The internet is going wild for Visit Oslo’s deadpan marketing campaign that tells tourists why the city sucks. Olivia Palamountain reports

Visit Oslo is taking social media by storm with a self-deprecating ad campaign that kicks off with a local saying, “I wouldn’t come here, to be honest”.

“Oslo: Is it Even a City” was created by NewsLab and employs irony and reverse psychology to highlight Oslo’s remarkable qualities by criticising them.

The film follows Halfdan, a cynical Oslo native, as he wanders the city begrudgingly, moaning about what’s wrong with the capital while showcasing exactly what makes it so alluring for visitors – from its accessibility and anti-elitist mentality to the lack of queues at top attractions and ease of walk-ins at premium restaurants.

The advert cleverly subverts expectations, presenting Oslo as a city that doesn’t take itself too seriously while hinting at its unique appeal.

Anne-Signe Fagereng, Visit Oslo’s marketing director, tells travel media outlet Skift the idea was to highlight the lack of overtourism in the city.

“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,” says Fagereng.

“The fact that it’s not as famous and crowded as some other capital cities is something we should start highlighting as a benefit.”

The video has already amassed millions of views across various social media platforms, with users praising its refreshing approach.

The success of Visit Oslo’s unconventional approach raises questions about the future of tourism marketing – as travellers increasingly seek authentic experiences, other destinations may follow Oslo’s lead in presenting a more genuine, relatable image.