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A South African brand has confirmed that it was behind the viral #ILoveEatingRussians hashtag that trended on Twitter in the first week of August.
Eskort, a local pork manufacturer, has revealed that it launched the campaign.
The viral marketing effort included posting a reaction video on 4 August, in which a purported Russian blogger reacts to a video of South Africans talking about how they feel about eating Russians.
In the video, the blogger supposedly misunderstands that the focus group is referring to Russian sausages, and think that they’re referring to Russian people.
Eskort notes that South Africans seem to be the only country that refer to the kolbasa sausage as a “Russian”. So the brand played with this concept for a marketing campaign.
“We asked ourselves what would happen if anyone outside of South Africa caught the tail end of the fact that in South Africa, we eat russians (sausages),” Marcelle Pienaar, Group Marketing Manager at Eskort, said in a statement.
“Capturing this fictitious, widely shared misunderstanding was used to tickle South Africa’s funny bone by holding the mirror up for us to see what we often accept as common language or ideas, for what they really are… uniquely local.”
The video and supposed news stories were shared under the hashtag #ILoveEatingRussians.
Just ran across a Russian vlogger’s video reacting to how South Africans call sausages “russians”. This is so hilarious, doesn’t he know we call sausages like that? 🤣😭#ILoveEatingRussianshttps://t.co/RrVYnzPgpv pic.twitter.com/EDzyuU2L6z
— lingsss (@lingsss_m) August 4, 2021
The ruse continued for multiple days, including follow-up videos showing enraged Russian citizens supposedly being interviewed.
South Africans shared their reactions with memes and other commentary under the #ILoveEatingRussians hashtag.
However, on 10 August, Eskort came clean as the brand behind the campaign.
It has also launched a website where visitors can see the full stages of the campaign — appropriately called ILoveEatingRussians.co.za.
Feature image: Eskort