People in Japan are falling in love with Spy Ando…and the humorous twist ending.

No other country in the world does animated advertisements quite like Japan. Here, products are anthropomorphised, slotted into Ghibli scenes, and sometimes they even become an essential plot point, as seen in this new ad from h&s Japan.

The video stars “elite spy” Ando, a fitting name, as the “&” in h&s is pronounced “ando” in Japanese, who travels around the world befriending people with his beguiling personality. No matter where he hides, though, a man called Takashi is always one step behind him, which baffles Ando until the very end, when Takashi humorously reveals why he always knows where Ando is.

▼ Take a look at the commercial, entitled The Birth of Ando, below.

The clip starts with Ando escaping from Takashi’s clutches in a neo-Tokyo-esque metropolis, flying through the air and ziplining into a bar before disappearing again.

He then lands in a hut in rural Japan, with Mt Fuji in the background, before whizzing off to the pyramids of Egypt, London’s Big Ben, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

During their final encounter in Paris, Ando finally asks, “Takashi, how come you always know my location?” To which Takashi answers, while pointing at Ando’s shoulder, “That dandruff!

▼ Ando turns and looks horrified at the dry flaky skin on his shoulder.

Then there’s a montage showing the trail Ando left for Takashi during his adventures, with his flaky scalp droppings found at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo in Egypt, and on the Westminster Bridge beside Big Ben in London (although the location of the clock has been flipped to the other side of the bridge).

As Ando is being taken away by Takashi and his men, someone slips a bottle of h&s scalp shampoo into the hands of the spy, who immediately uses the product in the shower and then escapes across the rooftops of Paris, never to be seen again, if the efficacy of the shampoo is anything to go by.

Japan’s h&s, known as Head and Shoulders overseas, specialises in anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners, and after local research revealed that 41 percent of men suffer from dandruff, the company decided to create an anime hero for the brand. Spy Ando first appeared on Twitter with an account opened in his name back in June 2015, but it’s only now, with the release of the commercial, that the account’s seen any activity, with the chase video being shared alongside another one called ”Make the Proposal a Success“.

▼ Ando saves a man from dandruff on his jacket just before he’s about to pop the question.

Creating an anime hero who once used to suffer from dandruff is a clever way to attract attention to your brand, and no doubt there’ll now be a lot of men seeking out the product in the hopes of following in Ando’s footsteps. Just like the way Morinaga Milk now has people wanting to become stay-home dads.

Source: YouTube/h&s Japan Official/エイチアンドエス公式 via Hachima Kikou
Images: YouTube/h&s Japan Official/エイチアンドエス公式 
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