Oslo could become a top travel destination after an unconventional but hilarious tourism ad goes viral

    Norway’s capitol is getting attention after a viral ad campaign.

    mr-fox/Getty Images

    A tourism ad for Oslo, Norway has taken the internet by storm.VisitOSLO’s marketing manager worried the ad’s “self-irony” wouldn’t translate to global audiences.Richie Karaburun, a hospitality and tourism professor, said the ad’s authenticity is key to its success. 

    Don’t visit Oslo. That’s what the city’s new tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign declares.

    VisitOSLO, the official marketing agency for Norway’s capitol, debuted the ad last week. The video follows a 31-year-old resident named Halfdan, played by Bendik Aunan, who doesn’t understand why anyone would want to visit Oslo.

    “I mean, is it even a city?” he asks.

    Oslo, Norway.

    Kenyeres Zsolt/Shutterstock

    Halfdan takes audiences on a tour of Oslo while remaining thoroughly unimpressed by the city’s walkability, quality of service, accessibility, and gorgeous landscapes.

    Despite Halfdan’s lukewarm feelings about his hometown, the ad has quickly amassed millions of views and sent Oslo to the top of travelers’ bucket lists. Some people have praised the ad’s dry and somewhat self-deprecating humor on social media.

    Anne-Signe Fagereng, the agency’s marketing manager, said in a press release that they knew using “typical Norwegian self-irony” would be risky, especially in a global market.

    “Oslo has in recent years emerged as a truly exciting destination but is probably still a well-kept secret for many,” she said.

    She added: “The inspiration for the ad is Oslo’s position as an underdog as far as city break destinations go – both in Europe and in the Nordics. However, Oslo has been through an incredibly positive transformation over the last few decades, so it’s time our confidence in our capital catches up with reality.”

    VisitOslo’s risk is exactly why it’s resonating with audiences

    Richie Karaburun, a clinical associate professor at NYU’s Center of Hospitality and Tourism, said the ad’s success lies in its authenticity and storytelling.

    Unlike other tourism ads that show sun-kissed beaches and flashy attractions, VisitOslo’s video prioritized the city’s understated local charms with witty humor. Instead of unnamed glossy models, audiences meet Halfdan and his reluctant attitude.

    “You need to create an emotional connection between your visitors and your destination. That resonates,” he said.

    Karaburun, who visited Oslo with his family last summer, added that travelers are craving that emotional connection when they book vacations. Some travelers have begun shunning traditional tourist traps for smaller, less crowded destinations that offer a glimpse into local communities.

    The Oslo Opera House.

    picture alliance/Getty Images

    Oslo could thrive with this type of traveler. The ad suggested so when Halfdan compares Oslo to Paris, Istanbul, and New York City.

    “I think it is going to have a huge impact on Oslo’s branding,” Karaburun said of the ad. “Hopefully, it will impact the numbers because, at the end, it’s all about the increased visitation numbers.”

    Karaburun said that if Oslo continues to attract travelers with unique ads, the city could emerge as a coveted destination.

    “If they keep on doing these very creative destination marketing ads, I think they’re on the right path to being well known like Istanbul, Paris, and New York.”

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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