Iceland’s tourism authorities have mocked Mark Zuckerberg and his new umbrella group Meta in its latest video, inviting people to enter the “Icelandverse”.
Using language similar to the Facebook founder’s in its video introducing Meta and the “Metaverse”, an Icelandic tourism promoter talks about a “new”, “immersive” world, that’s “real”.
It follows the launch of Facebook’s new parent company, with a slew of promotional videos being issued to go along with the tech company now being rebranded Meta.
In the video, Icelandic actor and writer Jörundur Ragnarsson plays a character called “chief visionary officer Zack Mosbergsson”, who says: “Today, I want to talk about a revolutionary approach on how to connect our world, without being super weird. Some said it’s not possible. Some said it’s out of reach.”
Then, as he stands in front of a window showing the snowy Icelandic landscape, he adds: “To them, we say ‘it’s already here’… and what do we call this not-so-new chapter in human connectivity? The Icelandverse.”
Ragnarsson wears the same black long-sleeve top and black trousers and moves his arms in the same way as Mr Zuckerberg in the video released at the launch of the Facebook rebrand, called Introducing Meta.
He even struggles to get through a door while trying to get outside – an apparent reference to reports the billionaire tech firm owner waits for people to open doors for him.
The video has already had more than 600,000 watches on YouTube, just 200,000 less than Meta’s own video.
It is not the first time the Meta rebrand has been mocked, with the launch prompting ridicule alongside allegations that the company is attempting to deflect recent criticism.
Mr Zuckerberg acknowledged the parody in a response on Inspired by Iceland’s own Facebook page, saying: “Amazing. I need to make a trip to the Icelandverse soon. Glad you’re wearing sunscreen too.”
The video is now being used on the front page of the website of the Icelandic embassy in London to promote travel to the island, where attractions include geysers, volcanos, hot springs and the Northern Lights.
Iceland was a popular destination for UK tourists before the pandemic cut the number of visitors to a trickle, even after the country was among the first to be included on the green list in the summer.
It had about two million visitors in 2019 but this year it is reported to be on track to see about 700,000.
Among those who did visit were thousands who headed to the Reykjanes Peninsula to catch a glimpse of a spectacular volcanic eruption.