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'I wouldn't come here': Oslo turns heads with grumpy, self-loathing tourism ad

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In a world where tourism advertisements often blur into a homogeneous montage of landscapes, Visit OSLO has taken a refreshingly different approach. The Norwegian capital’s latest promotional campaign, which ironically highlights the city’s shortcomings, has been attracting considerable attention on social media.


The ad’s protagonist, a 31-year-old Oslo resident named Halfdan, gives viewers a tour of his city through a lens of gentle mockery. His commentary, filled with dry Nordic humor, ironically points out everything that’s wrong with Oslo, while simultaneously showcasing its unique charm. This unconventional approach has resonated with audiences, sparking a flurry of reactions on social media.



The ad has been praised for its cleverness, with one user stating, "Norwegian humor is on another level." Others have echoed this sentiment, with comments like “it's hilarious and now I want to visit” and "this is just… genius."


However, amidst the praises, some users have pointed to Oslo’s high prices in response to why Halfdan managed to get a table at a restaurant in the commercial. One user noted, "do you know what kept us out of most restaurants when we were in Oslo? The prices!" Another added, "next time, in summer with a thicker wallet."


This ad campaign, created by NewsLab AS and reportedly inspired by Danish-Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier, has certainly put Oslo on the map in a new and intriguing way. Its blend of irony and authenticity has also drawn praise from the ad industry, proving that sometimes, the best way to promote a city is to embrace its quirks and imperfections.





What do you think about this unconventional approach to tourism advertising? Do you believe it’s more effective than traditional all-welcoming campaigns? We’d love to hear your thoughts!



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Top image: Visit OSLO / YouTube

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