If the goal was to get people talking about Iceland, a new tourism video is more than succeeding.
A video published yesterday by Inspired by Iceland, a marketing campaign for Icelandic tourism, takes aim at a Mark Zuckerberg video released in October announcing Facebook's name change to Meta. In it, Zuckerberg hypes the so-called "metaverse," a virtual world that "will be the successor to the mobile internet."
The metaverse's defining quality, said Zuckerberg, is "the feeling of presence … like you're there with other people."
Welcome to 'Icelandverse'
Icelandic tourism authorities seem to think they can offer something better.
In the new video, a Zuckerberg lookalike — complete with his Caesar cut, minimalist garb and hand gestures — introduces viewers to "Icelandverse," a place of "enhanced actual reality without silly looking headsets."
"Today I want to talk about a revolutionary approach on how to connect our world — without being super weird," the speaker deadpans to the camera.
The video extolls Iceland's "completely immersive" experiences, such as its real rocks, real humans and "skies you can see with your eyeballs."
Press materials sent to journalists continue the parody, explaining that Icelandverse was created "after millions of years in development" and that "users can explore and navigate their way through the many different layers of captivating reality, just by visiting."
Officials, too, are in on the act.
"Icelandverse has been built with experts in government, industry, nature and academia, plus a few volcanoes," said Sigridur Dogg Gudmundsdottir, head of Visit Iceland, in the video's press release.
Reactions to the video were overwhelmingly positive, with people praising the "Olympic-level trolling" by Iceland officials, and many expressing a desire to visit.
It isn't the first time Iceland has relied on humor to draw attention to the Nordic island nation.
Videos by Inspired by Iceland use comedy to explain why not to wear jeans or high heels to Iceland. Its 2017 video entitled "The Hardest Karaoke Song in the World" has garnered nearly 14.5 million views on YouTube.
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