What’s Going on With That Bizarre Japanese Trump Ad?

For one thing, it isn't from Japan

Screenshot from the video
Screenshot from the video
Posted June 16, 2016 at 11:50am

You can’t blame people for being confused. When a bright pink video titled Japanese Donald Trump Commercial popped up on the internet featuring a young woman lounging in a bedroom plastered with Trump’s face, many thought it was a real Trump commercial, just from Japan, for some reason.  

Never mind the bearded pink Trump dinosaur. Or the huge Trump robot building a giant wall, then flying away and blasting Earth to bits with lasers.


“Dear Japan, please stay weird,” read a tweet from @korda . “Japan should produce all political ads,” read another .  

But the weirdness didn’t come from Japan. It came from Mike Diva.  

Mike Diva describes himself as “MAKER OF VIDEOS/ MUSIC/ MEMES & DREAMS” on his YouTube page . Many of his videos, including the Trump ad, employ elements of a style known as vaporwave , which typically feature a bright blue and pink color palette, absurdity, washed-out synthesizer music, and references to Japan, Ancient Greece, and Windows 95. Many of Diva’s videos satirize and remix pieces of popular mass media, creating an overwhelming and bizarre parody of media-obsessed culture.  

Understanding this style makes it easier to get what’s going on with the Trump video. In it, Trump is turned into the ultimate teen idol, dictator, and action hero, all rolled into one. He Sieg Heils in front of a swastika and destroys the world, but he creates an amazing spectacle in the process. And the video seems to be saying that’s all the media really care about.

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