The ad’s negative attention may have worked in Oatly’s favor.
During one of Super Bowl LV’s numerous ad breaks, approximately 30 seconds of air time was dedicated to a commercial for vegan dairy company Oatly. Specifically, the commercial featured the company’s CEO, Toni Peterson, playing a keyboard in the middle of a field of oat while singing about his company’s product. On both social media and news outlets, the general consensus seemed to be that this ad was ineffective and uncomfortable.
“No choreography, music licensing, famous actors — possibly even no director. This year’s jankiest ad came from Oatly, a company that is very good at making oat milk and very bad at making commercials,” a Washington Post writer said. “Uncomfortably awkward “Napoleon Dynamite” vibes abound.”
i believe the oatly ad was made bad on purpose so people would talk about them
— femmephlegm (@peepeepoopoo0o) February 8, 2021
I’M STILL LAUGHING AT THIS OATLY AD. I can’t believe they decided to show THIS for a Super Bowl ad 😭 pic.twitter.com/QMUaRyMUGW
— Karen⁷✜ (@beomjjk) February 8, 2021
However, in a demonstration of the classic “Streisand Effect,” this negative attention may have played to the company’s benefit. In a spot of marketing savvy, in the midst of the ad’s negative press, Oatly began selling t-shirts on their online store with the caption “I totally hated that Oatly commercial.” These shirts almost immediately sold out.
Oatly has recently been considering a $10 billion IPO as soon as this coming summer. The company was originally unsure whether to focus their efforts in Hong Kong or the US, but after their rise in notability from their Super Bowl ad, they have decided to commit to a US IPO.
“Maybe interrupting the second quarter so the world could experience Toni’s musical stylings about how oatmilk 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 oatmilk company website on the big day,” Oatly said in a statement on its website. “Total success!”