The satirical character of English actor, Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Sagdiyev, has become an inspiration for Kazakhstan’s new tagline for tourism.
“Very nice” is how Kazakhstan’s tourism deputy chairman, Kairat Sadvakassove describes his country’s “vast tourism potential.”
“Very nice” is also a famous catchphrase of Cohen’s character, Borat, a sexist, anti-semitic, journalist from Kazakhstan.
According to Sadvakkassove, per the Guardian, Kazakhstan’s “nature,” food, and people are all “very nice.”
This is despite the movie’s negative portrayal of Kazakhstan and its people.
Moreover, the tourism deputy officer also encouraged foreigners to visit Kazakhstan in 2021 to experience the country.
People can see that “Borat’s homeland is nicer than” what they may have heard, he said.
Kazakhstan’s new ad is a four-minute video showing the country’s best stuff.
The ad shows its beautiful mountains, its local food, its architecture and skyscrapers, and its culture.
All the people in the ad who were able to experience them all exclaimed, “very nice.”
According to the Guardian, the idea for the ad came from an American exchange student, Dennis Keen.
Keen and another friend made a proposal to the tourism board and quickly got a go signal for the ad.
Cohen’s new movie the Borat Subsequent Film is currently being showed on Amazon Prime.
It also has appearances from prominent Republican politicians such as US Vice President Mike Pence and US President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
Mixed Reactions, Then and Now
The first movie in the Borat series, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, had garnered mixed reactions from Kazakhstan, with some officials wanting to cancel the movie.
Borat’s depiction of Kazakhstan as a backward country full of bigots, prostitution, and poverty embarrassed its politicians in the past.
The government even ran television ads debunking the depiction of its society in the movie.
In 2007, after Borat appeared at the MTV Europe Awards, the Foreign Ministry of Kazakh accused the actor of “serving someone’s political order” to present Kazakhstan in a demeaning way.
And now, 14 years later, its sequel Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, still elicit the same mixed reactions from the Kazakh society.
According to an Al Jazeera report, although the movie is a satire against America, more than a hundred thousand [Kazakhs] signed a petition to cancel the movie.
Moreover, protesters also demonstrated in front of the US embassy in Almaty during Borat’s premier.
However, it seems that the government has now learned to use “bad publicity” to its own advantage.