Not everyone in Kazakhstan loved the first Borat film or the character’s depictions of the country. But with the success of Borat 2, aka Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the tourism board of Kazakhstan is making lemonade out of the sour taste created for the country in some quarters by the first Borat comedy.
Capitalizing on the “Very Nice!” slogan by the fictional Sacha Baron Cohen character, the tourism board has launched four promotional videos for potential tourists that have now been viewed more than 860,000 times on YouTube.
The campaign has boosted interest in the country to the point where the tourism board is now speaking with Amazon, which premiered Borat 2 on October 23, about ways to create further momentum around the promotional materials.
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The promo videos contain scenery of Kazakhstan’s natural beauty, impressive cities and cuisine, all mixed with the impressions of real foreign visitors.
Baron Cohen is even making amends. “This is a comedy, and the Kazakhstan in the film has nothing to do with the real country,” Baron Cohen said in a written statement to The New York Times on Monday. “I chose Kazakhstan because it was a place that almost nobody in the U.S. knew anything about, which allowed us to create a wild, comedic, fake world.”
Kairat Sadvakassov, deputy chairman of Kazakh Tourism, explained the campaign.“We would like everyone to come experience Kazakhstan for themselves by visiting our country in 2021 and beyond, so that they can see that Borat’s homeland is nicer than they may have heard.”
While the Borat films tout the nation’s potassium and its clean prostitutes, the tourism board is touting the traditional Kazakh sport of eagle hunting, captured in the 2016 Sony Pictures Classics release, The Eagle Huntress,” a documentary telling the story of a 13-year old Kazakh “eagle huntress” named Aisholpan. It also points out the country’s heritage with apples and space flights.