Beautiful Girls

That Weird Oatly Super Bowl Commercial Was Actually a Genius Troll

While other companies spent big bucks on splashy Super Bowl ads featuring  celebs, Oatly went in a slightly…different direction. In case you missed it, their 30-second Super Bowl LV spot featured the company’s CEO, Toni Petersson, alone in a field with a keyboard, singing a song that went “wow, wow, no cow,” slightly off-key. Apart from not featuring the product, it was a pretty succinct way to get their message across: Oatly makes products that don’t involve cows. Non-dairy alternatives for milk, yogurt and ice cream. But, still: weird move, right?

Well, maybe not. As they say, all press is good press, and it seems the company was intentionally wacky to get people talking.  Just after the commercial ran, Oatly offered a free T-shirt that said, “I totally hated that Oatly commercial,” in keeping with its break-the-fourth-wall-style advertising.

“The rules of time and space make it impossible to give you back the 30 seconds you just spent watching our Super Bowl commercial, but at least we can give you this free T-shirt that lets the world know where you stand on our attempt to promote Toni’s singing skills to a wider audience. Feel free to wear it proudly knowing we are not offended since we believe that having different opinions on things is what helps move society forward, even if those particular opinions are strong enough for you to want to wear them in T-shirt form,” read the company’s website. Pretty clever. Love it or hate it, Oatly’s in on the joke.

It was a limited edition batch of 500 shirts and sold out quickly, but the spirit of hating the commercial lives on: 

Well, at least Questlove liked it!

As a brand known for its sustainability efforts, it makes sense that Oatly would recycle an old commercial on the biggest advertising day of the year. According to Ad Age, the spot originally ran in 2014 in Sweden, where the company is based. However, after a lawsuit from Sweden’s dairy lobby, the commercial was banned, so this is not only an old ad but a rebellious ad. A rogue ad. And all we can say is…wow.

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