Renaming is one of those things. Often it’s like the global product harmonisation of a chocolate bar in 1976, which was announced with the slogan: “Raider is now called Twix, nothing else changes. However, Facebook is now called Meta. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and broadcast-conscious boss of the Meta company, recently explained to the billions of his users in an advertising video almost the length of a feature film what is behind it, how great and revolutionary he thinks the metaverse propagated by Meta (in which physical and digital worlds are to merge) is, and what a wonderful future he sees dawning as a result.
Fascinated but unimpressed by Zuckerberg’s performance, which in typical Silicon Valley redeemer fashion offers up plenty of Newspeak, Iceland’s tourism advertising shows itself – and has therefore parodied his vision in its own commercial. “Hi, welcome to this very natural setting” greets us a perfect Zuckerberg lookalike named Zach Mossbergsson with a familiarly accurate short haircut, black longsleeve and typical body language in an Ikea setting. Instead of pitching us a brave new virtual world like Mark and selling us a future built from our data as great happiness, Zach simply praises the beautiful landscape of Iceland that has existed for millions of years and promotes a visit to the very real “Icelandverse“.
“Today,” Zach explains, “I want to introduce you to a revolutionary idea without coming across as totally comical” – which, like everything that follows, comes across as super-comical, of course. After all, the posture, facial expressions, gestures, diction and narrative style of the role model are so perfectly imitated by his double that Zuckerberg’s appearances suddenly seem as absurd as the feigned amazement at a reality “with water that is wet”. Remember: Icelanders really are “easy going”. And humour is and remains a good antidote to false prophets who fill their mouths so full that they can no longer laugh at themselves. “Seriously, look. It’s right here” – “augmented, real reality without silly headsets”.
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