How mocking Trump is benefitting destinations

How mocking Trump is benefitting destinations

It has become the latest trend by countries around the world – trolling Donald Trump.

In his first speech, President Trump made it clear that he was pushing the protectionist message “America First.”

The leader of the free world is a surprisingly easy target to lampoon so it came as no surprise when the trolling started.

The Netherlands were the first country to bite when the satirical news show ‘Sunday with Lubach’ aired the following video in late January.

It was a masterpiece in parody and highlights some of the country’s favourite tourist attractions. “We’ve got Ponypark Slagharen which has got to be the best ponypark in the world,” extols the Donald Trump sound-alike who narrates the video.

The clip ends with the pay-off “We totally understand it’s going to be America first. But can we just say the Netherlands second: Is that OK?”
Switzerland follow suit, calling itself ‘the sexiest country in Europe’ and also poking fun at the Dutch.

The Swiss Trump narrator intones in all seriousness, “Look at those mountains. Those big fat mountains. We’re not flat, life for example the Netherlands. They are so flat. Total disaster.”

Portugal was one of the next countries to jump on the bandwagon. “You have the Trump Tower, we have the Belém Tower. The best monument in the world. Seriously, the best. It’s fantastic. Eiffel tower was close but we beat the French in the European final,” it says in its clip,

View full America first, Portugal second #EverySecondCounts video:

The clips all tend to have the same style: they start with a welcome screen from the government, and then a Trump impersonator lists a number of references to the nation – cultural in particular, but also highlighting various tourist sites – while making jokes at President Trump’s expense. They tend to be the work of satirists or YouTubers’ with way too much time on their hands.

Denmark’s clip (see below) certainly follows this template. Its Trumpalike says, “You have the Statue of Liberty, we have the Little Mermaid but don’t let the name fool you, okay? Not little, but huge, okay? Like, your hands are huge.”

A clip from Israel (see below) takes a religious turn: “Israel is the birthplace of Jesus. Great guy, total winner. They say we crucified him. That’s fake news.”

Other clips have come from Italy, “the sunniest country in Europe.” Germany which has “the Oktoberfest, the best beerfest God ever created.” Others include Iran, Kazakhstan, Austria, Spain and even the island of Madeira.

The trend has gone so big that even other planets are getting in on the act, with the “government of Mars,” claiming that Jupiter is “the worst planet, the worst…it is made of gas.”

This is all a lot of fun – except perhaps for Trump – but the videos are getting watched and watched a lot. And for the countries concerned, that adds up to an awful lot of free advertising.

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Mark Frary is co-founder of Travel Perspective, a social and digital consultancy working with travel companies and tourism organisations to create successful marketing campaigns He is an author and writer specialising in travel, social media and technology. He writes regularly for The Times and has written for many other publications including the Evening Standard, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Express, Food & Travel, ABTA magazine, the easyJet magazine and Teletext.  Mark also gives expert advice to leisure and business travel companies on their social media and communications strategies and is the co-founder of Social Travel Market, an annual conference on the use of social media in travel at World Travel Market. He is the author of seven books including The Origins of the Universe for Dummies and is currently working on a biography of the ski pioneer Erna Low. Mark lives in Ampthill in Bedfordshire, UK with his wife and three children.

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