Swedish oat milk brand Oatly is no stranger to controversy, and this time the company is hitting headlines again with its first-ever Super Bowl advert featuring CEO Toni Petersson.
Oatly’s Super Bowl advert features company’s CEO, Toni Petersson, sitting with his keyboard in a field of wheat singing ‘It’s like milk, but made for humans’ before repeating the phrase ‘wow, wow, no cow’ for the duration of the rest of the advert.
The 30-second advert has gone viral after it aired during the American football game’s second quarter yesterday after it received mixed reviews from viewers who branded it “terrible” and “inescapable.”
‘Not your typical Super Bowl commercial’
Not only have Oatly created a catchy earworm with the jingle that you’ll no doubt find yourself singing for days to come, but the company has also been savvy in saving money with its low-budget advert.
The Super Bowl is the US’s biggest night for advertising, with a 30-second advert typically costing an estimated $5.5 million to run. However, according to Oatly’s chief creative officer, John Schoolcraft, the advert “cost a fraction of what the catering budget is for almost every other spot in the Super Bowl…”
This is because Oatly actually first created the advert back in 2014 with minimal production costs. In fact, the advert caused controversy when it first aired in Sweden as the Swedish dairy lobby promptly sued Oatly which led to the advert being banned in the country.
Not one to let a good advert go to waste, the company decided to re-run the advert over the weekend in a bid to reach new audiences with its simple message.
Speaking to Adage, Schoolcraft said: “It’s definitely not your typical Super Bowl commercial with the celebrity or overproduction.
“You can look at it and say ‘that might be the stupidest use of ad space on the Super Bowl ever. The best approach is just to put something out there that feels real and then let them make their judgment.”
‘Made bad on purpose’
Whether you loved it or hated it, there’s no denying it got a lot of people talking about Oatly. With over 185 million people estimated to have watched the Super Bowl at the weekend, the annoyingly catch jingle is a great way to make consumers think about choosing oat milk the next time they’re at the store.
“I believe the oatly ad was made bad on purpose so people would talk about them,” speculated one Twitter user.
Another said that the advert was all they would remember about the Super Bowl, saying it “Sparked curiosity, confusion & conversation.”
Sparked curiosity, confusion & conversation…
I didn’t think this as I watched it but now it’s all I’ll remember from this #SuperBowlLV
— Brian Fanzo ? (@iSocialFanz) February 8, 2021
Some social media users, however, have taken to social media to say they will never buy the company’s oat milk again following the Super Bowl advert.
One user said: “That commercial was so bad that I’ll never buy Oatly milk ever.
That commercial was so bad that I’ll never buy Oatly milk ever.
— Joseph P. Huber (@JosephPHuber) February 8, 2021
Another agreed with the sentiments, saying “Suddenly in the mood to slam a glass of 2% milk after that Oatly commercial.”
Oatly themselves have celebrated their Super Bowl debut and admitted that they wanted to air something a little bit different to the usual high-energy celebrity-filled adverts.
On Oatly website, the company wrote: “Maybe interrupting the second quarter so the world could experience Toni’s musical stylings about how oat milk is like milk but made for humans wasn’t the most Super Bowl-ish idea ever, but on the other hand, our attempt to promote Toni’s singing skills to a wider audience actually got you to visit an oat milk company website on the big day. Total success!”
Oatly has also hit back at the ‘haters’ with a tongue-in-cheek Tweet that encourages anyone who hated the advert to purchase a T-shirt to let the world know.
If you just watched our CEO sing in an oat field on the big game, we can’t give you back those 30 seconds but we can give you a free t-shirt that lets the world know where you stand on our attempt to promote Toni’s singing skills to a wider audience. https://t.co/5s9EoK2ALW pic.twitter.com/XDcxPckvys
— OatlyUS (@OatlyUS) February 8, 2021
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