Pepsiman was the Japanese mascot for Pepsi in the mid-to-late 90s. In his commercials, which ran from 1996 to 2003, he would run up to people who need a refreshing beverage and give them cans of Pepsi, often suffering Amusing Injuries along the way.
He was the brainchild of well-known art director and graphics designer Takuya Onuki, with ILM responsible for creating Pepsiman's CG animation.
He received a video game adaptation in 1999.
The ads contain examples of:
- Amusing Injuries: At the end of each commercial, Pepsiman would receive one of these, which was also applied to the Pepsi can at the end. For example, in one commercial, he hits his head on a window, with the Pepsi can having a dent in the top. One action figure bizarrely titled "The Fuct of Pepsiman" actually came with a crutch. The only time the Pepsi can didn't get damaged in some way was in a commercial that introduced Pepsiman's white-and-blue design.
- The Blank: Pepsiman has no eyes, no nose, and a mouth he only used to drink Pepsi or when he gives people Pepsi, usually accompanied by "Schwaaa!".
- Bland-Name Product: One commercial sees Pepsiman going to a fast food joint called "Best Burger", which is clearly meant to be a parody of In-N-Out Burger.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Pepsiman may be a bumbling idiot and a (quite literal) punching bag at times, but he is thoroughly good at delivering Pepsi to anyone.
- Butt-Monkey: Given his aforementioned Amusing Injuries, Pepsiman is one, a short-sighted one at that.
- Catchphrase: Schwaaa!note
- Costume Evolution: Whenever the Pepsi can currently in production changed, so did Pepsiman's outfit.
- The Chew Toy: Again Pepsiman who is a massive Butt-Monkey/Iron Butt Monkey, this trope is pretty justified since he tends to be very klutzy and quite buffoonish with his short-sighted reactions to his Amusing Injuries.
- Distaff Counterpart: There was a Pepsiwoman to advertise Pepsi Twist, a lemon-flavored Pepsi. Specifically its "Diet" variant. Other than having a feminine body (with Jiggle Physics...), Pepsiwoman also wore a lemon-shaped ski mask to represent the lemon flavor, much like Pepsiman Twist.
- Ear Worm: PEP-SI-MAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! Hear the whole thing here.
- Food-Based Superpowers: Pepsiman's modus operandi is to race up to thirsty or upset people, thrust out his open palm, and suddenly everyone has a Pepsi in hand. It's not clear (or terribly important) how Pepsiman produces free soda for random people, but it might be best not to think about that too deeply.
- Guest Fighter: He appeared in the Japanese version of Fighting Vipers for Sega Saturn.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Pepsiman's only power (other than maybe super speed) is the ability to give people Pepsi. But he makes it as awesome as possible.
- Hollywood Mirage: One commercial featured a Mexican man crawling through the desert. When Pepsiman approached him, it turned out to be a cactus.
- The Klutz: Aforementioned in his Chew Toy status, he often stumbles around after delivering Pepsi or is pretty darn clumsy before and after delivering Pepsi to others.
- Long Song, Short Scene: Most commercials were only a few seconds long, but his Leitmotif was four minutes long.
- Mistaken for Thief: A Pepsi Twist commercial has Pepsiman attempt to stop a bank robbery, but it turns out the burglars are also wearing bright yellow ski-masks. The commercial ends with the burglars and Pepsiman getting hauled off by the police.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Giving people a refreshing beverage has never been so badass.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In the commercial for Pepsi Twist, Pepsiman is wearing a yellow beanie around his head. People immediately recognize him, but Pepsiman denies that he's Pepsiman. The commercial ends with people trying to pull off his beanie.
- Product as Superhero: Pepsiman is a superhero whose superpower is giving people Pepsi.
- The Speechless: Pepsiman never speaks. Most of the time he either grunts or says his signature catchphrase "Schwaaa!" when he delivers Pepsi to thirsty locals. Subverted with this Corvette commercial, in which he speaks Japanese with a heavy American accent.
- Sudden Anatomy: Grows a mouth on his otherwise faceless head while summoning or drinking Pepsi. It also sprouts when he's shocked or startled.
- Take That!: One ad features Pepsiman being chased down an alleyway by a red and white truck, which wrecks everything in its way. Even though the logo is blurred out, it's quite obvious that it's meant to be a jab at Coca-Cola.
- Title Scream: His theme song is punctuated by screams of PEPSIMAAAAAN!
- Ungrateful Bastard: When he gives Pepsi to a boxer practicing on a punching bag, his way of repaying Pepsiman is by using his head as a punching bag.