Despite condemning the first Borat for years, the country of Kazakhstan is now embracing the feature with open arms as its tourism ministry adopts one of the franchise's key says as its official slogan. In a new advertising campaign launched over the weekend, Kazakh Tourism unveiled a handful of ads and television spots with tourists each taking in a sight to behold somewhere around the country.
Without fail, each ad eventually features the commercial's subjects exclaiming "Very nice!" at one point or another. You can see the ads compiled below.
According to a recent interview in the New York Times, the campaign was concocted by an American ex-pat and Yermek Utemissov, a financier helping companies film within the country. As part of the Times piece, Kazakh Tourism deputy chairman Kairat Sadvakassov revealed the organization needed to do whatever it could in the times of a global pandemic.
"In COVID times, when tourism spending is on hold, it was good to see the country mentioned in the media," Sadvakassov said. "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."
The subject of the country was at the root of contention between real-life Kazakhstan and Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of the Borat franchise. After the release of the first film, the country threatened to sue Cohen, even launching a multi-million dollar campaign to right its image after the film depicted the country as a third-world country.
Eventually, the side made amends, and Cohen has even come out in support of the new advertising campaign.
"This is a comedy, and the Kazakhstan in the film has nothing to do with the real country," the comedian said in a statement. "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. The real Kazakhstan is a beautiful country with a modern, proud society — the opposite of Borat's version."
Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm is now streaming on Amazon Prime.