McDonald's (partially lost early Japanese TV commercials for fast food chain; 1973-1976)

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Mcdo japan80.jpg

A vintage Japanese McDonald's advertisement.

Status: Partially Lost

On the 20th of July, 1971 (Japanese time), fast food restaurant chain McDonald's had finally reached the Asian shores at the Ginza branch of the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo, Japan. The first television commercial was aired on Japanese TV in 1973.


While the Japanese McDonald's TV commercials from 1977 onward are available on the internet, the earlier commercials which originally aired between 1973 and 1976 can't be found anywhere. In February 27, 2018, a user named "Nancy Philip" uploaded commercials that are from 1975 and it included the McDonald's commercial.

There are possibilities that there is no recorded footage of the commercials (besides a commercial from 1975) due to many people in Japan at the time not owning any recording media other than cassette tapes which were only capable of recording sound. However, due to the fact that the Japanese branch of McDonald's has the data for the air date of the first commercial, it is likely that the company owns the original print.


Several people who have seen the commercials at the time state that they were bizarre, comedic live-action ads which didn't quite look like they were advertising for restaurants. One of the commercials seemed to involve Ronald McDonald rowing a wooden boat on the river, but it quickly lands on the shore without Ronald noticing.

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