Probably everyone can name a few or more memorable TV commercials. One of them for me, and probably for many other Japanese in my age as well, is American Express that I saw when I was a kid. In that TV commercial, a famous American pro golf player, who played internationally, said “出掛ける時は忘れずに (when you go out, don’t forget)”. At that time, international airfare was very expensive and many people did not know what going abroad was like. Many people including myself thought American Express was the most commonly used credit card overseas. Another one is Jim Beam. In that ad, a narrator went “アメリカを生きたバーボン、ジム・ビーム (A bourbon that lived America, Jim Beam)”. “アメリカを生きた (lived America)” does not literally make sense, but it sounded cool. I, like many others, thought Jim Beam represents America.
According to some sources today, Suntory, a Japanese beverage company that is known for its appearance in Lost in Translation, purchased Beam N that makes Jim Beam Bourbon. I just wondered if any source mentions something sentimental, something like “Japanese company bought America’s pride”, and browsed for other related articles. I could not find anything I expected, but instead of that, I found that one of those articles mentions that Beam N produces Canadian Club.
Is Canadian Club produced by an American company? And the American company will be owned by a Japanese company? OK, this is a business world. We should not expect brands to have identity. Business rules.