Dragon Ball Z is one of the most popular anime of all time in the United States, and it's largely responsible for making anime culturally relevant stateside. The show's following is huge, as can be seen by the fact that two Dragon Ball Z films have made their way to American theaters in the past two years.
Now an American institution is looking to capitalize on the anime's popularity with an advertisement that is actually kind of clever. That institution is none other than car giant Ford, who in an ad for the new Ford Focus has Krillin and Gohan assembling the Namekian dragon balls so that they may be granted three wishes.
If you've watched the show, you'll know that Krillin and Gohan travel to planet Namek so they can use the dragon balls to resurrect their slain friends.
In this Ford ad, Krillin and Gohan have other plans. They want a car that has an "audio system from Sony," another car equipped with a rear-view camera, and last but not least, yet another car with an estimated 42 miles per gallon on the highway.
The wish-granting dragon tries to tell the two that they can get all three of those wishes with just one wish if they simply ask for a Ford Focus, but Krillin and Gohan don't listen. The dragon grants them a Ford Focus anyway, with the marketing tagline "Conserve your wishes" then appearing below an animated version of the car.
It's worth a watch for Dragon Ball Z fans, if just to experience the feeling of "what am I watching?" that is likely to sweep over anybody who has watched the original show. Looks like somebody on Ford's marketing team is a fan.
One interesting sidenote: the video is "unlisted" on YouTube, which means people can't search for it and find it on the site. Despite this, the video has more than 700,000 views from sharing the link around alone, which certainly seems to indicate that Ford's ad is getting attention. You can watch the ad for yourself below.