to university in the usa, saw an opportunity for growth in IT and was able to leverage connections in the usa to capitalize.

on the other hand, he is an anti-japanese cretin, one who refused to adopt the japanese reading for his kanji and become a japanese citizen, actually finding a way to get around that law.

aside from promoting solar energy--which should be positive--i find softbank to be engaged in a divide and conquer from within strategy in japan, and the degree to which they attempt to adopt crass american advertising techniques and the likes belies the association with americans sharing a common goal in that divide and conquer strategy.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Ebuda, the chihuahua had a hit pushing credit cards, and has since retired. Never had a speaking part, but with liquid eyes that sold a million pet-shop puppies.

ubiwit, I don't understand your post. What kind of 'attack' do you think the White Family is? What does Mr. Son's family background or name have to do with anything? What 'law' did he get around? (There is no law specifying what name a Japanese citizen should have). I love Japan and I don't think I'm a cretin, but if I ever took Japanese nationality I would certainly want to retain the name my parents gave me, there's nothing anti-Japanese in that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

CrazyJoe, thanks for the link.

Love that dawg.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Right on Cleo--we need ubikwit to explain how his calling Son-san a racist cretin fits with the congenial self-made billionaire story. Why did ubikwit give all the credit to a U.S. university education, but leave out the near-fatal illness that Son struggled with for years as a young man and likely gave him a more serious outlook on how to live his life?

Seeing Hawks owner Son giving congratulatory hugs to comparatively huge players like Cabrera after they won the championship last month was one of my favorite sports scenes of this year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i remember the very day dante called me and told me he got that gig. i had done a tuka cm in 2004 where they totally gave me the shaft and paid me 170,000 yen, for a full media (tv, print, radio, billboards etc) campaign, when they had told me it was only gonna be on tv. in LA where i had done CMs and voice overs, that would've been a $70,000 gig at the time. I told dante to be careful and predicted to him that, at 3,000,000 yen a year, having to travel around the country to all the softbank stores, they are screwing him. But fortunately I was wrong. very very very happy for him. thats one eigo no sensei in japan who done good. looking forward to seeing him in this 5 minute cm

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Great! More of this is definitely needed. It gives more time to reheat the fast food and take care of other necessities.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

by the way, for the record, I'm a huge fan of Son, and a huge UC Berkeley fan. they have an awesome mba program me. just ask mr son.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

and not in the least insulting to anyone

Oh cleo. I hope you consulted the seven billion people outside your bubble in the sticks before submitting your latest opinion masquerading as fact.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This commercial seems like entirely too much ado about nothing.

Scenery, actors, actresses, a white talking dog, music, archived and historic American voice dub, pop stars, weightlessness...

5 minutes I'll never get back, watching this fluff- My jackpot question is: What is the point?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My nephew a few years back taught English to one of Son's friends. He was super generous with money, although very paranoid about being in public. Always had disguises.

I think he has done some big services for the people hurting in Tohoku too. The man should be praised except for one thing. With AU competing, the cost for plans should have come way down.

Anyway that dog is cute, and WHITE is a pretty common family name in the states.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

At first I was going to rant about how bad this wud be, but then realized it will DECREASE the amount of crap regular programing that can be shown, so its all good!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Perfect for hitting the toilet and making a sandwich.

YUCK, who makes sandwhiches in the toilet LOL!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Thanks for the link CrazyJoe. The first 4 minutes are just rerun commercials from the past few weeks. The only new part is Smap running around for about one minute while they play "Bird is the Word". They should have added Peter from "Family Guy". That's his favorite song.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


The dog is white

You are insulting Oto-san. He has kept saying "犬じゃないって言ってるだろ!!! I AM NOT A DOG!!!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The white family is based on their white plan. Nothing to do with racism. Plenty of racism in Japan but this is certainly not one of them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

tmarie = 100 %.

And sad it needs to spelled out for some.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Looking forward to the "black" campaign ;)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't know why JT put the family "White Family". Their family name is 白戸(Shirato).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Blair, I stand corrected.

Daijoboots, interracial, interspecies harmony is insulting to whom, exactly?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow !!! It has been 7 years they have had the interracial & interspecies family.

The softbank family or white plan family is really boring ! ! ! ! ! " Yo So Guy Des "

5 minutes ?????????

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I find nothing to be insulting with this commercial, it is funny and had me laugh a lot and laughing is healthy; that is the dog part. The Smap part was really boring and spoiled the whole commercial.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Foxie, I can not believe you did not enjoy the SMAP part of the Softbank tv cms! I love where they are on top of that new hotel they just made down there in Singapore, great advertising for Singapore, for SMAP and even for the sponsor, Softbank, right??

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is big news!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Elbuda, it just didn't match with the dog part. Maybe if I had seen it separately, I might have liked it more but even if I do now, I will always be reminded of the dog part and thus not like it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Daijoboots, interracial, interspecies harmony is insulting to whom, exactly?

I'm sorry cleo, is that what they're called now? The Interracial Interspecies Harmony Family? Please, I don't think that will catch on, nor will your opinion equal fact.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I agree with Foxie, the dog bit is good (as always), the Smap bit is superfluous.

Sorry Daijoboots, but what do you call it? I really do not see what the problem is here. I think that the fact that Softbank continues to make White Family commercials, and that they continue to be popular, is pretty clear evidence that the vast majority of people do not find them insulting. Large companies tend to avoid insulting like the plague, it's bad for business.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think

Thank you for adding that part.

is pretty clear evidence that the vast majority of people do not find them insulting

Whoa. So now it is not insulting to merely a "vast majority of people" (be careful, you are almost taking a backwards step.)

I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of this vast majority you speak of is Japanese. And again you divert from the issue in your attempts to convince yourself that you are right.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Then show me where I'm wrong, Daijoboots. What's insulting about the commercial? And who does it insult?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Then show me where I'm wrong

Ha. No, you are right cleo. You're always right.

Again you miss the point and have steered away from it since your post at 9.30am yesterday. I find it offensive.

As for the commercials themselves, they have been on a downhill path for a number of years now, much like the misguided in the boondocks of Tochigi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Again you miss the point and have steered away from it since your post at 9.30am yesterday. I find it offensive.

I'm sorry if I offend you. It isn't deliberate. However I do not know what it is that offends you and so run the risk of unintentionally offending you again.

Have a good New Year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where you see racism in word "White"? This is weird.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's nothing offensive about them being called The White Family, and Cleo is correct that it is simply in reference to the dog. If people DO find it offensive then perhaps it is not the best thought out idea, but I think said people are in a very small minority.

I didn't see the five-minute version of this (thankfully. The commercials are sometimes cute, but five minutes is too long for one!), but I saw a very short one where he finds instant noodles in space (a pretty cheap prize to be giving out for signing on for a two year contract with a phone company, by the way). Ah well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Anyway, again, there's nothing racist about the name any more than Joe Black and his family have a racist name, and was probably shortened over time from 'Whitehead" and comes from "Wight" (isle of Wight, NH), Whit, Whyte, Whiet, Wight, Whytte, and there was even the Anglo-Saxon 'Wiht", meaning 'valiant'. True, in the Middle Ages it (I think), when most people couldn't read or write people were given names based on physical attributes as well as geographical locations and career. Hence, 'Whitehead' (I think most people cut the 'head' at some point) might have been an older man or woman. "Whiteside" (often kept as is, save spelling) probably comes from a town (since there are a number) in Northern England and Scotland. "Whitman" could very well have once referred to someone with skin of a lighter complexion -- but that was all long ago. Now they are but names and The White Family has no more offensive intent than Walter White's family in Breaking Bad (AMC show -- awesome!), or the All Blacks in New Zealand.

On an interesting note, the ancient Latin form of the surname is "Albus". Etymology is fun!

Back to the commercial, did anything think the five minute version was too long?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

did anything think the five minute version was too long?

Yeah, my dog started growling when Smap came on, and the cat jumped to safety on top of the piano.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is the point?

To laugh.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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