Oscar winner Sean Connery’s sponsored swig of Suntory’s Japanese whisky

It’s hardly what you expect from the world’s greatest Scotsman is it? But back in 1992 actor Sean Connery featured in this ad for Suntory Crest, made solely for the Japanese market (the commercial, that is).

It’s one of 50 ads chosen by Adweek featuring Oscar winners (Connery won a statue for best supporting actor in 1987 for The Untouchables).

At the time top-ranking Western thespians were rather shy of appearing in commercials but were usually happy to take the money from Japanese marketers and agencies as they reasoned the ads wouldn’t be shown anywhere else. The late Laurence Olivier appeared in an ad for Polaroid (I think) with the proviso that the ad couldn’t be shown anywhere else.

One of Connery’s successors as James Bond, Roger Moore, appeared in Japanese ads for Philip Morris’ Lark cigarettes. They too were confined to Japan.

But a Scotsman plugging Japanese whisky? Money’s money of course (especially for a Scotsman).

This Sunday’s Oscar winners will be notably less shy about appearing in ads than their predecessors (although not fags of course). I blame it on George Clooney and Nespresso.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.