Is Every Food Influencer Screaming About Ghee? Thanks to Organic Valley’s Ad Editors, Yes

It's an easy replacement, even in videos that don't use it

Organic Valley dropped its ghee product into influencer's older cooking clips (with their permission). Organic Valley
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Even a fairly proficient home cooks can get stumped by ingredients they’re not familiar with. Ghee? What the hell is ghee? And how do I use it?

It’s basically clarified butter—mystery solved!—and all the culinary influencers on YouTube are already hip to it. Or are they?

Organic Valley, under its continuing tagline, “Call us crazy, but it’s working,” launches a digital campaign that literally puts words in influencers’ mouths (well, one word: “Ghee!”) and substitutes the product for oil and butter in their cooking demos.

It’s an intentionally low-rent digital trick, done after the fact. The Wisconsin-based dairy co-op, the first billion-dollar organic brand in the U.S., altered finished videos by adding a blatant on-screen product placement and dropping in “Ghee!” like a censored swear word.

So when Food Network’s Katie Lee and YouTube stars like Momma Cherri and Kent Rollins mention butter or oil in their videos, it’s now a cheeky shill for Organic Valley.

“Instead of making new content, we realized we could reuse all this existing online cooking footage to show people how they could substitute ghee in pretty much any recipe,” said David Littlejohn, founder and chief creative officer at Organic Valley’s agency, Humanaut.

The 60-second hero spot, with a scenic wide-open pasture as a backdrop, tries to reassure everyone that they “already know how to use” the high-fat, lactose-free ingredient that’s becoming more mainstream via the Paleo diet and ethnic cuisines.

The ads, running through the end of the year, will fan out over YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Refinery29, Buzzfeed, Vanity Fair, PopSugar, Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Serious Eats and other digital and social sites. The influencers, who are all in on the joke, will also be sharing the campaign, which features cut-downs and star-specific commercials.

Humanaut paired with media partner Junction 37 for the quirky approach to influencers, who are “usually creating their own new content for brands.” But in this case, the agency leveraged “the value of the influencers’ back catalog and edited the footage ourselves.”

“Gheelish Any Dish” follows in the footsteps of previous Organic Valley hits like the faux PSA called “Save the Bros,” the unvarnished “Real Morning Report” about women’s actual start-of-the-day routines and origin stories of the brand’s “long-haired, shoeless, hippie” farmers.


Client: Organic Valley
Agency: Humanaut
Campaign Title: Gheelish Any Dish

Chief Creative Director: David Littlejohn
Chief Strategist: Andrew Clark
Director of Content: Dan Jacobs
Account Director: Elizabeth Cates
Creative Director: Andy Pearson
Copywriter: Andy Pearson, Liza Behles
Designer: Carrie Warren, Coleson Amon
Senior Integrated Producer: Tommy Wilson

Production Company: Humanaut Productions
Director: Dan Jacobs
Producer: Tommy Wilson
Associate Producer: Fritsl Butler
Director of Photography: John Matysiak
Art Director: Carrie Warren

Editor: Steven Wilson
Color: Matt Hadley
Media Strategy & Buying: Chris Pyne, Amanda Liu / Junction 37

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@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.