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Scandinavian YouTube Responds to GM's Will Ferrell Super Bowl Ad

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 2/8/2021 Jonathon Ramsey
a store front at day: Circle K Denmark and Norway, the mayor of Kragerø, the University of Agder's rector, random school kids, they all have something to say to Will Ferrell. © YouTube Circle K Denmark and Norway, the mayor of Kragerø, the University of Agder's rector, random school kids, they all have something to say to Will Ferrell.
  • Comedic actor Will Ferrell appeared in a Super Bowl ad for General Motors' future EVs in which he called out Norway over its dominance in electric-vehicle sales.
  • YouTube channels from Scandinavian countries are rife with responses to that challenge.
  • Everyone from Audi Norway to schoolkids got into the act this weekend.

This begins with a story about the paucity of automaker ads during the Super Bowl>>>P, one that included a fair bit of YouTube research into GM's spots>>>P, because GM produced some pre-game teasers in addition to its big-budget ad. Now, YouTube thinks I want to see everything it has on GM's EVs.


Then came an ad for Circle K Denmark. That was odd. Turns out I’d been ushered into Scandinavian YouTube, where they spent the weekend busting GM's chops.

In case you missed it, GM paid Will Ferrell to declare war on Norway>>>P. In a 60-second spot that ran during the Buccaneers' mauling of Kansas City, Ferrell discovered Norway is the world leader in battery-electric vehicle sales per capita. Refusing to let America be disrespected like that, he punches a globe, grabs his Cadillac Lyriq>>>P, and drafts Kenan Thompson and Awkafina in a Hummer EV to meet him in Norway for the beatdown.

No animals, celebrities, Norwegians, or EVs were hurt in the making of the commercial, especially since Ferrell ends up in Sweden, and Thompson and Awkwafina wind up in Finland. Because America. And geography.

Well, Scandinavia refused to be disrespected like that, mobilizing its forces almost immediately. First, Audi Norway snagged Norwegian Game of Thrones actor Kristofer Hivju for a series of digital spots responding to GM. Those featured pizza and mackerel. They were great. Then things got better.

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Circle K Norway turned a 42-second spot set to a small choir belting out the"The Star-Spangled Banner." There are hot dogs, American flags, football players (who are perhaps discovering football for the first time), and a cheer squad shouting"Go! Will! Go!" They've reserved a charging station for him, and when he arrives, he'll want to see the clerk inside, who's got a welcome gift—a charging cable.

In solidarity, Circle K Denmark uses the arrival of the"enemy from the west" bent on destruction to announce its global rollout of high-speed EV charging stations. And the effort will be led by a new boss: Viking warrior Mirana, daughter of Olaf. With the help of her much-less-bellicose assistant.

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The general secretary of Norway's EV association tells Ferrell to"Bring it," and that bringing it includes bringing more cowbell>>>P. The mayor of Kragerø challenges Ferrell to come to"the pearl of the Norwegian coastal towns" and race him in the"first ever electrical go-kart grand prix."

AMCAR is a Norwegian automotive organization that does everything from work with the government on policy to providing roadside assistance, financing, and car shows. In its video, AMCAR makes a direct assault on GM's EV sales decline in Norway and Europe with a metaphor about the Chevrolet Bolt EV just not connecting like it should, and a plea to"Please fix this."

"Norway—a country of car lovers not haters," the tagline reads.

A group of Norwegian school kids try to help Ferrell—and his Lyriq's navigation system—with a short clip on"Geography for Dummies." Norwegian vehicle importer Bertel O. Steen>>>P, announcing,"Game on, America!" questions whether a football is really a ball, and whether the Super Bowl, featuring only teams from the United States, has a right to crown a"world" champion.

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And a video led by the rector of Norway's University of Agder attempts to apologize to Ferrell by removing anything else from the country that might offend him and, in the process, points out everything the U.S. doesn't have.

Let it be known that Ferrell has been married to a Swedish actress since 2000, and they have three children together, which is likely why Sweden has chosen to remain neutral throughout this skirmish. But we're sure this battle isn't over—something globe makers and pizza companies should celebrate as much as any EV maker.

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