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Classic Joe Isuzu TV Commercials

Posted in Funny Videos, General by Kurt Ernst | March 21st, 2010 | 3 Responses |

I was thinking about the demise of Isuzu the other day, and it reminded me of all the classic Joe Isuzu commercials from the late 1980s to early 1990s. Back then, Isuzu was a growing Japanese manufacturer with an identity crisis; their cars and trucks were good, but no one had ever heard of them. Enter Joe Isuzu, a fast talking pitch man (played by actor David Leisure) who could sell ice to Eskimos. Sure, he lied to the television audience, but you KNEW he was lying because the claims were so bizarre. It was funny in the same way that Jeremy Clarkson’s remarks on The Stig are funny; you know his testicles aren’t shaped liked Portugal, but the claim is so off the wall that you laugh anyway. That’s what the old Joe Isuzu commercials were like.

Isuzu pulled out of the US Market in early 2009, a victim of inconsistant product strategies and a poorly established dealer network. Their trucks were good (good enough to be rebadged and sold as Hondas and Acuras), but their cars were bland and never enjoyed the market share of rivals Toyota and Nissan. After the success they enjoyed during the Joe Isuzu years, they never again invested heavily in U.S. advertising, and no one seemed to notice when they disappeared from the American landscape.

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3 Responses

  1. MaC says:

    My favorite was the one where he’s in the parking lot saying
    he’s been all through this other vehicle (I think it was a caravan) and he says I can’t find so & so….the entire car is in shambles, down to the wires, when the owner comes Joe has trusty screwdriver in hand saying “I’ll have you out of here in a second, like soooooo many mechanics claim when you come to pick up your car at the appointed time……just hilarious!!!

    • John G. Tripp says:

      Hey MaC
      I’m commenting on over a year old complimentary statement you made about “Joe Isuzu”……..Myself and Sandra were the two TV commercial producers who did all those spots. Now that we’re both geezers in our late 60′s we ain’t exactly working anymore, but it was fun fun fun to have done that huge campaign. Like a pro baseball player, it doesn’t matter how much we have in the bank….we miss greatly our years of heading up the team and traveling!!!

  2. Brian says:

    The Isuzu commercial I’m looking takes place long before Joe Isuzu. All the way back to the 60s when funny commercials were actually funny. It helps to remember this commercial takes place when Isuzu was brand new in America and nobody knew how to pronounce it.

    This commercial takes place in an Isuzu dealership between a Japanese car salesman and an American customer. The Japanese salesman is trying to teach the American how to say Isuzu. The American guy gets it wrong every possible way you can think of. This goes on for about 10-15 seconds until they go the part of the commercial in which they sell the car.

    When they come back the salesman is leaning on a filing cabinet or something with his head laying on his arms utterly exhausted form the effort. He raises his head, turns to the customer and says “That’s okay kid. I can’t say chevoray.”

    Has anyone seen this commercial? I would love to have a copy of it.