1. Like a stray dog leaving his mark, I wander about taking photos.
    If photos are like a record, I prefer memory.
    Things will fade, but memories will always remain.
    I feel the memories from the past (closely)
    A photo is a (struggle?) between the taken and the taker. If one were to include the camera, I guess it would be a threesome.
    Is the world a cemetery?
    Am I alive?

    This is the first time I’ve watched an ad so many times! There’s also one for the X10 featuring the girl in this ad:
    The “Fujipop” X-M1 ad is also really touching somehow

  2. James, wow! Yes, now we’re talkin. This other commercial of yours is brilliant. Thank you for sharing. It is so great to meet another Francis Bacon supporter. Uggh, he is from the gods. Conversely, another favorite artist of mine is Isamu Noguchi, for different reasons of course. If there was a sculptor that was pathos free it must be Noguchi. Talk about Zen and nothingness. So pure it hurts. I am trying to hobble together my own very commercial photography business: bigapplephototours.com. I work in a restaurant and I am hoping that this could be a way out of the restaurant and onto a path of freedom. My ultimate goal is to get back to painting again. That is my background. I have had solo shows and I am have pieces in museums but I’m still struggling. Please email me and I can send you some reviews. davidhunternyc@gmail.com I am honored to get to know you.

  3. David, good luck with your lottery 🙂 Let’s make a movie with that money, that would be fun Haha!
    I’ve a dark side as well, Bacon is one of my favorite artist too. You live in NYC, I should have know you earlier, I had a shoot there in July. What do you do for living, something related to photography? Stay in touch.
    http://youtu.be/9Ez-_CCqF54 http://youtu.be/gb1-XmTOI_c http://youtu.be/G0zrQSSauHo Check these out, u might like it, these are the dark sides of me 🙂

  4. I shoot the X100 and X10 with MarkII.
    For the X-E1, I used MarkII,Fujifilm X-Pro1. I did shoot some stills with X100 as well.

    • James, It has been one of the great questions in my mind over the last couple of years. How was that X100 commercial shot? I could never find an answer. It looks like it could have been shot with a camera or cleverly shot in HD video and then edited to look like a camera. So you used a Canon Mark ll? Wow! Now my question has been answered. Thanks. Last week, NYC had a $560 million lottery. I thought I had a real chance of winning. ; ) Anyway, if I did win, the first thing I would’ve done with my winnings is quit my job and become your intern for 5 years. You would have no choice in the matter and you would have been stuck with me (be glad I didn’t win). You are a living master and I want to learn from you. So the X-E1 commercial is not my cup of tea. This is simply becauase I always prefer darker, more dramatic visuals (for instance, I prefer Francis Bacon to Renoir). So what, the X-E1 commercial is still brilliantly filmed and photographed. You are a true treasure. Thank you for sharing with us all your talents.

  5. James, I just saw the X-E1 commercial. I have to be honest. It is a beautiful commercial but it doesn’t equal the gravity of the X100 commercial. Again, the X100 commercial has got to be the greatest commercial ever made, period. How does one top it? In all fairness, for some reason, I get the feeling that Fuji did not give you the creative freedom to do as you wished with the X-E1 commercial. As nice as it is, it is still conventional.

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for your comments 🙂 Yes, I did the X100 and X10 commercials as well. The agency and client did give me free hand to work on the new X-E1 commercial. Just we don’t want to repeat what we did for the X100 and X10. The theme for this one is to remind us the first intention of our photographing experience, don’t get lost, take picture should merely a happy matter. This film was tribute to a great Japanese photographer Shoji Ueda, I adapted his style in this project. Once again, thank you for your kindly comments. I like your blog and stay in touch!

      James Leung

  6. O.K. I have, yet again, been thinking about this commercial. Is there a better, more perfect commercial of any product anywhere? I don’t think so. If you differ, please post alternatives here.

  7. All right, I admit I got somehow addicted to this blog and the ad. So, one more remark that I will regret in the future… Words of Araki that I came across following leads related to the ad:

    “Good camera. Good lens. Leica, etc. these were the masters of a photographer. But in a way, Daido Moriyama is a photographer who started to make the camera his own slave. Photography is not about camera. Of course we need the camera. If you want to write a romantic love letter, we need some tool to write with. But anything, a pencil or ballpoint pen, is fine”

    I know it’s been said many times but it’s good to remind ourselves about it.

    Steve, thanks to your excellent blog I finally understood this simple truth. Many thanks.

  8. Nice ad in my opinion, it appears to me that the ad (whether it’s real or not) tries to show that this camera is so discrete, that you can even take pictures of a couple loving each other or a man that is eating garbage. This really is a great feature of a camera to have, when I point a DSLR at someone they mostly are scared or something, at least most look away or fake smile.

  9. I really just can’t stop watching this commercial. It is the most perfect piece of advertising I have ever seen. There were just of couple of split seconds where I thought the piece was a bit heavy handed with the product but I still feel like this commercial sets the bar in the 21st century. I bow to Japan… Simply, a masterpiece.

  10. Clearly, this ad was aimed for real photographers, street shooters and artists. This was not intended for your soccer moms, karated dads, bubble gum pop teens or sweaty weekend tourists. Art is art, even if it is a big black dot on the wall or a smear of chicken blood on toilet paper. If you go to Flickr and search “Fujifilm Finepix X100”, this camera is clearly in the hands of artists. Capable artists I might add with diverse tastes and subject matter. Most of the shots being uploaded from this little camera are sublime. There is a reason why this ad is not being aired in the western world, and there’s a reason why we mostly see Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift and Maria Sharapova selling us new cameras in the U.S. From the very start of their campaign, Fuji already have real photographers as their target consumers. If this ad doesn’t make you feel like going out and shoot a garbage dump in black & white, then clearly you are not the target audience. Get a Coolpix.

    • Joe, well said! I’m definitely a target audience with this add, not to say I’m an artist but it simply resonates with me. Especially that I love Tokyo.

    • Oh, one more thing. This ad reminds me of Araki, a Japanese equivalent of Winogrand. Araki, like this ad, is not for everybody.

  11. Hi guys, I’m in Hong Kong too and seeing this ad everyday cuts down to 30 sec not full length like this one posted. He speaks Japanese and sub-titled in Chinese here. The following are what he said in the ad :

    ” We just like a homeless dog, pissing around on the street whole day alone, taking photos. ”

    ” This world – is it a cemetery ? Are we still alive ? ”

    Take a look here : http://x100.fujifilm.com.hk/x100/index.html Fuji HK website for X100 and all the photos inside are from Japan. A sad and dark theme site, those typing messages are same or similar to the TV ad. What he said is the perception and philosophy from 6 different famous Japanese street photographers.

    One of them is here : http://www.moriyamadaido.com. One other is famous in taking nude and porn. This guy shocked the heck of the world by shooting and showing photos of his dead wife in early 90s. His website is here : http://www.arakinobuyoshi.com

    Tokyo, HK and some other over-crowded cities or countries, people living under high stress because of high living index and poor managed government. They are less happiness, feeling isolated, loneliness, hopeless, sadness and so on. As you see in the ad & website, the perception of street snap or candid tends to more negative & darker than some of them we see from western street photos.

  12. Steve, this is def. a Japanese advert for Fuji X100. They speak japanese, the posters are japanese and the view of the city is Tokyo. 🙂

  13. I live in Hong Kong & the YouTube videos says (I believe) that it is an ad shot for Hong Kong but that the one shown is an ‘underground’ version – e.g., it is not for general release. The ad w/out nudity is being shown on HK television.

  14. I thought about the ad a bit more a day later (and that by itself is a testament to the ad’s effectiveness — memorable), and watched it a couple more times. This ad is highly interpretive and metaphoric but lends particular thorns for the Japanese people. I am surprised no one commented on the uniformed school girl reference and the Yakusa — both the contrast and the confrontation, the heavy makeup on the WWII survivor lady in an otherwise delapidated environment (the metaphor is awakening), or the invisble face of the homeless man. Everything in this ad is with intent and with pungent reference to very-real issues in the underlying cultish aspect of the Japanese society. Though these issues are rampantly known in Japan, they are taboo for discussion for the most part — somewhat 1920s prohibition like. It reminds me of the irony that pornography in Japan is technically illegal, but Tokyo has the highest consumption of pornography and prostitution per capita than any other major city (just take a walk down a well known district in Shinjiku). These images are not far fetched nor fantasy; they may offend some but very much reality in Japan if you look beneath the surface. You don’t go shoot taboo issues with a huge DSLR with a big lens — taboo subjects are specialized street photography subjects and being discrete is not just a matter of being polite, but necessary for survival (anyone here try to take a picture/video of a Yakusa member who lived to tell about it didn’t do it openly). Like I said the ad is highly interpretive but I think the ad is somewhat implying that the X100 is the smallest package for you to decisively capture moments/issues that you cannot otherwise fully examine in real time should they occur in front of you. It’s a good ad and I look forward to using my X100.

  15. Not mainstream, creative, provocative, a little edgy, starting debates, I like it. It reminds me of the Benetton marketing campaign of years ago, which started quite emotional discussions. It will allow Fuji to enhance name recognition.

  16. It seems to me Fuji is aiming at reproducing the “street photographer” experience. Street photography often deals with controversial subjects (poverty, prostitution). Could be the vibe they were trying to go for. At the very least I really like the idea that they’re trying to sell a product without an add that is trying to make everything look attractive (noticed how people shooting with Canons, Nikon, Sony, or even other Fuji cameras seem to always smile when they’re taking a picture ?). In a way it’s beaudelaire-spirited.

  17. translation (his voice is a little rough so i had a hard time.. not a native speaker 🙂 )

    i take pictures here and there like a …. (something.. can’t understand).
    if pictures were used records, there would be better memories (something long these lines).
    everything will disappear someday… but memories will always remain.
    things from long ago, you can feel them near.
    pictures are things that can be taken and are taken (i’m guessing here but it’s close).
    (don’t know next line at all).
    this world is all a cemetery (i think… could be wrong).
    i wonder if i’m alive….

    this ad is beautiful word wise. i hope now you can get a better feel for the whole thing about memories and capture. the translation is VERY rough but yeah. by the way this was DEFINITELY shot in Japan but it may have been POSTED by someone who speaks Chinese (japanese kanji is chinese characters).

  18. This ad is airing in HK. I saw it the other night. But a shorter, more family friendly version than the one above. I think it is aimed at the rich mainland China visitors who are always in HK buying famous brand name stuff because it is cheaper over here, and they like everything they own to have a recognisable brand/logo. But it seems to me that it is marketed as a rich man’s toy or as a high end “artsy” camera rather than as a serious tool for an enthusiastic, amatuer photographer. Not quite fully sold out all the time over here. I see one in a shop window now and again, not as elusive as in other countries methinks. But I was in Macau last weekend, wandering around in the Las Vegas copycat hotels, and I saw them hanging on the necks of just over middle aged China men, so I guess the ad is doing it’s job.

    • I’m not sure rich man would like to wander along the street like a stray dog and take photos of the dark side as illustrated in the ad. I thought those blink blink ads with successful man, hot model, and sport car are more like a standard model to attract rich man. Anyway, from you words, x100 seems to be a luxury tool with no sufficient substance to justify its price.

  19. Does Fujifilm really need this type of ads to push X100’s sales? I’m wondering what kind of ads other camera makers have in Japan especially those ones are in trouble.
    Beautiful classic camera, but classless ads.

    • they thought people in Hong Kong love these kinds of exaggerating scene… but in fact, this does draw much noise in the city, but in both positive and negative ways.

      (btw, this is an ad from Hong Kong, not from Japan)

      • Not likely, Chinese government will never allow this kind of ads on their national TV. Only in Japan.

        • Hong Kong is different from China mainland, much more freedom and open-minded. The shorter and family-friendly version is airing in HK everyday. In my own opinion, the concept of this ad is targeted to street photographers which are used to document things along the street. If people chose to emphasize only on beautiful and glamorous shots, they better off stay away from the street.

  20. I personally like it. Edgy, dark, and from the looks of it (shaky video and all) I would bet it was filmed with the X100 as well. Sex scene doesn’t bother me at all, it is about what we would see in a rated PG movie. It is different, and different is good.

  21. what a load of tosh! doesn’t do the camera or it’s potential owners any favours at all – bit like a game advert aimed at 14 year old boys! What are they thinking of? (fuji not the boys!)

    • “Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” by Henri Cartier Bresson. What really matter in street photography is the story behind each shot. I’m glad that Fuji did not present the shinny sample shots with posing hot models in the ad. Fuji is not a boy indeed.

  22. You’ll never see a Leica commercial like this.
    I’m not surprised by knowing that this is from a culture that man are known to eat their food off naked woman’s body…
    Maybe I’m too old for this. Can’t take it, sorry. Without the sex scene, I think it is a very powerful commercial, Japan’s re-born, I hope!

  23. Looks Chinese, specifically it looks like a short film by Kar Wai Wong. Probably not, but looks good.

  24. @WLH #22

    it actually says they are imitating Daido and Araki’s style of photography in this ad.

  25. Translation (took it from the subtitles from the hk version post by GFONG):
    I am a dog, walking along on the street everyday. taking pictures everywhere.
    This world, is it really a graveyard? Are we still alive?
    End shot: Fuji X100 Drifting shoot

    the original is definitely an interesting ad and i think it was shoot in Japan as well. the narrator is speaking japanese, the scenes are japanese, the av posters is written in japanese.

    • That’s just a much shorter version of the Japanese advertisement embedded in this post.

      However, it does have Chinese translation, which I can read, of the spoken Japanese.

      (words in square brackets [] is my addition to help to make sense of the translation)

      I am [like] a dog

      Wander around street corners everyday
      Taking photos every where, as if discharging [emotionally]

      This world
      Is it, or is it not a graveyard?
      Are we still alive?

      And the video ends.

  26. I want one of these cameras! I just need to win the lottery first…

    Wonderfull ad, by the way. Grabbed my attention right away. The music, voice-over and the footage worked well together.


  27. intense ad. they definitely seem to go for the viral thing. this video also tells me that fuji is aiming to the market of street photography shooters. i find the ad interesting though. and the sex scene is krass for sure 🙂

  28. i thought it was very inspiring and hade a great mood to it, i enjoyed the sex scene but i would enjoy them more if they would be more subtle, or less of them, otherwise it made the video rather cheap

  29. Great film, thanks for finding it Steve. Beautifully edited, would love to know if it was filmed on the X100 as well, that would be extra cool!

  30. Can somebody translate that? Unfortunately, my Japanese is a little bit rusty these days …

  31. VERY refreshing. Of course Americans have trouble with nudity…LOL. What else is new.
    Nudity and sex are part of life. Duh. I love the emotions evoke when viewing the ad. It depicts and expresses the struggles and temptations of life in an urban environment. It definitely got an emotional reaction from me. I don’t even need to hear or understand the voice-over. …
    Quite beautiful.

  32. Really strange – even for a guy living in Europe!

    As I don’t understand Japanese just can comment on the pictures – hard, brutal, speedy, dark…not sure what the intention of giving a message (if there should one) should have been by FUJIFILM.

    Maybe FUJIFILM just wanted that people talk about it – so, viral marketing.

    Thx for showing/linking.

      • Funny, mushi was the only word I did understand and the Japanese use it for phone/call.. So – not quite what you’re thinking of, tzstzs.. Although, I do understand where the inspiration came from, so you’re right of course! Honi soit qui mal y pense.

    • This commercial is freakin awesome! I agree, American’s are so prudish. We can celebrate violence and blow up the world but please, no sex.

      • Lets keep in mind that U.S. is also the biggest exporter of porn . . . But that said, the sexual images here is not exactly Playboy TV; the Yakusa tatoo and the young school girl ear marks something that, if you lived in Japan long enough, is very taboo yet prevelant fantacy. It’s amazing how many shcool girl outfits are on the cover of Japanese porn (not saying I consume it but I’ve certainly explored around Japan while I was there, like a dog on the street . . . .)

        • The U.S. may be the biggest exporter of porn but this is not because we are a sexually liberated country. The U.S. is the biggest exporter of porn because it is good commerce. The U.S. is in the business of making war. The U.S. is in the business of making porn.

    • If you live in Asia or are familiar with Asian ads then you should be familiar with the fact that it is common for ads to be in another language, such as in Japanese, simply for effects. Something similar to a French ad in the U.S. for Chanel. But in any event none of the film was shot in Hong Kong.

  33. Basically Hong Kong and Japan use the same ad for X100

    I live in HK and the version without nude is on-air every day recently. There is Chinese subtitle for the Japanese voiceover.

  34. Definitely speaking Japanese, and in the skyline shot near the beginning, I think you can see the Tokyo Tower on the right side.

    This reminds me of the “artsy” commercial Homer Simpson had made in the “Mr. Plow” episode.

    Not sure I want an X100 now 😉

  35. Oh nm, I just realized you changed that. Was going to say, all japanese people, yakuza, Japanese speech…. Probably not a Chinese plug!

  36. Hi Steve, just to comment, I live in Japan and I have never seen this commercial…

    I can also make out some the calligraphies in the YouTube video title but and it’s not in Japanese, and part of it says “Hong-Kong”.

    Just thought I’d let you know what I noticed.

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