It seems that film character Borat's charm has finally worked on Kazakhstan as the country's tourism board has officially adopted the character's "Very nice!" catchphrase as its slogan.
Kazakhstan tourism board released a number of short advertisements that highlight the country's scenery and culture; the people in the video then use Borat's catchphrase "very nice", reports the BBC.
Watch the tourism advertise here
The phrase is used by the character Borat, a fictional journalist from Kazakhstan. The first Borat film caused outrage in the country, and authorities threatened to sue creator Sasha Baron Cohen.
Kairat Sadvakassov, deputy chairman of the Kazakhstan tourism board, told the Times, "In Covid times, when tourism spending is on hold, it was good to see the country mentioned in the media. Not in the nicest way, but it's good to be out there. We would love to work with Cohen, or maybe even have him film here."
"Kazakhstan's nature is very nice. Its food is very nice. And its people, despite Borat's jokes to the contrary, are some of the nicest in the world," Sadvakassov added.
A description of the promos on YouTube reads: "How can you describe a place this surprising in just two words? As a wise man once said, 'Very nice!'"
Cohen in his latest statement revealed his feelings about Kazakhstan: "This is a comedy, and the Kazakhstan in the film has nothing to do with the real country. I chose Kazakhstan because it was a place that almost nobody in the US knew anything about, which allowed us to create a wild, comedic, fake world. The real Kazakhstan is a beautiful country with a modern, proud society — the opposite of Borat's version."
The response from social media users has been positive with many saying the advertisements capitalise on the film and send a positive message. One said: "Well done. Great way to take the publicity created by a comedian and turn it to a positive message."
When the first Borat film was released in 2006, Kazakhstan authorities banned the film and release of it on DVD and people were blocked from visiting its website. Officials felt the movie portrayed Kazakhstan as a racist, sexist and primitive country.