The crazy big-budget commercial stars some of Japan’s most well-known musicians on flame-spewing monster floats.

When Pepsi releases an exciting new beverage in Japan, they don’t hold back on the marketing budget, going all-out with commercials that play out more like mini movies filled with massive sets, props and costumes, and big-name casts that include international stars like Jude Law.

Now with the Japan-exclusive Pepsi J-Cola set to arrive on the market this month, the beverage giant is out to get everyone’s attention with a stunning new commercial that plays out like a Japanese-style Mad Max movie. Given that J-Cola has been specifically designed to suit local palates, some of the country’s biggest stars have come out in force to help promote the new drink, with a cast of 150 dancers helping to recreate all the energy and atmosphere of a traditional Japanese festival, with a grungy post-modern big-budget twist.

See if you can spot the Japanese stars in the impressive 60-second commercial below:

We’ve been to a lot of Japanese festivals around the country but this is the first time we’ve ever seen a flame-spewing, lantern-lit float go by on the back of a rig and a monster truck!

Providing the music for the dystopian Pepsi J-Cola parade is Sugizo, Nyango Star, Sayuri Ishikawa, DJ Rena, and KenKen (pictured left to right in the image below).

Sugizo, who is well-known for being the lead guitarist and violinist for the rock band Luna Sea, and also for joining heavy metal band X Japan in 2009, arranged the music for the ad, along with Japanese composer Yoko Kanno (of Cowboy Bebop fame). Slapping it out on the bass is KenKen, who plays with RIZE, one of the country’s most iconic three-piece rock bands, while 13-year-old DJ Rena keeps the crowd entertained on the decks, showing us all why he became the youngest ever DMC World DJ Champion in 2017, at the age of 12.

▼ Providing the vocals in the ad is Sayuri Ishikawa, one of the most successful Japanese enka singers of all time.

And if you thought you saw a Japanese mascot in amongst all the action, you weren’t seeing things, because that’s Nyango Star, the Aomori mascot who has a penchant for belting out X Japan hits on the drums. While he’s usually decked out in red, in the ad he’s all in blue specifically for Pepsi.

One of the common motifs in the ad, which can be seen on the costumes, flags and instruments, is the image of a crashing wave, inspired by Hokusai’s famous 19th century ukiyo-e woodblock print The Great Wave off Kanagawa, which appears on the J-Cola packaging to add a distinctly Japanese element to the region-exclusive product.

They’ve also released a behind-the-scenes “making-of” clip as well.

The new ad will be broadcast on national television from 17 April, the same day that the new Pepsi J-Cola goes on sale at stores around the country.

Source, images: PR Times