Google Home

In a commercial for its Home device, Google told an estimated 40 million viewers of the Academy Awards last night that olive oil can be a substitute for butter in cooking.

For every cup of butter, substitute three-quarters cup of olive oil.- Google Home Commercial

“Okay Google, what’s a good substitute for butter?” a man asks in the 15-second spot that aired throughout the four-hour Oscars broadcast.

“For every cup of butter, substitute three-quarters cup of olive oil,” the Google device responds, offering a conversion that takes into account the difference in density of the two fats.

After a pause, the man then asks, “Okay Google, what’s a good substitute for olive oil?” (Maybe the unconscionable absence of olive oil in the man’s kitchen is due to this year’s over-publicized olive oil shortage scare.) That question, however, seems to leave even Google speechless, as the commercial cuts away. After all, there really is no substitute for olive oil.

While such a passing reference might not be noteworthy for some industries, the high-profile mention can be seen as a welcome product plug for the olive oil sector which has been trying to get people to consider olive oil as a healthier option well-suited for cooking.

Unlike some sectors, olive oil has no concerted promotional campaigns that could reach such a worldwide audience. And even if it did, the simplicity of Google’s incidental plug would be hard to beat.

And when most mentions of olive oil these days tend to be on the negative side, the Google spot rests the brand’s stellar credibility behind one uncomplicated truth: you can use olive oil instead of butter for cooking.

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