Oslo’s grumpiest resident warns you not to visit in hilarious tourism campaign

Halfdan has had it with his lame hometown—will his gripes convince tourists to give the Norwegian capital a try?

Published On
Jul 02, 2024

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“Is it even a city?” asks the star of Oslo’s new tourism campaign—easily the best tourism line we’ve heard in a while, but just one delight among many in the two-minute video above, promoting visits to the Norwegian capital.

The character, known as “Halfdan,” played by actor Bendik Aunan, has grown up in Oslo but is totally sick of the place. As he lists off his many grievances, the viewer gets a good look at the city. And it soon becomes clear that what Halfdan loathes, visitors might love—Oslo’s approachability, its art and culture, its restaurants, its various other diversions.

“I wouldn’t come here, to be honest,” says Halfdan. But viewers beg to differ, as the spot—posted online last week—has gone viral, leading to increased bookings and even calls for Oslo to make a Halfdan film.

Also read: Tripadvisor is a reliable sidekick for any trip in first campaign since 2022

The agency behind the campaign, NewsLab AS, said the idea came from NewsLab director August Jorfald following a trip to Paris. “I was so concerned about ‘not being a tourist’ that, among other things, I insisted on not seeing the Eiffel Tower,” Jorfald said. “On the plane home, I saw myself from the outside, and felt like a jerk.”

This led to the Halfdan character—a guy who’s too cool for his own hometown.

The campaign has a small paid element on Meta aimed at audiences in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Great Britain. But it has spread organically far beyond those countries. On TikTok, the video has almost 2 million organic views.

“Using humor in an international campaign is never completely risk-free, but fortunately we have received an enormous amount of positive interest after just one weekend,” said Anne-Signe Fagereng, Visit Oslo’s marketing manager.

As for possible future Halfdan content, she added: “Time will tell. The desire to see more of Halfdan is a success in itself, and it would be fun to show even more of Oslo through his eyes.”

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Jul 02, 2024
Client :
Visit Oslo
Agency :
NewsLab AS

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