Dragon Ball characters have been used in many advertisements for Japanese products. Those products include snacks, eye drops, office supplies, and of course Dragon Ball DVDs, video games, cards, pogs, and other toys.
The following is list of real life commercials made using characters from the Dragon Ball franchise, not including commercials designed specifically to promote something in-universe like games.
Early when the Dragon Ball anime aired in Japan, Goku was seen riding the Flying Nimbus, diving under water, and destroying rocks to find packet of crisps in a commercial for potato chips. Later, while Dragon Ball GT aired in Japan, Goku, Trunks, Pan and Giru appeared in a commercial for Nichiryo's soft bread treat called Mushi Pan ("steaming bread"); the characters are seen actually jumping right off the packaging and screaming out all sorts of stuff about the bread. Included in the Mushi Pan packaging, was one of 20 collectible cards, which included some rare "prism seal" cards. The Mushi Pan commercial is featured in the Dragon Box GT.
While Dragon Ball Kai aired in Japan, Gohan and his family and friends appeared in commercials for seasoned seaweed paste produced by Momoya, the Gohan Desuyo! (ごはんですよ！). In those commercials, the Dragon Ball Kai characters take face similar to that of the characters previously used for the Gohan Desuyo! commercials. McDonald's also sponsored Dragon Ball Kai when it was airing on Japanese television, and KFC promoted the 2013 movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods with KFC "Parents and Children Play Together! Mightiest Battle Goods, Round 1" and "Hikaru! Dragon Bottle Mightiest Pack" meals. Also, starting on February 15, 2013, seven locations around Japan had a statue of Colonel Sanders wearing the Turtle School uniform, with each of them holding a different Dragon Ball.
Also as part of the promotion of Battle of Gods, Japanese convenience stores Lawson and Mini Stop have added several offerings such as a Dragon Bowl and assortments of food. Food products include: Karāge-kun fried chicken (shrimp-chilli flavor), Fried curry bun with gooey soft-boiled egg inside, Fluffy Kinto'un Bread, Makankōsappō Snack (wasabi flavor), Babystar Ramen-Maru (chicken flavor with spicy garlic flavor bits), Paf-Paf Marshmallows (strawberry flavor), Kinto'un Cotton Candy (lemon flavor), Dragon Ball Mug & Jelly, Ultra Divine Water (vitamin C lemonade), Dragon Ball Z boxed tissues, Dragon Balls” (pizza bites), Super Saiyan x French Fries, Piccolo Daimaō's Matcha Double Chou, Dragon Balls eaten with spoon, Majin Buu's Milk Pudding, Goku's Nyoibō Stick Bread, Krillin's Whip & Chestnut Cream Bread, One-Star Ball Tenshinhan, Genki-Dama Onigiri (seaweed-wrapped rice ball with spicy curry flavored rice and a soft-boiled egg in the center), Kamehameha Rice, Seven-Ingredient Yakisoba, Kamesen-Style Roll, Vegeta's Vegetable Salad.
Dragon Ball Z was used to advertise several lines of drinks by Dydo Drink Co, available in vending machines nationwide in Japan. Two new Dragon Ball Z lines were launched on February 25, 2013: the "Dragon Ball Cola Zero" line comprised of six zero calorie drinks each containing seven amino acids and featuring artwork from the Saiyan Saga, and the "Dragon Ball Cider" line comprised of six drinks each containing seven vitamins and featuring artwork from the Namek Saga.
Acecook produced Battle of Gods instant noodles; the customer could win one of 10,000 Tosho Cards, a gift card good at bookstores across the country, worth ¥500 by purchasing specially-branded instant noodles and lifting the lid where a card is. The applicable products were in Acecook's Super Cup line, which for this promotion included the 1.5x and Ōmori Yakisoba products with a movie tie-in label: under the 1.5x series, the types include Soy Ramen, Miso Ramen, Pork Bone Ramen, Chanpon, and Deluxe Pork & Kimchi (the last being a convenience store exclusive) and under the Ōmori Yakisoba series, the types include Squid Yakisoba and Chinese-Style Yakisoba.
From the beginning of the Dragon Ball anime to the end of Dragon Ball GT, characters such as Goku, Bulma, Oolong, Krillin, Gohan, Goten, Trunks and Pan have been used in advertisements for Rooto's Kodomo Soft ("Children's Soft"). The product is an eye drop for reducing the stinging sensation of chlorine when swimming in a pool.
The children's version of the product was often promoted by popular anime characters, specifically Dragon Ball for the boys and Sailor Moon for the girls. Also, the product had a small plastic carrying case for the eye drops which is worn around the neck, prominently displayed the heroes of the show. The commercials for the Kodomo Soft mix animation with live-action footage: the characters usually jump into the water, swim, and get out of the water with red eyes and distraught before using eye drops. The exception is the second Dragon Ball eye drops commercial, which features children playing video games and doing homework instead, but again, it features Oolong, Goku, and Bulma.
Two of the eye drops commercials are included in the Dragon Box Z Volume 1, along with many other Dragon Ball commercials.
School and office supplies
Goku and his sons have appeared in several commercials for office supplies and transforming study desks.
KOIZUMI produced a transforming study desk called Super Power Desk, which has plastic light-up Dragon Ball Z picture on front. In an advertisement for this Super Power Desk, the last commercial made during the run of Dragon Ball Z, Gohan is shown turning Super Saiyan and firing an Electric Kamehameha, Goten performs martial arts poses before transforming into a Super Saiyan, and Kid Trunks confronts demons similar to those in the movie Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle before powering up to Super Saiyan. At the end of the commercial, the three hybrid Saiyans are shown next to each other turning into Super Saiyans. Later, KOIZUMI produced a modified version of the Super Power Desk, the Hyper Desk, which allows for a computer to be used on; GT Goku appears in the commercial for this Hyper Desk.
The Super Power Desk commercial is included in the Dragon Box Z Volume 1 and the Hyper Desk commercial is in the Dragon Box GT, along with a GT school supplies commercial.
Vegeta and Bulma appear in an advertisement for a cleaner from Kao. This was the first media to ever feature Aya Hisakawa as the new voice of Bulma.
- Various Dragon Ball commercials from the 80's
- Various Dragon Ball commercials from the 90's
- Various Dragon Ball commercials (video games, Super Power Desk, and Dragon Box)
- Various Dragon Ball commercials (video games, pogs, carddass, and eye drops)
- Ads featured in Dragon Box Z Volume 1 and Dragon Box GT, at kanzentai.com