American film, television and music stars are often reluctant to appear in ads here because they think it cheapens their image.
But they still want the cash, so they’ll do lucrative television commercials in Japan, where they must think people don’t have the internet. These bankable personalities all made appearances in commercials for heavyweight car brands.
Not long after Anthony Hopkins was settling in for a nice Chianti and some poor sap’s liver, he was cutting ads for Honda in Japan.
The Honda Avancier was a five-seat station wagon-ish vehicle that was based on the Accord platform. It debuted in 1999, and came with the Accord’s 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, or the 3.0-liter V6. It was literally “forward looking,” with an Intelligent Highway Cruise Control system that used radar to determine how far the Avancier was from the car ahead, and maintain a safe following distance.