Known for its endless wilderness, geothermal lagoons and rugged beauty, Iceland also has something of a reputation for its quirky sense of humour. And the nation’s tourism board is making use of that in a new campaign that introduces people to "The Icelandverse" in a spoof take on Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse.
In the Iceland Tourism video, viewers are welcomed by a black sweater-wearing host called Zack Mossbergsson who says: “Today, I want to talk about a revolutionary approach on how to connect our world without being super weird.”
Following Zuckerberg’s often robotic-like public speaking skills, Mossbergsson directs viewers to look at a pristine snow-covered landscape visible in the window behind him and asks, “What do we call this not so new chapter in human connectivity? The Icelandverse.”
“Enhanced actual reality without silly-looking headsets,” he says.
The campaign video continues to mimic Zuckerberg and some of his peculiar traits such as not being able to open the door, which supposedly references the Facebook billionaire waiting for people to open doors for him; and overdoing it on sunscreen as he dips in a geothermal pool where he meets “a human”.
Showcasing many of the country’s incredible landscapes and rushing waterfalls, the advert’s takeaway message is how great "The Icelandverse" is, mostly because it’s a real destination with “water that is wet” and “horses you can ride, with hair you can touch.”
Facebook rebranded as Meta in October in an effort to focus attention on the social media giant’s $50 million digital space, the Metaverse.
And while the country's new tourism campaign is a comical take on Zuckerberg's news, it’s also a way for Iceland to boost its tourism numbers now that Covid-19 related travel restrictions are easing and the world’s vaccination rates are ramping up.
The country had about two million visitors in 2019 before the global pandemic hit. This year, it is on track to meet its greatly reduced target of 700,000 tourists, a figure that's already been boosted thanks to Iceland being one of the first destinations to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers from most countries.
Lonely Planet recently named the country’s Westfjords as the number one region to visit in 2022. The travel publication's experts lauded the far northern region’s “coast-hugging roads … quaint villages, spectacular landscapes, epic Icelandic history and an abundance of wildlife”.