Part of the Super Bowl experience is enjoying the creative ads that punctuate the game. At $5.5 million per 30 second ad, they’ve got to be memorable. A common way to garner attention is through celebrity appearances. One of 2021’s stand-out ads has comedic actor Will Ferrell spouting vitriol on behalf of General Motors. Just why is he so angry? Because Norway outranks the US in electric car sales.
It’s not a close race: 54% of new car sales in Norway are electric versus the USA’s 1%. Ferrell’s amusing outrage and physical antics have him peeling out and enlisting fellow comics Kenan Thompson and Awkwafina to help teach Norway a lesson. He ships off to Norway and marvels, “This place is adorable!” only to find out that he’s actually landed in Sweden. One of the teaser ads leading up to game day has Ferrell disguising his voice as “Olaf” and pranking Norway’s citizens with 5 million anchovy pizzas.
But Norway wasn’t about to take this provocation lying down. Immediately the reaction ads and videos began popping up. The University of Agder in southern Norway produced the hilarious “Sorry, not sorry,” in which they quickly try to quell Ferrell’s rage by hiding other great things about Norway.
Audi countered GM’s challenge with its own series of celebrity spots, starring blustery Game of Thrones star and Oslo native Kristofer Hivju. He invites Ferrell to a salmon fight, offers a proper fish pizza, and implores Ferrell: “Don’t hate. Imitate.”
Not to be left out of the fun, Ford Norge tweeted a video of their electric vehicles delivering pizza orders across the Norwegian countryside. Prime minister Erna Solberg also tweeted to correct her pizza order to pineapple.
Hands down, the most adorable of replies came from VisitNorway.com. A group of school kids waits in Oslo harbor to welcome Ferrell, offering geography and skiing lessons, chanting “We believe in you, Will!”