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Oslo's tourism ads are taking an unconventional route

DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN, HOST:

It's peak travel season, and locales near and far are vying for your tourist dollars.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Hello, adventurers. North Dakota's big outdoors are calling.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Welcome to the Sydney Opera House.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: It's remarkable.

UNIDENTIFIED MUSICAL ARTIST: (Singing) I come from the land down under.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: Yep, it's amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #5: Whoa.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #6: I can't wait to see what Abu Dhabi has in store for me this time.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #7: (Non-English language spoken).

KURTZLEBEN: You might notice a theme - namely, come see us, please. We're awesome. Well, the Norwegian capital of Oslo - look, they don't even need your tourism, OK?

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Halfdan) I wouldn't come here, to be honest. Oslo is just not...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #8: Woo (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Halfdan) I mean, is it even a city?

KURTZLEBEN: That's the opening line of the new ad by Oslo's official marketing agency, VisitOslo. The short video showing a thoroughly unimpressed Oslo resident walking around an absolutely gorgeous city has gone viral.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Halfdan) Culture? I don't know. If you don't have to stand in line for at least a couple of hours, is it even worth seeing? Not exactly the Mona Lisa.

KURTZLEBEN: I mean, he's technically right. What he's in fact standing in front of when he says those lines is Edvard Munch's "The Scream," which, you know, you might have heard of. The man grouses about Oslo like it's an overeager date, saying that it should maybe play hard to get a little bit more. Case in point, even the finest restaurants are just too accessible.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Halfdan) Sometimes I just walk right in off the streets and get a table. And I'm not even famous. I mean, what does that tell you?

KURTZLEBEN: It tells us to book our tickets immediately. Well played, Oslo. Well played. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political correspondent assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on The NPR Politics Podcast. She is covering the 2020 presidential election, with particular focuses on on economic policy and gender politics.
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