Oreo Taps Owen Wilson to Star in Silly French-Language TV Ads

The ‘Midnight in Paris’ star seems to have not kept up his French lessons.

By Ethan L. Johns
January 09, 2018

Image: OREO

Gil Pender may have left his plush life in Malibu behind in favor of a tiny Parisian maid’s apartment at the end of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, but it seems pretty clear that the man who plays him never learned to speak French.

In a quirky and comical new series of TV ads for Oreo France’s new Peanut Butter Oreos—Owen Wilson attempts to pitch the product in heavily accented French. There’s only one problem: he has absolutely no idea what he’s saying. The four “Do You Speak Oreo” spots, developed by the small ad agency Buzzman, first aired on Sunday in France.

In one, Wilson sits on a park bench in Paris’ Bois de Vincennes and holds up a package of Peanut Butter Oreos.

“Hey! I am Owen Wilson, and this to be the Oreo,” he says in heavily American-accented French before stopping a jogger to ask for a translation of “peanut butter-flavor.” The jogger, confused, tells him that he doesn’t understand. Wilson thanks him and returns to his pitch:

“And this to be the ‘sorry, I don’t understand’-flavored Oreo.” The confusion continues.

In another, Wilson sits on a café terrace as he explains to the country of France the proper way to twist and open an Oreo cookie. When the woman at a neighboring table asks for one, she asks him if it’s an American cookie. Confused, Wilson begins to recite his Oreo speech once again.

The brand’s choice of Owen Wilson no doubt has to do with his role in the Woody Allen film, which opened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. Midnight in Paris is the American director’s biggest financial success, having raked in $151 million worldwide—$14.5 million of which was grossed in France.

When it comes to Oreos, Wilson is just as professional. Even if it takes him over 134 takes to get his lines right.

“I am Oreo, and this to be the Owen Wilson.”

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns