Iceland released a new tourism ad on Thursday, poking fun at Facebook’s (sorry, Meta’s) recent promises for how we’re all going to live in the future. But Iceland’s version of Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want to sell you on visiting the sci-fi dystopia that we were all warned about for decades. No, Iceland just wants you to see its geysers and stuff.
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“Today I want to talk about a revolutionary approach on how to connect our world, without being super weird,” the tour guide explains in the new ad.
“Some said it’s not possible. Some said it’s out of reach. To them, we say, it’s already here. Seriously, look, it’s right here,” he says, gesturing out the window at the snowy scene behind him.
“And what do we call this not-so-new chapter in human connectivity? The Icelandverse. Enhanced, actual reality, without silly-looking headsets,” the guide says.
The ad, which is available on YouTube, only gets more ridiculous from there with its parody of Zuckerberg and his recent concept video for the metaverse, something he believes in so much that he changed Facebook’s corporate name to Meta. The Icelandic host’s pale white face even seems to be a tribute to Zuck’s rather extreme sunscreen habits.
But Zuck’s vision of the future alone is obviously ripe for ridicule, given the fact that 1) his latest concept video was pure fantasy, and 2) he still hasn’t made VR hardware that looks any less dumb than the headsets of the 1980s and 90s. Oculus might be changing its name, but it’s still a bulky mess.
Iceland is desperate to get tourists back into the country, with tourism accounting for almost 9% of the nation’s GDP before the pandemic and employing roughly 30,000 people. But covid-19 obviously put the brakes on tourists visiting its scenic vistas—though Iceland is looking to lure those people back with clever ads.
Iceland has fared exceptionally well from a public health perspective during the global health crisis, with just 15,140 cases of the disease and 34 deaths since the pandemic began. Iceland also has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with 89% of adults fully vaccinated, and many of those people already getting their booster shots.
But if you’re looking to travel to Iceland, make sure you get vaccinated against covid-19. Travel to Iceland is permitted for the vaccinated or for those who can prove they’ve been infected with covid-19 in the past. You’ll also need a negative covid-19 test within 72 hours of getting on your flight.
“The Icelandverse is a world with possibilities so endless they’ll be here forever,” the narrator of the new ad explains.
“So join us today, or tomorrow. Or whenever. We are really easy going.”