Leaked Schwarznegger ads draw legal fire, Jim Hu, CNET News, August 3, 2000
Arnold Schwarznegger and the Japanese Commercials
Gaijin a Go-Go
Zero One Design is a Canadian Web design firm that created an amazing web site called The Gaijin a Go Go Cafe. This site that featured videos of cheesy Japanese TV commercials featuring famous American film stars. Alas, the site is no more, but the Japanese moonlighting survives on YouTube. Celluloid superstars featured on the Gaigin site included:
- Leonard diCaprio, for some kind of snack food and a credit card
- Antonio Banderas, for Suburu Forester
- Sean Connery, for Mazda
- Beavis & Butthead, for Mintia mints
- Demi Moore, for some kind of weird sport squirt food
- Keanu Reeves, for Suntory Whiskey
- Christian Slater, for Toyota
- Meg Ryan, for PurPeau beauty cream.
Arnold a Hawk
Apparently there is a lucrative market for American actors to appear in Japanese commercials. Since the commercials are for domestic distribution only, these actors can debase themselves for hard cash without fear of tarnishing their reputation in the American market. But as usual, the Web changes everything.
Arnold has not appeared in many commercials in the US, but he appears in a Japanese ad hawking DirectTV in which he play the role of a boxed entertainment export. This ad was not meant for release in the United States. But thanks to Zero One Design, it was a featured dish at the Gaijin a Go-Go Cafe.
Apparently, Arnold was not amused. Attorneys for Japanese advertising giant Dentsu, which produced the commercial, sent the Zero One Design a cease-and-desist letter claiming copyright violation. Attorneys for DirecTV sent them a cease-and-desist letter claiming the Gaijin a Go-Go site infringes DirecTV's trademark and Schwarzenegger's intellectual property rights.
Arnold hawking DirecTV
Zero One Designs capitulated and took down the video stream on the requested dadeo stream on the requested date of August 10, 2000. Zero One Design claimed that they were not intentionally violating copyrighted materials, but were just trying to show what cannot be seen in North America. They claimed that the Gaijin a Go Go Cafe site is not a business and does not charge a fee for its video streams. It also included links to Amazon.com, where readers could purchase legitimate DVDs and videos featuring the stars in the ads.