Mike Diva

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Mike Dahlquist (born June 23, 1987), better known as Mike Diva, is an American film director, special effects artist, musician and YouTuber.[1]


Based in Southern California, Diva began experimenting with video equipment at age 13. As a piano and cello player, he performed in several orchestras and was the lead singer for the band "Vyncent Flaw”. His YouTube channel is eclectic - a mix of parodies, skits and music videos.[1][2]

In 2011, Diva's "Sexy Sax Man" video featuring saxophonist Sergio Flores went viral.[3] In 2012, Diva collaborated with fellow YouTube stars Joe Penna, Tay Zonday, Corridor Digital and DeStorm Power to create the YouTube group and channel BAMMO.[1] Diva also appeared that year as Bruce Lee in episode 25, "Clint Eastwood vs. Bruce Lee", of the web series Epic Rap Battles of History.[4] In 2014, Diva was listed on New Media Rockstars Top 100 Channels, ranked at #77.[5] In February 2016, Diva's trap remix of the 1989 film "Special Friends: Starring You On Kazoo" went viral.[6][7]

Diva has produced official music videos for 3OH!3,[8] Kill the Noise,[7] Peter Pepper,[9] The M Machine,[10] Mindless Self Indulgence,[11] Savant,[12] and, most recently, Lil Nas X. Most of his music is on SoundCloud.

In 2017, Mike co-wrote and directed a stylized horror spot for Halo Top Creamery titled "Eat The Ice Cream," produced by Lord Danger. The commercial was awarded AdWeek's Top 10 Ads of 2017, and put him on the map as an up-and-coming commercial director. He has since worked with clients including Yelp, Microsoft, LA Metro, GSN, and with celebrities including The Lonely Island and Steve Aoki.

2016 election videos[edit]

In June 2016, Diva's video Japanese Donald Trump Commercialトランプ2016 gained international attention, with some 8 million views on Facebook and almost 300,000 views on YouTube in its first 24 hours. The video masquerades as a Japanese commercial that seemingly promotes the presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Slate described the work as "a dizzying, sorbet-hued phantasmagoria that gestures toward the coming end times."[13]

Diva's intent was to "seem obnoxiously pro-Trump" while doing the opposite, with the production quality so good that viewers would ask: "Why would a Japanese ad agency make this?" Indeed, many early online comments mistook the video for a genuine ad, despite Trump's being (briefly) depicted as giving a Nazi salute amid swastikas and ultimately transforming into an earth-destroying robot. The video was shot over a month and a half with virtually no budget and stars the cosplayer and wig stylist known as sushimonstuh.[13][14] Diva talked about the video when interviewed with KABC-TV.[15]

On August 11, 2016, Diva released a video poking fun of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for the Super Deluxe channel. The video depicted a fictionalized Clinton attempting to connect with the millennial generation by various internet memes such as Dat Boi, Damn Daniel, and Nyan Cat, as well as performing The Dab and telling her supporters to "Pokémon Go to the polls".[16][17] The video was said to be paid for by "Hillary for America", although that wasn't the case.[18][19] In an interview with Creativity, Diva explained that the purpose of his video was to show that "Hillary is just kind of a dorky mom, and it's so hilariously cringey when she tries to appeal to a younger audience,".[20]

Commercial work[edit]

Diva has directed commercials for clients including Halo Top Creamery, Yelp, Microsoft, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), GSN, Capcom's Devil May Cry 5 and others, with celebrities including Danny Trejo and Steve Aoki.

Diva's dystopian robot nightmare Halo Top advert "Eat The Ice Cream" made headlines in Adweek,[21] AdAge,[22] IndieWire, Munchies, Gizmodo for its spooky, bizarre approach to selling ice cream. Mike wrote, directed, did post production, edited, and did music for the branded content, which went on to win a number of awards including AdWeek's Top 10 Ads of 2017.

For the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (known as Metro), Diva wrote, directed, edited, and composed the music for two music video themed Metro Manners campaigns featuring anime-inspired character Super Kind, played by actress and YouTube celebrity Anna Akana. The campaigns included online videos and print etiquette posters to raise awareness about proper transit etiquette onboard Metro buses and trains, with Super Kind persistently battling the antics of Rude Dude.[23] The first campaign, which aired in 2017, included three spots: Eating, Seat Hogging, and Aisle Blocking. The second campaign, released in 2018, included No Loud Music, and Wait Your Turn, featuring Danny Trejo.

YouTube channel deletion[edit]

On June 24, 2018, Diva announced via Twitter that YouTube had deleted his channel for "spam, deceptive practices, and misleading content".[24] On June 25, 2018, his channel was live again.

Personal life[edit]

Diva grew up with a brother in Sacramento, California. Later, he moved to Los Angeles.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Category Award Result
2017 Halo Top Creamery "Eat The Ice Cream" Humour in Advertising EPICA Award Bronze
2018 Halo Top Creamery "Eat The Ice Cream" Best Marketing and Communications Educational Effort AdWheel Grand Award Won
2018 Halo Top Creamery "Eat The Ice Cream" Advertising, Media, & PR: Branded Content People's Voice Award Winner Won
2018 Halo Top Creamery "Eat The Ice Cream" Internet Commercial (District 15) American Advertising Awards (ADDY) Silver
2018 Halo Top Creamery "Eat The Ice Cream" Internet Commercial (Los Angeles) American Advertising Awards (ADDY) Silver
2018 Halo Top Creamery "Eat The Ice Cream" Digital Marketing / Online Video Adverts D&AD Awards Won
2017 Halo Top Creamery "Eat The Ice Cream" Advertising The 10 Best Ads of 2017 Won
2016 Savant: Kali 47 Special Mention Award Amarcort Film Festival Won
2016 Savant: Kali 47 Audience Award FANCINE Festival de Cine Fantastico de la Universidad de Malaga Won
2016 Savant: Kali 47 Best Music Video Fantastic Planet Film Festival Won
2016 Savant: Kali 47 Jury Award London Short Series Fest Won
2016 Savant: Kali 47 Jury Award Long Island International Film Expo Won
2016 Savant: Kali 47 Jury Award Outlaw Film Festival Won
2015 Thresher Best Horror Film Comicpalooza Film Festival Won
2015 Savant: Kali 47 Best VFX Comicpalooza Film Festival Won
2015 Savant: Kali 47 Music Video Of The Year[25] 2015 Geeky Awards Won
2015 Savant: Kali 47 Jury Award Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival Won
2015 Savant: Kali 47 Best Short Film Steampunk Chronicle Reader's Choice Awards Won
2015 Savant: Kali 47 Music Video Steampunk Chronicle Reader's Choice Awards Won
2013 Mike Diva Presents Best Direction 3rd Streamy Awards Nominated
2013 Kill The Noise pt. 1 Pick of the year MTV Clubland Won


  1. ^ a b c Ed Carrasco (March 20, 2012). "MIKE DIVA - NEW MEDIA RENAISSANCE MAN". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  2. ^ Mike Diva (2011-05-01), Mike Diva LIVE with Vyncent Flaw- B.F.D (New track!!), retrieved 2016-06-17
  3. ^ Gordon Downs (March 20, 2011). "INTERVIEW: Sexy Sax Man Video Director Mike Diva". SanDiego.com. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  4. ^ "Epic Rap Battles of History Bruce Lee vs Clint Eastwood". SoHood Magazine. November 14, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  5. ^ "The NMR Top 100 YouTube Channels: 100-76!". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  6. ^ Blevins, Joe (4 February 2016). "A kid and his kazoo get a high-energy, dance-floor ready trap remix". Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b Mammoser, Gigen (8 February 2016). "Meet the YouTube Star Who Turned "Kazoo Kid" Into a Viral Trap Remix". Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  8. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNhpKra0AsM&list=UU6Je0KLSDuKLfKs1lEBzKrQ&index=20
  9. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXwE6JbzyPc&list=UU6Je0KLSDuKLfKs1lEBzKrQ&index=27
  10. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAjpYg902P0&list=UU6Je0KLSDuKLfKs1lEBzKrQ&index=11
  11. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3J2Q3WHMYM&list=UU6Je0KLSDuKLfKs1lEBzKrQ&index=48
  12. ^ "The story behind the video: Savant – Kali 47". 21 January 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  13. ^ a b Waldman, Katy (2016-06-16). "You Will Never Unsee This Wondrously Strange Fake Japanese Advertisement for Donald Trump". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
  14. ^ Mackey, Robert (June 16, 2016). "No, That Donald Trump Ad Is Not Real". The Intercept. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
  15. ^ Michaelson, Elex (18 June 2016). "North Hollywood director creates Japanese Donald Trump ad, gets 13M views". Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  16. ^ Meyer, Ken (11 August 2016). "New Video Proves Hillary's Got the Dankest Memes on Lock". www.mediaite.com. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  17. ^ Cagle, Tess (11 August 2016). "Hillary Clinton's 'Meme Queen 2016' ad is her most effective yet". Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  18. ^ Gettell, Oliver (11 August 2016). "Hillary Clinton video parodies Damn Daniel, Grumpy Cat, other memes". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  19. ^ Diva, Mike (13 August 2016). "Twitter". Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  20. ^ Diaz, Ann-Christine (12 August 2016). "Hillary Clinton Is a Meme Queen in Mike Diva's Latest Bizarre Film - Video - Creativity Online". Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  21. ^ "An Ice Cream Brand Just Made the Perfect Cinema Ad to Run Before Horror Films – Adweek". www.adweek.com. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  22. ^ "Halo Top's Creepy Robot Declares 'Humans Require Ice Cream'". Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  23. ^ "L.A. Metro Releases New Series of "Super Kind" Videos as Part of Its Popular "Metro Manners" Transit Etiquette Campaign". www.metro.net. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  24. ^ "MIKΣ DIVΛ on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  25. ^ http://www.thegeekieawards.com/2015-award-nominees/

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