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Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, and his ’80s Suzuki Love Ads

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Over the years, Japanese automakers have randomly used American stars to promote their products. Most times, it’s for cars that aren’t sold here and are specifically for the JDM market. Stars like Eddie Murphy, Bruce Willis, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Meg Ryan have all done commercials for various Japanese automakers over the years. None, though, will probably be more iconic, random, or rare than Michael Jackson’s Suzuki commercials.

In the 1980s, MJ was at the height of his fame. This was Off The Wall and Thriller Jackson. He was huge. He was also a pretty savvy businessman, with the singer entering into many endorsement deals over the decade. Pepsi was probably his biggest deal. But he also entered into deals with companies like Sony, and L.A. Gear.

It’s during this time that Jackson entered into a deal with Suzuki to promote their Love scooter. Suzuki wanted to target more female customers with the Love: a small scooter powered by a four-stroke 50cc engine. The partnership resulted in an ad campaign that included both print ads and commercials. This was pretty big for any Japanese company. The Japanese loved Michael Jackson. His fans there have been described as both loyal and generous. So, any Japanese company using the world’s biggest pop star to sell their product was smart to do it.

I was able to find three of the commercials Jackson did for Suzuki.

The first is from 1979, done to Jackson’s single “Off The Wall” (from the album of the same name). It ends with him saying “Love is my message.”

Jackson did another commercial in what looks to be LA with him dancing on a rooftop as someone else rides the Love scooter through the city. It would’ve been cool to actually to see him ride it. This is one is funny because it looks as if it includes a blooper. Over the years some people have noticed that Michael had trouble winking, which is to say he couldn’t. At the end of this video, after saying “Love is my message,” instead of winking, he simply blinks both eyes and turns from the camera. You can tell he wants to laugh.

Michael Jackson – Love is my Message Suzuki (HD)

The last commercial I could find, which someone was great enough to remaster, shows him and a woman dancing to “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” in a white room around the Love scooter. Here, Jackson again attempts the blinking thing. I like how he actually committed to keep trying to blink in every ad and never succeeds.

Michael Jackson Suzuki Commercial (4K Remastered) 60fps

It’s honestly a cool ad campaign. I couldn’t pin down sales numbers for the Suzuki Love scooter, but I’m sure that people seeing MJ in commercials for it helped move a ton of them overseas.

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