Why Oatly’s Controversial Super Bowl Ad Is Actually Genius
Oatly has the whole country singing—and debating. The Swedish plant-based milk company’s first-ever Super Bowl commercial has gone viral, with viewers split on whether they love it or hate it. But the truth is that whether you were singing along or complaining, you were talking about it. That’s why Oatly’s controversial Super Bowl ad is actually genius.
The ad shows Oatly CEO Toni Petersson sitting at a keyboard in the middle of a field of wheat, playing a catchy tune. “It’s like milk but made for humans,” he sings. “Wow, wow, no cow!”
Oatly has had a version of this commercial on its YouTube page for several years, but the Super Bowl was the first time it aired on U.S. television. In 2014, the ad originally aired on prime-time television in Sweden but was banned in the country after the dairy lobby sued.
Various media outlets have covered the ad, from BuzzFeed and People to the Washington Post. Some are calling it one of the “worst Super Bowl commercials,” while others have named it their “favorite commercial so far.” No matter which side of the debate you are on, Oatly is getting attention. Questlove, an American musician with 3.4 million Twitter followers, tweeted:
Come to think of it @oatly won. For those who know they know. For those that don’t know….welcome aboard we kept the light on for you lol. Simple commercial inescapable song.
And Oatly is 100 percent behind the controversy, offering free T-shirts that say, “I totally hated that Oatly commercial.” The company’s edgy advertising tactics appear to be working. Reports say Oatly’s popularity continues to increase, with the company earning $400 million in 2020—double the amount in 2019!
Oatly is even planning an initial public offering (IPO) this year! Also known as a stock market launch, this would enable consumers to invest directly in the company. CNBC reported that the IPO could raise an impressive $1 billion, depending on the economy in the wake of the pandemic.