Visit Oslo nails reverse psychology in new ad

Visit Oslo nails reverse psychology in new ad

An antidote to the often self-serious world of advertising has landed in the form of a self-deprecating Visit Oslo advert.

I recently wrote a review of my trip to Rome, and found it difficult to do justice to the peak of human civilisation. There are, of course, many sprawling metropolises painstakingly honed over millennia to showcase the height of beauty, culture, nature and the arts. Oslo isn’t on that list, and it wisely doesn’t try to be, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit.

‘Is it even a city?’ by Visit Oslo sees a jaded, disengaged local spend 1.45 minutes reluctantly meandering through the city’s tourist attractions, playing down the city’s virtues and actively dissuading visitors. The result is a deadpan (or literal, it’s hard to tell) video that has the effect of actually making you want to visit a destination that’s apparently lost on him.

Our take

My personal travel bucket list certainly includes the usual ‘must see’ destinations, but there’s something to be said for basking in simpler, more utilitarian cities.

‘Is it even a city?’ is a bold bit of promotional advertising, playing on Gen Z’s apathetic, over-stimulated, and perma-distracted leanings to depict how honest and pleasant experiences can be lost on some.

The aspects of the city that leave the narrator nonplussed as to their appeal cause the viewer to inwardly protest against his dismissive commentary: “But I kind of dig walkable destinations where you might bump into the prime minister on a walk, or stop for a spot of outdoor swimming”.

Paradoxically, there’s also an appeal to the narrator himself. After all, who wants to be surrounded by overly enthusiastic busybodies anyway? There’s also a warm, nostalgic and utopian aesthetic to the directing choices, further counteracting the cynical narration.

This isn’t the first ‘anti-advertising’ travel advert that’s passed muster here at Creative Moment. This decidedly tantalising Faroe Islands advert is in a similar vein to Visit Oslo’s effort, conceptually at least. 

Being honest in advertising is one thing, but being actively hostile to your product is quite another. 

The Visit Oslo ad, however, has blown up somewhat on social media, with one LinkedIn post garnering hundreds of comments. This alone proves that Visit Oslo’s ‘risk’ has paid off. Time to search Skyscanner, I reckon.

If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our weekly email alert and receive a regular curation of the best creative campaigns by creatives themselves.

Published on: