Have you ever considered the value of localizing for the Listenbourg market? According to Twitter, it’s a beautiful, upwardly mobile region of western Europe that should be attractive for any brand seeking aggressive expansion.
Only one problem: The country doesn’t actually exist.
It began simply enough — a joke by Twitter user @gaspardooo over Americans’ perceived ignorance over the basics of European geography and nationalities. The tweet featured a map of Europe with an entirely new landmass grafted onto the border of Spain and Portugal, an amusing enough concept on its own. But that’s the thing about Twitter. If it’s funny and viral enough, it isn’t going to end with just one joke. And given Twitter’s wild week as users and employees adjusted to the changes initiated by new owner Elon Musk, it’s good to know that some things never change.
Je suis sûr que les américains ne connaissent même pas le nom de ce pays ptdrrr pic.twitter.com/aecSupQdyU
— Gas🅿️ardo (@gaspardooo) October 30, 2022
From the initial joke on Oct. 30, the meme exploded across Twitter, with European regions especially getting in on the fun. In just a few days, the country had a name — the now immortal Listenbourg — as well as a flag, national anthem, and all manner of details about its history, culture, and current events.
“Ahh Litsenburg,” posted Twitter user @neozmr, according to Twitter’s Google translation of the text.
“By the way, did you see what happened there yesterday?” @neozmr then added, posting a photo of an emerald-green river. “There’s something that was poured into the Glucxhari river, even the authorities don’t know what it is.”
Ahh le litsenbourg, d’ailleur vous avez vu ce qu’il s’est passé hier la bas? Y’a un truc qu’a été versé dans le fleuve Glucxhari meme les autoritée y savent pas ce que c’est pic.twitter.com/aa1hbe9LjH
— néo 🇪🇸🇲🇽 (@neozmr) October 30, 2022
Hey, Listenbourg even has its own Know Your Meme page now, and in the fast-paced world of internet virality, that’s what making it looks like.
So what should the enterprising project manager or curious traveler know about Listenbourg before planning a product expansion or vacation? Well, it’s never a bad idea to know what kind of weather to expect, for one thing. Nothing shapes a people’s temperament quite like the local weather.
— P94RISIEN (@Ckeemri) November 5, 2022
It’s also worth knowing the history of the region. For instance, did you know it was Listenbourg’s King Listen XV who coined the term “Sun King,” a title France’s King Louis XIV later co-opted for himself? It’s totally true, at least according to Twitter user @anecdote_rapide. Pay no mind that King Listen XV looks suspiciously like Henry Cavill of Superman and The Witcher fame.
C’est en 1661 que le Listenbourg connait l’une des plus grandes guerres de son histoire, en effet en 1661 Louis XIV prend le pouvoir en France et se fait appeler “le Roi-Soleil” terme volé au Roi Listen XV, qui se faisait déjà appelé le roi Soleil, ce qui énerve le Listenbourg. pic.twitter.com/QGaKDAnRgl
— Anecdotes rapides 📚 (@anecdote_rapide) October 31, 2022
Even companies got in on the Listenbourg mania. The airline Ryanair, for instance, was more than happy to welcome all travelers booking flights after interest in the country exploded.
Proud to be announcing our new base in Listenbourg! pic.twitter.com/fzN0mVHBsL
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) November 3, 2022
So what comes next for Listenbourg? Well, the lifespan of Twitter memes is relatively short, and if the past is prologue, interest will likely die out sooner rather than later. But for true Listenbourgian patriots, the pride of a nation will burn in their hearts always.