- Vegan milk brand Oatly released a bizarre Super Bowl LV commercial featuring CEO Toni Petersson.
- In the 30-second spot, Petersson plays sings a jingle about the brand while standing in a field.
- Bracing for a negative response, Oatly released an “I totally hated that Oatly commercial” t-shirt that sold out in under 5 minutes.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Super Bowl LV watchers took to Twitter to flame Oatly’s commercial, and the vegan milk maker responded by releasing a t-shirt that poked fun of its own ad.
The 30-second commercial — which was Oatly’s first Super Bowl ad, according to a report from Adweek — featured Toni Petersson, Oatly’s CEO, playing a keyboard while singing a jingle.
“It’s like milk, but made for humans,” Petersson sang in the ad. “Wow, no cow.”
The commercial was originally aired in Sweden in 2014, according to a report from AdAge, but was pulled off the air after the country’s dairy lobby sued Oatly.
Sweden’s dairy lobby isn’t alone in hating the commercial. Shortly after the ad aired during the big game, Super Bowl watchers took to Twitter to air their scathing reviews of the Oatly clip, prompting the oat milk maker to trend on Twitter.
Derek Thompson, a staff writer at The Atlantic, said the Oatly commercial had him considering drinking real milk.
—Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) February 8, 2021
Ryan Wyatt, the head of gaming and commerce at YouTube, joked that the oat milk commercial got the “worst part of the Super Bowl out of the way.”
—Ryan Wyatt (@Fwiz) February 8, 2021
Questlove, a musician and a member of The Roots, “loves” Oatly but said the commercial was “weird.”
—Director ?uestlove (@questlove) February 8, 2021
“You can look at it and say ‘that might be the stupidest use of ad space on the Super Bowl ever,'” the ad’s director Torbjörn Martin told Ad Age.
It appears it was intentionally so.
Following the commercial’s Super Bowl debut, the oat milk maker announced it was releasing a limited edition t-shirt that reads, “I totally hated that Oatly commercial,” under a graphic of Petersson.
“We can’t give you back those 30 seconds, but we can give you this free t-shirt that will let the world know where you stand on our attempt to promote Toni’s singing skills to a wider audience,” Oatly wrote in its Instagram caption.
The run of 500 shirts sold out in under five minutes, an Oatly spokesperson told Insider in an email.
“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,” Oatly wrote on its website.