Just days after the Borat 2 release, the country of Kazakhstan has now shared a new tourism ad featuring the “Very nice!” catchphrase popularized by Sacha Baron Cohen’s character.
The new campaign features shots of the country’s traditional weddings, mountain landscapes, and modern architecture, with each visitor ending their scene with Borat’s popular phrase.
“How can you describe a place this surprising in just two words? As a wise man once said, ‘Very nice!'” Kazakhstan Travel’s YouTube channel reads.
As reported by The New York Times, the former Soviet republic banned the original Borat movie, which was released in 2006, over Cohen’s portrayal of Borat Sagdiyev, a Kazakh journalist with anti-Semitic and misogynistic views who visited America.
At the time, the Kazakh government also threatened to sue Cohen and took out a four-page ad in the NYT in an attempt to clean up the nation’s image.
The new ad was created by Dennis Keen — an American who moved to Kazakhstan in 2013 — and his friend Yermek Utemissov. The two pitched the idea to the Kazakhstan Board of Tourism after watching the teaser for the Borat sequel.
“They just said, ‘This is perfect, it’s exactly what we’re looking for,'” Keen told NBC News.
“It’s a good phrase on its own because Kazakhstan is a ‘very nice’ country, but the fact that it has this tongue-in-cheek element that plays into the Borat catchphrase is what makes it fun.”
The deputy chairman of the Kazakhstan Board of Tourism, Kairat Sadvakassov, even said that he would love to work with Cohen and have him film in the country.
The Borat-inspired campaign didn’t go unnoticed. In a statement given to the NYT, Cohen responded to the cheeky campaign by saying that Kazakhstan is a “beautiful country with a modern, proud society,” adding that the nation portrayed in the film has nothing to do with the real one.
“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,” he added.
As reported by The Inquisitr, Cohen’s Borat sequel was released exclusively on Amazon Studios on Friday, October 23. The film includes a compromising scene starring Rudy Giuliani alongside actress Maria Bakalova, who was posing as a TV reporter. The scene, which sees Giuliani seemingly reaching for his privates, shocked many of the early reviewers.
Shortly after, Cohen responded to the controversy by releasing a sarcastic statement on Borat Sagdiyev’s official Twitter account, where he defended New York City’s former mayor and slammed the “fake news” media.