Japan is famous for its quirky and original commercials, and Toyota is a strong player in the constant provision of video-based weird Japanese advertainment. This summer’s offering is the "wakudoki," a song and dance routine performed by techno-pop outfit World Order. With some tribespeople. Oh yes, and a dancing gorilla.
It’s weird, wonderful, and we can’t stop watching.
"Wakudoki" is the excitement you feel when you are just about to do something. It’s the feeling in your chest just before you ask someone out, or take the leap for a bungee jump, or when you get surprised by a gorilla in the jungle just as you were about to go for a pee. That last scenario is the predicament faced by the suited businessmen in the first video, "Jungle Wakudoki."
▼ Just going for a drive in the jungle – as you do – when nature calls, and our man gets out of the car to do that awkward “I gotta go!” run to the bushes.
▼ He is startled by a (rather startling) gorilla.
▼ Some members of a tribe also rock up to join the ensuing dance number.
The "wakudoki's" key move is a flat palm fluttering over your chest, a gesture in Japan that symbolises the heart-pounding feeling of excitement that is "waku waku doki doki."
"Jungle Wakudoki" has racked up an impressive 1.4 million views on YouTube since the video’s release on July 13, and it was followed up on August 24 with the second commercial: "Beach Wakudoki."
Taking the wakudoki dance, and its tried-and-tested audience-winning formula of “weirdness plus girls in bikinis” to a beach setting, "Beach Wakudoki" is (dare we say it) actually a bit less quirky than its jungle counterpart, although there are some fun touches like businessmen wearing lifeguarding swim caps with their crisp suits.
Both videos are part of a dance contest that Toyota Asia Pacific is running this summer, which invites fans to upload a video of them performing the dance (an instructional video is available) to YouTube. The winning entrants from each of eight countries – Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, India, and Pakistan – will be rewarded with a trip to Tokyo. The trip is only for two people, though, which is bad luck to anyone who goes in for a big group performance – so you’d better choose who’ll get the prize if you win before you enter. And if you’re unlucky enough to be based outside of those eight countries – well, you can still upload your video, but it’ll be just for fun.
Sources: white-screen.jp, Toyota Asia Pacific
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