Samoa: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson hasn't answered the call to come 'home' - yet

When Samoa's Tourism Authority decided to get on the front-foot for when international borders eventually open, it came up with a cunning plan.

Make a short video that asks the most famous Samoan to come home- that would be Seiuli Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.

Since its release a month ago, the one-and-a-half-minute video highlighting Samoa's best tourist spots has gone viral.

The Rock has not yet answered the call, and some people have taken to social media, accusing Dwayne Johnson of using his Samoan heritage to further his career without being true to the cultural values.

And just as many people have rejected this, stating The Rock put Samoa on the map and he owes the country nothing, especially as Samoa did not pay for his bills when he was struggling.

Was this the plan all along?

Samoa Tourism's chief executive, Fa'amatuainu Lenata'i Suifua admits it's a cheeky video and is watching it being shared all over the world.

"The ad is trying to spread the word about Samoa's offerings, but at the same time trying to attract Samoa's favourite son," Fa'amtuainu said.

"If you look at The Rock's Instagram, that's roughly 50 million followers."

Like every other Pacific Island nation, Samoa's tourism industry has come to a standstill, there are no trade shows, so Samoa Tourism decided to focus on social media promotion, Fa'amatuainu said.

"When it comes to social media, Dwayne Johnson is the man and we just tag along," he added.

"We know he's busy at the moment, so in due time, but we've seen that his mum actually likes the share."

Fa'amatuainu said the polarised debate, which was not unexpected, helped with the promotion.

A number of famous Samoan sports people and key marketing groups have shared the posts - and media in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific have jumped on the story.

"So it's caught the attention because of The Rock, but at the same time it's a promotion for us," Fa'amatuainu said.

Pacific Beat contacted Mr Johnson's publicity team, who said the video was fun.

Mr Johnson's schedule was too busy at the moment to schedule an interview, but they said they would be in contact should this change.