The story behind the YMCAs Butter Commercial

$5,000, 42 butter sticks, 1 win


Auditions were given to a half dozen actresses using Snickers and Three Musketeers candy bars as props for the butter.

Edwards, 42, who has a theater background and does voice-overs for radio commercials, was selected because of her acting ability to eat the prop almost as an afterthought while engrossed in something else -- in this case, watching TV.

"We weren't looking for a fashion model," Preston said. "We wanted a young mom, a regular gal, someone who was comfortable in sweatpants and a sweatshirt." Edwards' pierced nose had to be covered with makeup.

The ad was shot in the Excelsior living room of executive producer Mark Setterholm, the president and owner of Drive Thru TV.

Just before the shoot, Setterholm went to the Byerly's in Chanhassen to buy the butter. "There was so much butter in my cart I felt I had to make excuses. I told the checkout crew that, no, I wasn't addicted to making Christmas cookies."

When Edwards arrived at the set early on a November morning with a cup of coffee in hand, she was greeted by a crew of 20 and two coolers packed with sticks of butter.

"That's when it hit me that I'd really be eating butter," Edwards recalled.

Until that moment she had been imagining how many different ways a person could eat a stick of butter. Her ideas swayed between eating a candy bar, an ear of corn, a banana, or all of the above.

The shoot lasted until early afternoon and involved more than 25 takes and 42 sticks of butter.

Comment: Memorable

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