No Way, Norway!
Will Ferrell stars in GM’s Super Bowl commercial—and the Vikings strike back
LORI ANN REINHALL
The Norwegian American
On Feb. 3, General Motors released its big game ad, starring Will Ferrell, who discovers Norway far outpaces the United States in electric vehicle adoption. In the commercial,
“No Way, Norway,” Kenan Thompson and Awkwafina join Ferrell on his action-packed journey to give Norwegians a piece of his mind. The ad aired during the first quarter of the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
“No Way, Norway: is an extension of GM’s “Everybody In” campaign, which launched in January 2021 to excite a new generation of vehicle buyers and accelerate EV adoption while showcasing the company’s Ultium battery platform. The spot features upcoming Ultium-powered electric vehicles, including the Cadillac LYRIQ luxury SUV and the GMC HUMMER EV supertruck.
“I’m excited to be a part of GM’s commitment to EVs,” said Ferrell. “I’ve been driving an EV since the mid-80s… well, actually it was a regular car with four AA batteries taped to the carburetor, but it felt like an EV! We’re coming for you, Norway!”
In the 90-second ad, he smashes a globe and “vows to crush those losers,” and he soon boards a cargo container ship to land in Sweden (!), which he, surprisingly, finds to be “adorable.”
Today, well over half of new vehicles sold in Norway are electric. Comparatively, EVs made up less than 4% of market share in the United States. Electric car sales in Norway have skyrocketed in recent years, and the numbers have attracted international attention, even before Ferrell and General Motors came on the scene. The Audi e-tron was Norway’s best-selling electric car in 2020, and at the same time also Norway’s best-selling car model regardless of driveline.
Ferrell’s violent outcry against Norway has not gone unnoticed on either side of the Atlantic. The 2021 Super Bowl broadcast attracted 96.4 million viewers (and most of them watch the commercials), and at the time of press, on YouTube alone, the Ferrell video has seen 1.6 million views—and responses from Norway have been pouring in on social media.
Even the two famous Norwegian actors Aksel Hennie and Game of Thrones star Kristofer Hivju came together at a scenic mountain, Golsfjellet, to defend Norway’s honor. Hivju took up the glove as a representative of the electric car-driving Vikings in the North. Hennie directed the recordings, and with Audi, they made a film that was aired before the big football game on Feb. 6.
There are a total of three shorts starring Hivju, but the one in which Hivju encounters a globe with a hole allegedly punched by Ferrell may strike many Norwegians as, well, particularly Norwegian.
“Ferrell’s hatred of Norway is based on our electric car sales, and it is natural for us to defend Norway and the Norwegian car market. Our own international star placed behind the wheel of Norway’s best-selling car, the electric Audi e-tron, is perhaps what it takes to stop Ferrell’s anti-Norway campaign,” said Tommy Bækkevold Jensen, marketing manager at Audi Norway.
“In Norway, we fight hatred with love and kindness … or not really, we fight hatred by patting people in the face. Not with mackerel, but with salmon, said Hivju in one of his greetings to Ferrell. He encourages “not to hate, but to imitate” in another.
“Of course, we welcome the United States when it comes to electric cars, and we also think that this was a good opportunity to show what we Norwegians are made of. We Norwegians may not be so excited about pizza with anchovies, but we love electric cars,” said Jensen
The Audi retort videos were released on Feb. 5, so watch out, Will Ferrell. The Vikings have struck back …
Compiled from press releases from GM, Audi, and NTB.
This article originally appeared in the Feb. 26, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.