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Advertising / Karl Ojisan

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Karl Ojisan is the mascot of a brand of cheese flavored corn puffs called Karl, made by Japanese snack company Meiji. While the puffs themselves have been around since 1968, Karl Ojisan made his debut in 1974 and stars in a series of animated ads for the product. Besides Karl Ojisan himself, the commercials often contain his nephew and a band of woodland critters.

The Karl Ojisan ads show examples of:

  • Asian Fox Spirit: The fox is probably a kitsune, as he can be quite a trickster sometimes and has even transformed into a human.
  • Cicadian Rhythm: One of the commercials has Karl Ojisan and his nephew annoyed by a cicada buzzing on the tree they're resting by.
  • Oni: An oni is one of the recurring character. Although the other characters are afraid of him, he isn't usually portrayed as being that evil.
  • Sleepwalking: In one ad, the fox and tanuki play loud instruments in front of Karl Ojisan when he is asleep, and he starts sleepdancing.
  • Tanuki: He is sometimes seen causing mischief with the fox, and, like him, has been shown to transform into a human.
  • Top Ten Jingle: The song that Karl Ojisan (and in some ads, a background singer) sings is a song by Michiya Mihashi called "Īmondanafurusatoha" and was made for the commercials. It debuted in the ads in 1976, and was released as a full single in 1990.
  • Woodland Creatures: They appear in most of the ads. A bear, a fox, and a tanuki, a rabbit, and a turtle are a few of the recurring characters.