Iceland, the country known to many as home of “that volcano whose name I can’t pronounce”, is pretty good at playing to its quirks.
This week the country’s tourist board launched a new video campaign dubbed “The Hardest Karaoke Song in the World”, challenging tourists to get to grips with its notoriously difficult-to-learn language.
Working through the 32 letters of the Icelandic alphabet, the song covers common words and phrases in the language.
Performed by Icelandic comedian Steindi Jr, the song, The A-Ö of Iceland, helps teach the difference between a torfbær (turf house) and a bílaleigubíll (hire car) and why you should always remember to take your sundskýla (trunks) to the sundlaugar (swimming pool).
The tourist board has also released a video of tourists attempting to sing along.
Iceland has already run several tourism campaigns poking fun at the country’s idiosyncrasies. In 2015 it launched a “human search engine”, which invited visitors to ask a real-life Icelander questions about the country via social media. The “Ask Gudmunder” campaign was fronted by seven locals who share the first name Gudmundur – one of the most common names in the country.
Last year the tourist board launched “Iceland Academy”, which consisted of a series of videos advising on issues such as “how to avoid hot-tub awkwardness”.
The national airline has also run promotions of a similar ilk. Last year Icelandair launched its “stopover buddies” scheme, in which airline staff would show you around their country for a day.
Tongue-in-cheek tourism campaigns seem to be increasingly popular across the far north of Europe. This year the Faroe Islands launched “Faroe Islands Translate”, creating their own version of Google’s translation service.
In 2016 it launched “Sheep View 360”, in which five sheep were fitted with cameras to create its own version of Google Street View, which had yet to map the island’s roads.
The Lofoten Islands also chose to platform its sheep for the sake of tourism, following the adventures of four sheep – Frida, Erik, Kari, and Lars – as part of its #SheepWithAView campaign.