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Unlocking Oslo’s Hidden Sense of Humour: A City Brand Campaign Review

Blog  ›  

Unlocking Oslo’s Hidden Sense of Humour: A City Brand Campaign Review

Why does this Oslo citizen not want you coming to his city?

By the time it was released, I had already been enjoying few weeks of my stay in Oslo 🇳🇴, and I can tell you, the city cleverly nailed it by using humour and irony in their newest ad.

This campaign captures the best of Oslo’s culture without the usual tourist hotspots, distinguishing Oslo from other big-city destinations worldwide that are usually overcrowded by tourists, making it difficult to enjoy the real local culture and sometimes even to grasp it (Sorry, Rome!).

“Is it even a city?” chooses to poke fun at itself and capture the city’s charm and attractions without overpraising it, as most tourism ads do. It even feels like the city is a background character humorously sneaking into the ad, which is refreshing in an industry where humour is often underutilized.

It might feel risky for most brands to find a humorous angle in their narrative, but funny ads are more memorable for people and have been shown to significantly enhance campaign effectiveness. And it’s not just me saying it—check this out:

😄 — 91% of people prefer brands to be funny, and 72% would choose a brand that uses humour over the competition (Oracle, 2022).

📺 — Ads with humorous elements are 47% more likely to be remembered by viewers compared to those without humour (Nielsen, 2020).

📈 — Consumers perceive humorous ads as more informative, interesting, and credible (Journal of Advertising, 2019).

This approach is particularly interesting to me in the case of this campaign because in my experience visiting Oslo, I’ve found that Norwegians have a dry and subtly ironic sense of humour, often leaving you unsure if they’re being serious or funny. Which makes total sense; you just need to re-watch the ad to get that feeling.

In summary, it is proven that humour in your campaigns will lead to more positive brand associations and Oslo did a great job capturing the essence of the humour typical of its people in this ad. I’m sure it will pay off because it is no joke that if there is something consumers value, it’s authenticity.

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Arturo Mendez

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