(NEW YORK) — Can Psy sell pistachios? That’s the question that will be weighing on the minds of nut-fanciers and TV ad execs alike until Super Bowl Sunday, when viewers will get their first glimpse of the South Korean pop star pitching nuts.
Psy has accomplished much already in his career. His music video, “Gangnam Style,” has proved to be a blockbuster hit on YouTube, generating at least $8 million in related advertising deals, as reported by ABC News. Google says the video has had some 1.23 billion views — an unprecedented number.
The company responsible for hiring him and for making the commercial is California’s Paramount Farms, the world’s largest supplier of pistachios and almonds. Not irrelevant to Psy’s selection, says Paramount, is the fact that South Korea represents a $38 million market for California nut-growers.
A free trade agreement signed in 2007 has removed tariffs, making that market more crackable.
Marc Seguin, the vice president of marketing for Paramount Farms, calls South Korea an important customer. Paramount’s choice to star South Korea’s biggest celebrity in its commercial, he says, ties in nicely.
Seguin declines to say how much has been spent on the ad, but calls it by far the biggest expenditure by the company on a single advertisement.
Its content must remain, for now, a closely guarded secret. But Seguin was willing to discuss the commercial in general terms with ABC News.
“They will see Psy as they know him, with his personality and great moves,” said Seguin of the commercial. “They will see the same ‘Gangnam Style’ action that has swept the nation. They will see him opening pistachios the way only he could.”
The star will wear a pistachio-green suit.
Paramount’s existing advertising campaign, called “Get Crakin’,” previously has depicted big name celebrities including Snoop, the Village People, Homer Simpson and boxer Manny Pacquiao. In each video vignette, the celebrity is shown opening nuts in a way that fits comfortably with his image.
How, then, will Psy be opening his nuts?
Seguin cannot say. “But I can tell you this: If his video made you smile and laugh, our commercial will make you smile and laugh. We think it will be the talk of the next day,” he says.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Seth Fiegerman, CNN