Back in 2016, a certain Japanese video became the unfortunate anthem of the year. Yep, I’m talking about Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen, or PPAP.
The song was simple and catchy and the music video, a committed cringefest. But that’s exactly why it went viral and catapulted fictional singer Pikotaro (portrayed by comedian Daimaou Kosaka) to global fame. The video has since garnered over 92 million views on YouTube.
Now, four years later, comes a timely reboot. Introducing PPAP 2020, a spin-off from the original hit with modified lyrics to suit the mood of the times.
Instead of singing about fruits and stationery, Japanese comedian Pikotaro has turned his viral song into a public service announcement reminding people to wash their hands.
“I have a hand, I have a soap,” the song goes, followed by an incessant chanting of “wash wash wash.”
If you revelled in the first PPAP song, this one’s going to be an absolute earworm.
At the end of the video, he redefines the acronym PPAP with a whole new meaning that is relevant to the grim reality we’re confronting amid the coronavirus pandemic: “Pray for People And Peace.”
Released on April 4, PPAP 2020 has over 3 million views on YouTube. It’s a far cry from the massively successful and extremely perplexing first video, but still a respectable figure to be considered viral.
Viewers appreciated the advocacy. “He is a real treasure of mankind,” commented one netizen, “If you see his hand movements, he is actually showing you the proper way to wash hands.”
As it turns out, Pikotaro isn’t the only entertainer who has dedicated his fame to talk about the importance of washing hands as a precaution against the coronavirus.
Japanese idol group Arashi also performed a handwashing dance in a YouTube video that now has over a million views.
Meanwhile, Pinkfong, the creator of viral YouTube legend the Baby Shark Dance, also adapted the original song into a comprehensive music video about maintaining good personal hygiene. Besides going through proper handwashing steps, the song also includes tips like “cough into your elbow” and “cover your sneeze.”
Looks like the gravity of this global pandemic has awakened these viral internet legends for a good cause.
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