Sumitomo Life (found "Wallace & Gromit" commercial for Japanese insurance company; 2000-2001)
Wallace & Gromit has had success and popularity in many countries including Japan. The brand had a deal with Sumitomo Life, an insurance firm that offered customers special gifts. This would also include Wallace & Gromit-themed paraphernalia. This deal also resulted in a television commercial, which only aired in Japan, where the Wallace and Gromit characters would showcase what Sumitomo Life insures their customer against.
The commercial in question had Wallace and Gromit riding on their motorbike with a stunt team of sheep (similar to their animated short A Close Shave). They hit a tortoise (which bears a striking resemblance to Frank the Tortoise from Creature Comforts, another Aardman/Nick Park creation) and they all fall off but then land again in a vertical line with Wallace and Gromit on top, Shaun at the bottom steering and the tortoise on Shaun's head serving as a helmet.
According to Mark Chamberlain's resume (the director of photography on this and many other Aardman commercials), the ad is simply titled "Sumitomo Wallace & Gromit", runs for 15 seconds, was shot on 35mm and directed by Dave Osmand.
It also cites its release date as 2000, but production company Bigfoot Productions claims to have done post-production on it in 2001, so it can be assumed Chamberlain was referring to when he had worked on it, and the ad had only finished production the following year.
The ad may have been available for viewing on Sumitomo's official website, but unfortunately, the video was not archived on the same server, and the ad cannot be viewed there anymore.
Up until 2022, the only footage/imagery of it that can currently be seen is what seems to be a single-second clip used on the Behind the Scenes features of 2002 Wallace & Gromit's Cracking Contraptions DVD and a picture of the ad used on the same webpage. It remained as possibly the only Wallace & Gromit animation piece that hasn't been re-aired, rereleased or reuploaded to the general public at all since its initial showing.
Brief silent excerpts of the ad can be seen in "How Wallace & Gromit Went to Hollywood". The advert may have also been on a Japanese Shaun the Sheep DVD in its entirety.
On February 25, 2022, an anonymous user emailed Lost Media Wiki founder Dycaite, informing him they had a Wallace & Gromit DVD that contained the commercial. The DVD also included a pudding commercial. It was uploaded onto the Lost Media Wiki YouTube channel.
- Aardman Animations (found Cuprinol stop-motion TV ads from British animation studio; 1988-late 1990s)
- Aardman Animations (partially found stop-motion commercials from British animation studio; 1980s-2010s)
- A Grand Day Out (lost Peter Hawkins' "Gromit" dialogue from stop-motion animated film; 1989)
- Lurpak (partially lost Aardman Animations commercials for Danish butter brand; 1990s)
- Pib and Pog (lost original college animation of stop-motion short; early 1990s)
- Shaun The Sheep (lost pilot of British stop-motion TV series; early to mid 2000s)
- Wallace & Gromit Alive On Stage In A Grand Night Out (lost recording of stage show; 1997-1998)
- Mark Chamberlain's resume (archived). Retrieved 10 Mar '14
- BigFoot Production webpage mentioning the commercial and it's release year. Retrieved 10 Mar '14