She won the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1998 — becoming the first transgender woman ever to do so.
And now, 20 years later, Dana International still knows how to get all of Israel talking about her, as she proves with the release of a hilarious new campaign and new music. Viva La Diva, indeed!
Dana’s latest campaign nods to the reality that social networks have taken over our lives. If you’re an artist or public figure, your livelihood can depend on staying connected with your fanbase. And while there are plenty of advantages to all this, social media comes with dangers that can ruin someone’s life.
Cue the “Diva” singer, who a few days ago posted a shocking message on her official Facebook page, which left her fans astonished and oozing compassion.
“My Facebook got hacked. My life got hacked, they invaded my most private and personal place. My intimate room.
Those of you who saw the post with my picture may have started to realize how much damage can be caused by an online shaming. I am just shocked and asking everyone who saw the pictures — please do not distribute them.
Put yourself in my position and remember that this is not the public Dana that you see — it’s the private me. And I’m sure you wouldn’t like to be in my place now!
I’m still upset and trying to digest it, soon the whole story will be revealed and I will present my position on the subject.”
The outpouring of support and kindness compelled the singer to publish a clarification the following day….”even though I promised the advertising agency not to talk about it until tomorrow night.”
Thanking everyone, she made it clear that nothing had actually happened to her and that it was all part of a new advertising campaign (unlike with many of her friends, who have endured such horrible online abuse for real). She ended the message by promising not to post any lies in the future.
Then we got to watch the trailer for the TV commercial, which made us smile and laugh, as she always knows how to keep us entertained.
It all takes place in Dana’s glamorous apartment when she calls the police to report a burglary (In Hebrew the word ‘burglary’ is used for physical theft as well as online hacking).
“They stole my life!” she tells the operator. “You must send a police car! With cops… handsome cops… and a fireman”.
In the full TV commercial, we see anti-fur protestors outside of Dana’s apartment before a cute parrot appears (he’s the official mascot of the internet company) to ask Dana what’s going on. She tells him that someone broke into her Facebook account and posted a fake message saying that she is wearing real fur, and now people are mad at her.
“Dana’s life is finito!” she tells him with a helpless look on her face.
The parrot then provides her with the cyber-protection offered by the internet company, but she says that she still has to deal with the shame. The parrot helps her by turning back time, so that all the damage caused to her reputation disappears. But he goes a bit too far back in time to when Dana was still a boy.
Dana shows off her acting abilities and her comedic side, but more importantly her unique ability to laugh at herself and be proud of who she is.
The internet company, Bezeq International, and their advertising agency, Adler Chomski & Warshavsky (ACWGrey TLV Advertising Agency), have a long history with Ms. International.
In the early 2000s they used a cat character in their commercial that sang one of Dana’s songs and while wearing an outfit similar to the famous Jean-Paul Gaultier feathered number she wore during her reprise performance at Eurovision 1998, while standing on the 1999 Eurovision stage. You can watch that commercial on this link.
Dana sued them for using her image, reputation and “advertising rights” and in the end they apologized and compensated her. Now she’s even forgiven them and made this funny campaign.
At the age of 45 and after releasing 9 albums in Israel, the Diva doesn’t rest. She’s had her own TV show and a musical, and given performances all across Europe and plenty of interviews abroad as well. But at the end of the day Dana loves Israel and her fans at home the most, and has recently released some fresh new tracks for that audience.
Among these is the upbeat and danceable “Ruti” — a camp throwback that has the faintest hint of the late 90s dance vibe that made “Diva” so magical. And then there’s “I Have Love”, which shows a rockier, edgier side to the Israeli icon.
“Ruti” (Israeli female name)
“Yesh Li Ahava (La Costa)” – (“I Have Love”)
Are you loving Dana’s hilarious commercial as much as we are? And what do you think of her new music? Let us know in the comments box below.