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Oatly Went Viral for Its Deeply Weird Super Bowl Commercial

One of the most talked-about events this Super Bowl besides the Halftime Show, and um, the game, I guess, was Oatly’s deeply strange ad. Featuring their CEO singing a jingle while playing piano in a field and not much else, this commercial certainly had everyone talking, but there’s way more to the ad than you might think.

The commercial features a song written and performed by Oatly CEO Toni Petersson with lyrics like “It’s like milk, but made for humans” and “Wow no cow.” It originally ran in Sweden in 2014, according to AdAge, and was brought back for advertising’s biggest night, despite its very modest production.

“It cost a fraction of what the catering budget is for almost every other spot in the Super Bowl,” Oatly’s chief creative officer John Schoolcraft told the publication. He added that it only took one or two takes to make it happen.

However, the simple tune has had a fairly tumultuous history since then. The ad was actually banned in Sweden following a lawsuit from the country’s dairy lobby, according to AdAge. The lobby said that the ad “disparaged cow’s milk as unhealthy,” according to a Bloomberg report at the time.

So while you won’t see it in Sweden any time soon, the recycled Oatly ad certainly made a splash in America. People quickly took to social media with a mix of joy, confusion, and annoyance about the commercial, something the oat milk brand kind of expected.

“You can look at it and say ‘that might be the stupidest use of ad space on the Super Bowl ever,’” Schoolcraft told AdAge.

They even sold a t-shirt that reads “I Totally Hated That Oatly Commercial” on their website, just for the haters. It’s currently sold out.

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